Very few of our Beers of the Week have had the distinction of being named in a lawsuit at the same time The Hopleaf’s Michael Roper was singing their praises, but such is the situation this week for the talented guys over at 5 Rabbit in Bedford Park. The local brewery – which specializes in creating beers that pair extremely well with Latin food (but are certainly great on their own too) – is probably spending more on attorneys than it would like. But internal issues aside, this week’s pick is a winner. I know where Roper is coming from on this one. The Huitzi is a very special beer, with its hints of chamomile, hibiscus, fresh ginger root and some local Chicago honey. The warm, amber color makes it a perfect mid-winter beer and the aroma is, well, you’ll have to see for yourself. Cheers.
By now, you’ve probably heard all about the pizza, pasta, carne and pesce at Eataly, the 63,000 square feet behemoth in River North. What you probably haven’t heard too much about is their beer. Yes, they have a brewery on site, but they are also importing some very special beer from Italy, including this week’s pick, the Super Baladin, which Michael Roper says is along the lines of a Belgian (as in very food-friendly) but with an Italian accent. If you can make it past the Nutella and gelato bar on your way upstairs, be sure to grab a few bottles (alternatively, pick up some at The Hopleaf). Cheers.
Last week, Michael Roper tackled a few US beers in the Christmas spirit; today, it’s off to Belgium, where he’s got three more to recommend, including his favorite, Gouden Carolus, a deep, intense beer that really delivers a lot of flavor – without the cloying spices inherent in so many of this season’s brews. This will be our last final Beer of the Week until the new year, so make it a festive and safe holiday season. Cheers!
This week, Michael Roper is talking Christmas beer, but not just with one pick – Anchor, of course – but also Great Lakes and Ommegang. These three U.S. producers are all making toast-worthy Christmas ales right now, so go pick up a six-pack, or just head over to The Hopleaf, where they have plenty. Cheers.
The far western suburbs have a few food and drink highlights, among them, Paul Virant’s Vie, Katy’s Dumplings and the massive Super H Mart in Naperville. But head out to Warrenville, and you’ll come across the headquarters of Two Brothers Brewery, one of the region’s craft brewing pioneers. This week’s pick is a red rye ale called Cane & Ebel, and we love how it combines tangy rye with the smooth, cool sweetness of Thai palm sugar. Cheers.
This week, Roper looks to the Northeast, specifically, Portland, Maine. The Allagash brewery has always produced Belgian style beers in large formats, but now they’re actually producing the same great beer in more manageable 12 oz. bottles. Their dubbel and tripel happen to be wonderful beers, and now anyone can find them in their better beer store, in easy-to-carry six packs. Cheers to that.