Another Chicago Craft Beer Week is in the books. This year, was my last living in Chicago. I have always made it a point to attend Beer Under Glass (BUG). For those unfamiliar with the event, it is the official kickoff of craft beer week. A fairly large crowd of beer lovers gathers at Garfield Park Conservatory to try special releases from breweries involved with the Chicago Craft Brewer’s Guild. With the exception of a few standouts, most breweries in the area attend the event and bring beer that was tailor made to impress the thirsty crowds.
This year, I had the privilege to get to pour with Mikerphone Brewing. I have been working at Mikerphone for over a year and a half now on my days off from my full time gig. This is the first event I have been able to take the time off to attend with Mike and Kyle and it didn’t disappoint.
At Mikerphone, we brew a variety of beer from Berliner Weisse to Imperial Breakfast Stout (perhaps the most well known Mikerphone beer, Smells Like Bean Spirit). Of all the beer, the crowds gathering at Mikerphone tend to collect in higher numbers on the New England Style IPA and stout releases. For BUG we brought 2 examples of each of those styles. Mikerphone Check 1-2 (Double Dry Hopped New England IPA with Citra Hops), Super Duper Special Sauce (All Mosaic Triple Dry Hopped New England IPA), BUG Beer 2017 (Imperial Stout aged in Journeyman whiskey and honey barrels with blueberry added), and Milk Stout.
All of the beers were well received. In fact, we were the first brewery to run out of beer. The event started at 5:30pm for VIP and 6:30pm for general admission. We had kicked all 4 kegs we had brought by 7:00pm and packed up shop to go enjoy some beers ourselves.
The standouts for me were from tried and true Chicago breweries. Half Acre brought Galactic Double Daisy Cutter as in years past (including last year when I poured their beer). The beer is one of the many standouts the brewery releases annually and is always highly anticipated by me. The addition of Galaxy hops to the already remarkable Double Daisy Cutter recipe takes the beer up a notch by incorporating a tropical fruit smell and additional tropical notes and complexity in the beer. Galactic Double Daisy is always a standout.
The other 2 breweries I enjoyed this year are sister brewpubs, DryHop Brewers and Corridor Brewery and Provisions. Both operations are headed by Brant Dubovick. Brant has always been extremely generous with his time and knowledge in the time I have gotten to get to know Brant over the last few years. In fact, my gig at Mikerphone can be directly traced to Brant (more on that at a later time). DryHop and assistant brewer Adrian, brought a fantastic Russian Imperial Stout, called Rocket to Russia, they brewed in collaboration with Piece Brewery and Pizzeria. The drinkability of the heavy duty stout is remarkable and dangerous at 10% ABV (alcohol by volume). Corridor, lead by new lead brewer Roger, brought a Simcoe Hopped IPA that was perhaps my favorite of the day. Simcoe is a divisive hop with what is described as a catty character to the hop.
That’s my 2017 Beer Under Glass. Thanks for reading. Maybe I will see you there one of these years coming up. Come say hi!