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2012 GABF Winners Available at Binny’s

A few weeks ago, the most recognized beer awards in the United States were handed out at the Great American Beer Festival. We were excited to see many beers available on our shelves represented, from old favorites like Shiner Bock, to up and coming breweries like Chicago’s very own Revolution Brewing. Below is a list of winning beers available at Binny’s, along with the style category they took home a medal in.  For a full list of winners, visit the Great American Beer Festival website. These beers represent some of the best beers in the world for their respective styles. Congratulations to all of the winners!



Green Flash Le Freak, American-Belgo-Style Ale
Point Oktoberfest, American-Style Amber Lager
Firestone Walker Wookey Jack, American-Style Black Ale
Shiner Bock, American-Style Dark Lager
Pabst Blue Ribbon, American-Style Lager, Light Lager or Premium Lager
Green Flash Trippel, Belgian-Style Abbey Ale
Boulevard ZON, Belgian-Style Witbier
Goose Island India Pale Ale, English-Style India Pale Ale
Revolution Cross of Gold, English-Style Summer Ale
Point Whole Hog Pumpkin Ale, Field Beer or Pumpkin Beer
Sierra Nevada Estate Homegrown Ale, Fresh Hop Ale
Shiner Oktoberfest, German-Style Märzen
Shiner Bohemian Black Lager, German-Style Schwarzbier
Firestone Walker DBA, Ordinary or Special Bitter
Boulevard Reverb Imperial Pilsner, Other Strong Beer
Rogue Hazelnut Brown Nectar, Specialty Beer


Lakefront Fixed Gear American Red Ale, American-Style Amber/Red Ale
Miller Lite, American-Style Lager, Light Lager or Premium Lager
Old Style, American-Style Specialty Lager or Cream Ale or Lager
Avery White Rascal, Belgian-Style Witbier
Summit Pilsener, Bohemian-Style Pilsener
Uinta Sum’r, English-Style Summer Ale
Leinenkugel’s Summer Shandy, Fruit Wheat Beer
Samuel Adams Double Bock, German-Style Doppelbock or Eisbock
Uinta Baba, German-Style Schwarzbier
Two Brothers Ebel’s Weiss, German-Style Hefeweizen


Revolution A Little Crazy, American-Belgo-Style Ale
Redhook Winterhook, American-Style Amber/Red Ale
Keystone Light, American-Style Lager, Light Lager or Premium Lager
Mickey’s Malt Liquor, American-Style Specialty Lager or Cream Ale or Lager
Laughing Dog IPA, American-Style Strong Pale Ale
Domaine DuPage, Belgian- and French-Style Ale
5 Lizard Latin-Style Witbier, Fruit Wheat Beer
Firestone Walker Double Jack, Imperial India Pale Ale
Port Brewing Hot Rocks Lager, Indigenous Beer
Left Hand Sawtooth Ale, Ordinary or Special Bitter

Kona Brewing Co. Coming Soon to Binny’s

There are several breweries that don’t distribute in Illinois that we get asked for daily in our stores, such as Yuengling, New Glarus, Alaskan Brewing Company, and Kona Brewing Co. Binny’s is proud to announce that come Late January or early February, we are going to be able to provide you with the beers of Kona Brewing Co.


Longboard Lager, Kona’s flagship brew and most oft requested, will join Big Wave Golden Ale, Fire Rock Pale Ale, and a rotating seasonal on our shelves. Depending on the time of the year, the seasonal may either be Koko Brown Nut Brown Ale, Wailua Wheat, or Pipeline Porter.


If you can’t wait until after the new year to imbibe in Kona’s brews, look for the new variety packs on our shelves that feature beers from Widmer, Redhook, and Kona.


Wet-Hopped Beers: Get ‘Em Now or Next Year

Over the last month or so, brewers across the country have eagerly anticipated overnight deliveries of just harvested hops to in order to fashion their annual wet-hopped ales (also commonly referred to as fresh-hopped or harvest-ales). Within days and sometimes hours of being picked, brewers add the fresh, whole cone hops to their brew kettles. The resulting outcomes are fresh and hoppy flavors unique to this style of brew and this time of year. Fresh hopping can be likened to cooking with freshly picked spices and herbs, or fresh vegetables just harvested from your garden. Vegetal, earthy, floral, citrus, and herbal flavors and aromas that are sometimes diminished by the processing and pelletizing of hops are abundant. These beers are not dominated by bitterness like some hoppy beers are, instead the above listed flavors are much more pronounced.


For the optimal beer drinking experience, wet-hopped ales should be consumed as soon as possible. The one of a kind aromas and flavors exploited by the fresh hopping process tend to fade quicker than they would in your everyday hoppy beer.


One of our favorites, which also has the most widespread availability of any wet-hopped ale, is Two Brothers Heavy Handed. This unique brew is really five different beers sharing the same name; check out this blog post for some insight into this. Also keep an eye out for Sixpoint Autumnation. This is a wet-hopped pumpkin beer; a valiant and successful attempt at harnessing two of the most popular fall styles of beer. Many breweries make wet-hopped ales, however most are very limited. Be sure to stop in your local Binny’s soon to see if your favorite brewery’s wet hopped-ale is available.




Binny’s Mailbag: Very Old Beer & Date Codes


Who wouldn’t want to sneak a peek into Binny’s Mailbag? Here’s your chance:


I gave the Binny’s in Glen Ellyn a try after hearing so many positive things about the store. I was impressed with the selection of beers and was happy to see a 24 pack of Labatt Blue cans. I picked up a case and drank some of them over the next couple days noticing Labatt doesn’t taste as good as I remembered.

There was a promotion on the front of the case for Labatt rewards points with details inside the box.  I checked the print inside, and was shocked to see the promotion was for 2010-2011! Being that we are in the tail end of 2012, I couldn’t believe the store is selling 2 year old beer!  I noticed there were a lot of staff in the store asking customers if they need assistance finding anything – which is great.  However, I think it would be wiser use of employee resources to have someone check the inventory every few years to check the coolers. I thought I would bring to your attention this very disturbing find.

Lombard, IL


Hi Ted,


We checked this out right away, and we believe it isn’t a case of old beer, but old packaging. We checked the inside of a package we have in stock, and it indeed lists a promotion that starts in 2010 and ends in 2011.


However, we also checked the code dates stamped on the packaging of flats and on the cans inside the flats we have in stock. It reads “G172.” The first letter stands for the month. Since G is the 7th letter in the alphabet, this beer was canned in July. The second two numbers stand for the day of the month, so July 17th. Finally the last number stands for the year, 2 for 2012.  So the beer that we currently have in stock was canned on July 17th, 2012, which is well inside of its freshness window.


We hope this makes sense. Labatt should probably hire a new graphics/packaging guy.


As for Labatt Blue not tasting as good as you remember, that’s probably subjective.



Quick Flight, Small Pours


Why don’t you see much Midwestern wine in Chicago?


Via the Trib: New breweries in Chicago.

Well, not really. More like new brewery … spaces … eh … just check it out. It’s cool.


Stunning photos from the 2012 Oregon grape harvest.


Fun facts about Champagne.


Did we mention that we opened a brand new Binny’s in Bloomington today?


Binny's Bloomington

Binny’s Mailbag: UGC Bordeaux Tasting


Who wouldn’t want to sneak a peek into Binny’s Mailbag?


I read on the UGC de Bordeaux website that there will be a Binny’s tasting on January 23rd, 2013, which I assume is similar to what there was earlier this year for the 2009 vintage. However, I don’t see any announcement on your website or blog. Any idea when this will be official and allow us to purchase tickets to?



Hi Craig,


The announcement and ticket sales for the January 23rd Union des Grands Crus Bordeaux Tasting should come later this year. We’re looking forward to tasting another great vintage with our customers and friends from Bordeaux. It will be held at the Drake this time around, which is an absolutely gorgeous venue for this great event.


Please check back to for more information in late November or early December. We’ll see you at the UGC Bordeaux tasting!



The Wine Hotline: Binny’s Best Buys


The new edition of THE WINE HOTLINE is updated and online now!


Let’s see… this edition features includes Binny’s Best Buys (reprinited below for your convenience), Ratings Rants & Raves (plus Binny’s savings under list price), a great sparkling Staff Pick, the latest in New, Novel & Notable, a classy Rhone Cellarmaster’s Selection, plus info on Weekend at Binny’s, our free, staff-pick wine tastings held each Saturday at all Binny’s stores. And if all that isn’t enough for you, well, hit us up with an email or a call at The Wine Hotline: 866-975-6188.


Binny's Best Buys


After looking through the Binny’s October Wine Sale, we had to grab some bottles and pull some corks. Just as a reminder of what makes these Binny’s Best Buys:


2010 Chateau St Jean Chardonnay Sonoma
reg. $10.99 $8.99 w/Binny’s Card
This crisp Sonoma chardonnay has been a consistent value for decades. A straightforward blend from throughout Sonoma County: citrus and spice on the nose with just a hint of baked pineapple before a mouthful of white fruits and spice. Make St Jean a regular pour at your table.


2009 Seven Deadly Zins2009 Seven Deadly Zins 
reg. $13.99 $12.99 w/Binny’s Card
A top seller in the zinfandel aisle, yet somehow we hadn’t tasted it in a while. Wow! We’ve been missing out. This is the definition of Lodi Zin. It has all the big, ripe berry fruit and that minty chickory spice you only find in warm climate zinfandel, plus cola and molasses. We see why Robert Parker awarded this killer zin 90 points.


2011 Cercius Cotes du Rhone Vieilles Vignes 
reg. $14.99 $13.99 w/Binny’s Card
Want a value from off the beaten path? The Cercius Cotes du Rhone from Michel Gassier offers notes of ripe, fresh and juicy berries, plus a touch of gamy meat and spice. The mouthfeel is broad with a spine of fresh acidity. For fans of fresh grenache.


Four Vines Naked2010 Four Vines Naked Chardonnay 
reg. $10.99 $8.99 w/Binny’s Card
What makes this chardonnnay “Naked?” The absence of wood aging leaves chardonnay pure, fresh, in the buff. With just a touch of perfume on the nose, it wears its voluptuous fruit handsomely. And at two dollars off through October, it’s easier than ever to enjoy this birthday suit chard.


2009 Las Rocas Garnacha 
reg. $10.99 $9.99 w/Binny’s Card
Another to receive 90 points from Robert Parker’s The Wine Advocate, the ’09 Las Rocas is bigger than ever. This Spanish grenache is loaded with plush candied fruit and cracked black pepper. It rocks for just ten bucks. We’re dying to pop this one with a good peppersteak.



…Find tons more on The Wine Hotline:

The Wine Hotline

* Listed prices valid through 10/31/2012 with your Binny’s Card.

Binny’s in Bloomington: Stocking Shelves


Binny's in Bloomington


We’re hard at work stocking the brand new Binny’s Beverage Depot in Bloomington, IL! Truckload after truckload of all your favorite wines, spirits and beers are rolling in right now. Find us at 1409 N. Veterans Parkway in Bloomington, Illinois. Next to the Outback. See you soon.


The burning question on everybody’s mind is this, “When will you open?” We’re excited to have a special guest, hockey legend Denis Savard on Friday, October 26th. Savard will “drop the puck” at our new location, and will sign Jose Cuervo products. Is that a Grand Opening? It’s a puck dropping, at least. Stay tuned to the Binny’s Blog and our twitter and facebook pages for more info soon.


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