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Summer of the Shandy

The Best Seller:
The last few summers, Leinenkugel’s Summer Shandy has been far and away our most popular summer beer, dethroning favorites such as Bell’s Oberon and Goose Island Summertime Kolsch. Leinenkugel’s incredible success with the blending of lemonade and beer has spawned copycats, as well as drawing attention to the real pioneers of the style. Summer Shandy is brewed through August. Look for Leinenkugel’s brand new Lemon Berry Shandy starting in September.


The Original:
Stiegl Radler Shandy has been on our shelves for almost 10 years, long before any other version of the style. Look for it in our Austrian beer section. Some can’t get used to drinking from 17oz bottles and the $14.99 price tag for the 6-pack, however we highly recommend it.


This year, Stiegl released a 2.5% ABV Grapefruit Shandy, a delicious twist on the style. If you are looking for something refreshing to sip on all day, try this beer with friends.


The Extremist:
Hoppin’ Frog Brewery, like they do with many styles, pushed the limits of the shandy style with their Turbo Shandy. Clocking in at 7% ABV, this is not the beer you can sit in the sun drinking all day. However, it is packed with more flavor, alcohol, and zest than the other Shandy’s.


The Newbies:
Shock Top Belgian Wheat introduced its latest seasonal beer, Shock Top Lemon Shandy, just in time for the warm weather months. Anheuser-Busch stayed true to Shock Top’s roots when they created their shandy, capturing Shock Top’s wheat beer essences and spices.


Samuel Adams joined the shandy party this summer with Porch Rocker. Their version of the style is a Helles Lager with a fresh squeezed lemon taste, drawing inspiration from traditional Baviarian Radlers that mix beer with German-style lemonade.

Drink Alsace Online Seminar & Tasting


Binny’s is excited to celebrate the Wines of Alsace this month. We first told you about it in this post on the Binny’s Blog. Now we have more details about the online interactive tasting hosted by Chicago’s very own wine educator Patrick Fegan. Here’s the snapshot.


Drink Alsace – Wines of Pure Expression
Interactive Seminar with Patrick Fegan
June 28th, 2012
4-6pm: Open Forum Discussion
6-7pm: Interactive Webcam Tasting



Along with Patrick, several Chicago journalists will join us online for the discussion and tasting. Plus the charming @BinnysBev may make an appearance. It should be lively and informative. Even we hope to learn some new things.


Okay, the event is being hosted at TasteLive, so click here before the discussion and tasting to see more details and to set up a TasteLive account. It’s pretty easy – you can sign in with twitter or set up a new username and password. Isn’t social integration cool?


Next, you’re going to want to grab the wines we’re tasting from a Binny’s before the night of the event. These were all selected as affordable examples of the range and style of Alsace, and because they’re available at most Binny’s locations.





We’re pretty stoked on this event, and we hope you can join us online. If not, don’t miss out on the free, in-store, staff-pick Alsace tasting happening the following Saturday, June 30th, at all Binny’s locations. And celebrate Alsace!

Baderbräu Tasting Information


This weekend Baderbräu will debut at all of our stores after a ten year hiatus. Along with the highly anticipated arrival will come a series of tastings. The first wave of samplings will include the following stores:


Friday, June 22nd from 4-7pm:
Lincoln Park
Downtown (Grand Avenue)


Saturday, June 23rd from 12-3pm:
Highland Park


Saturday, June 23rd from 4-7pm:
Downers Grove


For more information on Baderbräu, check out our blog post from earlier this month.


Quick Flight, Small Pours


Have some wine to help you relax?
It could just be your in your mind.


A dress from fermented wine cloth.
Gross. Includes pics.


A beer from natural beard yeast.
Gross. Looking forward to it.


Check out this Summer Cocktail Generator.


Wines aren’t the only forgeries misrepresented imbibables on the auction market.
The story now has a happy ending. But where is the responsibility?



Belgian Family Brewers Sale



The Binny’s Belgian Family Brewers Sale begins … now!


“What is Belgian Family Brewers?” you may ask, “and why should they have their own sale?” Funny you should bring it up.


Belgian Family Brewers is a collaboration of historic, family-owned breweries in Belgium, many of which are difficult for Americans to pronouce, and many of which make delicious beers. Check out their website. Why give them their own Binny’s beer sale? Well, they consistently deliver great beer, plus we’re supporting family owned, traditional Belgian breweries. Everybody wins! This sale runs now through July 3, so be sure to head over to Binny’s soon to stock up on some great Belgian beers!

Summer Brews

With temperatures above 90 degrees, now seems like a good time to discuss options from our beer aisles for the summer beer season. Here are three selections that give craft beer drinkers some variety not only in flavor but also in packaging.


“Refreshing” is always one of the buzzwords when talking summer options. However, you also need a beer that is flavorful and light and able to quench your thirst. That is all you need for the onset of summer. And a little sunscreen couldn’t hurt either.


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New Binny’s Hand Picked Knob Creek Single Barrels Are Here


We first mentioned our new batch of Binny’s Hand Picked Knob Creek Single Barrel Reserves back in April, right after tasting and picking them. Now, just about a month and a half later, they have finally arrived! If you’re into our hand-picked bourbons, you owe it to yourself to pick up one of these bad boys:


click the pic for a closer view.


A couple of details to note: Not all Binny’s stores will receive all six bottlings, which means you Binny’s completists may have some searching to do. We stand behind all six, so don’t ask us to pick our favorite! You can check out my personal tasting notes on the previous Binny’s Blog post here. Also, you’ll notice that barrel proof is listed on the label, but all have since been cut down to a paltry 120 proof.


So grab a bottle of our Hand Picked Knob SB, and be sure to let us know what you think!

Reminder: Sugar Bliss Cake Boutique Cupcake & Wine Tasting


We told you back in May to check out the series of cupcake & wine tastings hosted by Sugar Bliss Cake Boutique. Well, their June events are fast approaching – on June 20 & 21 from 5:30-7:30pm, join Sugar Bliss and Binny’s at the River North Sugar Bliss Location at 509 N Orleans Street for a night of cupcakes and wine, and be surprised at just how well the two can work together!


By the way, a portion of the June events’ proceeds will go to Spark, a national nonprofit providing life-changing apprenticeships to youth in underserved communities across the US. How sweet is that?


For more info, head over to the Sugar Bliss Cake Boutique website and click the “events” tab.

Celebrate the Wines of Alsace


During the month of June, Binny’s Beverage Depot is teaming up with Wines of Alsace to celebrate some of the greatest (and most affordable!) white wines from France.


You know Alsace, right? It’s that little region that stretches along France’s eastern border, tucked in next to Germany, running along the west bank of the Rhine. The region is famous for its dynamic take on white varietals – riesling, pinot gris, gewurztraminer, and more. These wines often carry a fresh, focused style that offers versatile pairing with an array of foods – from Thai to Vietnamese, Chinese, Indian, French, Mexican … the list goes on….



So what are we doing to celebrate?

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