The Beer TickerThe Beer Buzz

To Haze or not to Haze

A hotly debated question… Hazy or New England style IPAs continue to be all the rage and as many breweries scramble to toss their hat in the ring, others remain staunchly opposed. New IPAs are presented each week and we continue to taste our way through the good, the bad and the ugly. Be they hazy or bright – creamy or bitter, at the end of the day it’s still all about the hops. Here are three hoppy standouts that you don’t want to miss.

HAZY - Coronado Marine Dream

6 Pack of 12oz Cans

The nose delivers a delightful mix of tropical aromas, with pronounced guava and tangerine. Stunningly smooth across the tongue, a wave of juicy pineapple and orange envelopes the palate, giving way to a lively finish. Another impeccably made IPA from Coronado!

CLEAR- Stone 22nd Anniversary

6 Pack of 12oz Bottles

Super juicy and extremely aromatic, yet clear as a bell - imagine that. You can always count on Stone to play around with experimental hops and this Anniversary introduces Hopsteiner #06297 to some solid company – Columbus, Denali, Galaxy, Citra and Amarillo. Citrusy and floral on the nose, the palate’s bombarded by an interesting amalgamation of flavors, with pronounced apricot, honeydew melon and passionfruit. The finish is refreshingly bold and bright, with a lingering touch of resinous pine. *Not available in Springfield.

SOMEWHERE IN-BETWEEN - Half Acre Double Daisy Cutter

4 Pack of 16oz Cans

An old school favorite from Half Acre returns! Fruity, dank and resinous on the nose, Double Daisy explodes across the palate, delivering a massive wave of citrus, cedar and pineapple. Papaya, peppercorn and pine all come together in a big spicy finish. A perfect match for fish tacos topped with pico de gallo.*Not available in Champaign.

Lagunitas & Short’sA Kindred Collaboration

August in Chicago – it can get HOT. As we approach the tail end of summer, we find ourselves looking for refreshingly sessionable brews. Session isn’t exactly Lagunitas’ thing, they like BIG beers – but this time, with a little help from their friends, they kept things easy breezy. The kicker here is real passion fruit and lots of it. Passion fruit is naturally very tart, imparting a refreshingly tangy and tropical finish to this unique pale ale.

Lagunitas Passion Grass

6 Pack of 12oz Bottles

The nose is deliciously dank and grassy, with hints of fresh cut citrus. The palate begins with a tangy burst of acidity, followed by citrusy and herbaceous hops and plenty of juicy passionfruit. The finish dances on the line between tart and sour yet remains refreshingly fruity and bright.

Special Release Sours from Two Brothers

As we’ve emphasized before, dark sours are dangerous territory. Big lactic acidity and dark roasted malt can easily devolve into an acrid mess. When done well, they are some of the most beguilingly delicious brews on the shelf. This last round of special releases from Two Brothers is on point. Wonderfully complex and refreshingly tart – give these rarities a try before they disappear.

Two Brothers Hoodwink

25.4oz Bottle

The nose offers an alluring mix of dark fruit aromas, with pronounced plum and blackberry. On the palate its bright and tangy, with nuanced cocoa and black currant. The finish is surprisingly soft and light, with a touch of fig and brandied cherries.

Two Brothers Coup D'Oeil

25.4oz Bottle

The nose is quite breathtaking here, with bountiful dark fruit, leather and pipe tobacco. Big fruity acidity races across the palate, delivering notes of chocolate covered strawberries and balsamic dressed figs. The finish is rich and rounded, showcasing a lovely interplay of sweet and sour.

Dog Days of Summer

Born in the hot Arizona sun, Sleepy Dog brews were designed with refreshment in mind. Even their delectable peanut butter stout is surprisingly well balanced and drinkable. Their core lineup of tasty treats has a little something for everyone, but if we had to pick a best in show, the award goes to - Wet Snout Stout.

Sleepy Dog Wet Snout Peanut Butter Stout

6 Pack of 12oz Cans

Peanut butter stouts can be tricky. Too often brewers go overboard, leaving drinkers with a sweet mess. Wet Snout Stout achieves an artful balance – marrying natural tasting peanut butter richness with roasted chocolate malt. Surprisingly light in body, with restrained sweetness – you’ll be quick to fetch another. *Not available in Champaign, Bloomington or Springfield.

Sleepy Dog Tail Chaser

6 Pack of 12oz Cans

Pouring light amber in color, Tail Chaser offers the malt backbone of an old school IPA accented with bright and citrusy hop aromatics. Medium in body, notes of grapefruit and pine, lead into a snappy finish. *Not available in Champaign, Bloomington or Springfield.

Sleepy Dog Desert Dog

6 Pack of 12oz Cans

Citra hops are the star of the show here, suppling a lovely mix of citrus aromatics as well as a tinge of tropical fruit. Light across the palate, notes of grapefruit, pineapple and tangerine culminate in a fresh and fruity finish. *Not available in Champaign, Bloomington or Springfield.

Sleepy Dog Feisty Chihuahua

6 Pack of 12oz Cans

This refreshingly crisp Mexican style lager begins with a touch of honeyed malt sweetness, followed by a nice dose of citrusy and grassy hops. Skip the lime and try this with a wedge of lemon. *Not available in Champaign, Bloomington or Springfield.

Look At This Little Devil

Duvel is one of our favorite beers. One of the only problems (some might argue it’s a virtue) is that at 8.5% ABV, it packs quite a punch. You’d never guess it, as it’s deceptively light and refreshing from start to finish. By forgoing secondary bottle fermentation, Duvel Single is lower in alcohol (6.8%), yet still delivers classic Duvel flavors and aromas. It’s also brewed with a touch of Citra hops, adding some American flare to a Belgian classic.

Duvel Single

4 Pack of 16oz Cans

Duvel Single Fermented pours golden in color with volumes of bright white foam. Resting in the chalice it looks like classic Duvel, but on the nose there’s a faint wisp of grapefruit and tangerine. Lively carbonation races across the tongue, delivering a touch of malt sweetness, followed by a wave herbaceous hops. Another delicious addition to the Duvel family. If you needed any other incentive to give it a try – while supplies last, you’ll receive a Duvel chalice with purchase of a 4 pack!

Another Belgian Bonus Buy

We often laud the beers of St. Bernardus. Their Tripel, Prior 8 and Abt 12 are canonical examples of their respective styles – yet sadly one of their most impeccably crafted creations, St. Bernardus Wit, often gets overlooked. Sporting a fresh makeover in stylish 4 packs of cans, there’s never been a better time to give this classic witbier a try. Need a nudge - while supplies last, receive a St. Bernardus chalice with your 4 pack purchase!

St Bernardus Witbier

4 Pack of 11.2oz Cans

Brewed in collaboration with Pierre Celis, the man who single handedly resurrected the style – this authentic Belgian Witbier is just about as good as it gets. Remarkably soft and creamy on the tongue, it’s impeccably balanced, with nuanced sweet spice and a lasting kiss of citrus on the finish.

What’s Brewing At Allagash

Seasonals, one offs and rarities – today’s beer scene is all about what have you done lately and as fun as innovation can be, it’s not without its pitfalls. The remarkable breweries are the ones that consistently deliver well-made beer. Allagash is one of those breweries and their latest creation is an effervescent experiment that blurs the line between wine and beer.

Allagash Two Lights

4 Pack of 12oz Bottles

Two Lights is brewed with sauvignon blanc grape must and fermented with both lager and champagne yeast. We’ve seen breweries experiment with grape must in the past, and it’s a perilous proposition. Allagash succeeds by adeptly incorporating vinous flavor and aroma, without crushing a solid barely backbone. A blend of famously tropical and citrusy hops (Amarillo, Simcoe & Nelson Sauvin) marry wonderfully with sauvignon blanc grape must, culminating in a refreshingly unique beverage with notes of lychee, pear and gooseberry. *Not available in Champaign, Bloomington or Springfield.

NOW IN 4 PACKS!

Allagash Curieux

4 Pack of 12oz Bottles

The key to this curious concoction involves aging Allagash’s award winning Belgian-style tripel in Bourbon barrels. It’s fruity and creamy, with soft carbonation delivering waves of vanilla, toffee and coconut. Opulent, yet so deliciously drinkable it’s hard to believe this clocks in at 11% ABV. *Not available in Champaign, Bloomington or Springfield.

Thirsty For A Summer Crusher?
Check Out This
Twelve Pack of Tallies

Since 1991, Schlafly has curated an expansive portfolio that highlights both their reverence for the classics and a thirst for innovation. Just in time for tail end of summer, Schlafly brings another refreshing beer to the table. Like their White Lager, Hoppy Wheat Ale comes in 12 Packs of 16oz cans. On sale now, it’s an affordable way to stock a cooler full of crushable craft brew.

Schlafly Hoppy Wheat

12 Pack of 16oz Cans

An interesting blend of hops sets this apart from your run of the mill American wheat. Polish Marynka hops provide an herbaceous foundation, while generous dry hopping with Challenger and Mosaic produces an interesting mix of marmalade, basil and honeydew melon. Soft and creamy across the palate - the finish is bright, dank, and resinous.

Boulevard’s Berliner
Is Back!

When it comes to funky and sour beer, Boulevard produces some world class beer. In addition to extensive stocks of barrel aged sours, they also know how to turn a kettle, producing some remarkably refreshing and sessionable sours. We’re excited to announce the return of their classic Berliner style Weisse. It doesn’t get much truer to form than this.

Boulevard Berliner Weisse

6 Pack of 12oz Cans

This is Berliner Weisse as it once was. American craft breweries helped revive this nearly forgotten style, but too often they’re merely a tart canvas for the addition of various fruit flavors. This faithful return to form is proof that a well-made Berliner is a beautiful thing. Vibrant and lemony, it dances across the tongue and invigorates the palate. It’s easy to see why Napoleon famously dubbed this beer style the “Champagne of the North”. *Not available in Champaign, Bloomington or Springfield.

A Collaborative Confection

When you hear Fun Size, candy comes to mind, but unlike so many other dessert inspired stouts, the Fun Size lineup is not cloyingly sweet. The adept balance of roasted malts, salt and lactose results in paradoxically drinkable decadence. We fell in love with Fun Size at first taste and its ramped up imperial cousin left us speechless. Eager for a glimpse at the magic behind this remarkable beer, we took a trip to Pollyanna to brew a batch. When it came time to lay it down to rest, we brought with us handpicked Knob Creek bourbon barrels. Wanna see how this special batch of Imperial Fun Size made its way from barrel to bottle? Check it out.

Pollyanna Binny's Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Fun Size

16.9oz Bottle

After a long oaken slumber, the wait is finally over. The nose offers a delicious mix of chocolate ganache, vanilla bean and peanut butter. The palate begins with a rush of rich dark chocolate, followed by waves of caramel and peanut brittle. The finish is decadent and warming, with notes of chocolate covered toffee.

A Treasure Trove 
Of Juicy Delights

Diggin’ juicy IPAs? Your ship has come in. This week we’ve got three juice bombs and believe it or not, they weren’t made with fruit - just some killer hops that are worth their weight in gold.

Founders Barrel Runner

4 Pack of 12oz Bottles

An IPA with a tiki touch? We’ve seen breweries go for it in the past, but Founders took it to the next level, laying this Mosaic hopped monster to rest in rum barrels. It came out drenched in rum and bursting with mango, papaya and tangerine. Drink fresh and garnish with a cocktail umbrella.

Odd Side Ales Citra Dank Juice

6 Pack of 12oz Cans

If you’re looking for quality NEIPA, Odd Side Ales’ Dank Juice delivers as promised. It’s hard to pick a favorite from this rock-solid series, but Citra is near the top of the list. Soft and creamy on the tongue, big and bright citrus aromatics are mirrored on the palate, with pronounced tangerine and grapefruit on the finish.

Toppling Goliath Twisted Galaxy

22oz Bottle

When it comes to hazy IPA, Toppling Goliath has the magic touch. Making its Chicagoland debut – Twisted Galaxy is big juicy single hopped DIPA. Galaxy hops are one of the hottest hops on the market, and this DIPA helps showcase why. Pineapple and passionfruit on the nose, with notes of lemon and tangerine on the palate, wrapped up in a bold citrusy finish.

Fruits of Summer

We’re in the thick of summer and fruit beers are in season. This week we’re excited to present some outliers and oddities. From unusual fruit, to massive double digit ABV – it’s time for a refreshing break from convention.

Left Hand Saison Aux Baies Ameres Chokecherry

4 Pack of 16oz Cans

Chokecherries – not a fruit you come across too often. These tart little treasures are usually destined for jams, jellies and syrups. In this fresh and floral saison from Left Hand, they impart a lovely blackberry-esq tartness. Complex and balanced, this is our favorite from Left Hand’s Saison Series and one of the finest saisons on the shelf. *Not available in Champaign, Bloomington or Springfield

Unibroue Éphémère Fraise & Rhubarbe (Strawberry & Rhubarb)

6 Pack of 12oz Bottles

The latest addition to the Éphémère lineup of fruited Belgian style witbiers is perhaps the finest yet. Wonderfully aromatic, with notes of lemon peel and jammy strawberry on the nose – its lively effervescence produces a mousse-like wave of sweet strawberry and tangy rhubarb. The finish is refreshingly tart and dry, leaving you thirsty for more.*Not available in Champaign, Bloomington or Springfield

Dogfish Head Fruit-Full Fort

12oz Bottle

We’ve long been fans of Fort, Dogfish Head’s raspberry drenched Belgian bombshell. Introducing Fort 2.0. Boasting a slightly richer malt bill, raspberries are joined by blackberries, boysenberries and elderberries. Clocking in at over 15% ABV, you’ll have to remind yourself this is beer, as it drinks like a rich fruity mead or a big jammy Pinot.

Avery Turns 25

For the past twenty-five years, Avery Brewing Company has been producing some incredible beer. Be it soft and sessionable witbier or massive bourbon barrel aged stout – their commitment to quality and consistency is impressive and we’re always anxious to try their latest creation. This year’s Anniversary offering is a special one. Twenty Five is a 14.5% ABV Belgian style aak aged dark ale, brewed with honey, dates and raisins. Evoking the strength and complexity of their Demons of Ale series, and the spiciness of the Reverend, it’s a rare treat that’s not to be missed.

Avery Twenty Five

22oz Bottle

The nose offers an enchanting mix of estery Belgian yeast and dark fruit, with pronounced allspice, clove and raisins. Similar flavors glide across the palate, with honeyed date and caramelized fig, giving way to a long and spicy finish. Deliciously complex and warming fresh, this will undoubtably cellar quite well.