5 March 2020 🍺
Running a little late with this one, but last week saw the release of two brand new brews from Hop Butcher. First, a triple IPA brewed with Agave to give it the little AbV boost1 and then a more traditional west coast IPA, which was a collab with a brand new brewery not yet even open in Chicago.
From my succinct Untappd review, “I don’t know… one of my least favorite hazies from HB.” I think that kind of says it all right there. Out of the four or so triples HB has done in the past, I’ve only liked one, which was a collab and the only one not to use honey or agave to boost the AbV. Overall, I’d still stack this up against most other breweries, but compared to their own beers it doesn’t have a leg to stand on. Unless your obsessed with having the highest AbV beer that hides the alcohol well, then I don’t see the point. I’d rather have a low AbV beer so I can enjoy more. I’ve never been someone looking to try beers only because of their AbV and that’s the only reason I see this beer existing.
Crushed By Giants hasn’t even released a single beer, so starting out with a HB collab is a great way to kick things off. I believe they are still working on opening their brew pub and I’ll be sure to check it out.
This is a west coast leaning ipa, with a good hop presence and a nice bitterness without being overly bitter. It’s also a bit softer, giving me a little bit of those Midwest ipa vibes while still sitting pretty clearly in that west coast style. Overall it’s a nice brew, easy to crush, not much else to say.
Since I’m late to it this time, I’ve already picked up the HB release for this week. A solo release this time around: Beef Dipped, a beer I missed last time it was released and one I’m super excited for. Without having it, I see it as a sibling of Tavern Cut which I talked about in Vol. 02. Named after Chicago food, tavern cut is how we cut our pizza, and beef dipped refers to an Italian beef dipped in the au jous. I love Chicago. If this is half as good as TC it’ll be great.
If you’ve made it this far2 then I’d like to tell you about a relatively new brewery in Chicago that is basically on the opposite spectrum of HB. Is/Was Brewing does more subtle beers, Saisons, Table beers, mixed fermentation beers, etc. at this point I believe the brew out of Marz on the south side, and only release about one beer a month, but I’ve really been digging them. I’ve had one of their beers on draft, one at home from a bottle, with a third in the fridge waiting for me now. Stellar stuff.