THE BEER TRAVELER: CHICAGO EDITION

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Josh Liddy

I had the pleasure of going to the Windy City in March for a nice little getaway. Amid the sightseeing and copious amounts of deep dish pizza, I got to check out a few breweries. Off Color Brewing and Ballast Point's Chicago location were two of those I got to visit. Luckily, you don't have to travel to try some of the awesome beers these guys offer, because we have them right here at home.

Image:  Ballast Point

Ballast Point

This was stop number two of the day. By the time we had gotten there it was early afternoon, on a Friday, so the crowd was starting to file in. The beer menu was massive. They had at least 40 different taps, with the classics as well as some awesome brewery-only beers. This one was very modern with a ton of seating and an entire wall of retired and current tap handles with a cool blue back-light. They had a release party for the new 99 calorie lager they recently released, and the bartender was nice enough to let me have a free pint glass and key chain from the event. Here are a couple of my favorites that we offer at Colonial:

Image:  Ballast Point
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Sour Wench Blackberry Ale
The name says it all. This beer is like a blackberry warhead on the first sip, which i absolutely love. If you like sour ales, this is the beer you need to try.

Bonito Blonde Ale
This blonde ale is nice and easy drinking, with a nice mouthfeel and dry finish. Once again, this is a perfect summer beer. If you get a chance to go to the brewery, they do a version of this beer aged in their foeder with peaches and it is great.


Off Color

This was the first place we visited on our self-guided brewery adventure. Known as the "Mousetrap", they had a fair-sized draft menu, along with to-go beer available near the entrance. The taproom had a nice rustic feel with what appeared to be re-purposed wood making some of the tables. There was plenty of seating and a nice sized bar that took up much of the left wall as you walk in. It was early in the day so we, along with two other patrons, were the only ones inside allowing us to discuss their product with one of the bartenders uninhibitedly. Here are some offerings from these guys that we offer at Colonial:

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Apex Predator Farmhouse Ale
I've written about this beer before and I will again to reiterate how AWESOME it is. This is one of my all-time favorite farmhouse ales and one of the first I tried. Nice and grassy, hoppy but not overpowering, and with a nice dry finish. And with the temperature rising, this is the perfect summer beer.

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Troublesome Gose Style Ale
We've had this beer forever and for some reason I never bought a four pack. I decided to try it at the taproom and it was great. A nice, traditional, Leipzig style gose. It was nice and tart, like it should be. I will be drinking this beer by the pool this summer without a doubt.


As far as beer tourism goes, Chicago is a great place to do it. There were so many more breweries that I wish I could've gotten a chance to go to. We have other offerings from Off Color and Ballast Point that are worth trying if you have yet to do so. As always, you can follow us on UNTAPPD at Colonial Wine & Spirits to see what we have to offer and my personal UNTAPPD (jliddy09) to see what beers I've been trying lately.

Clark TrimComment