Beer lovers and brew geeks are counting down the hours until Winter Brew, a celebration of local breweries, food and home brew competition.
Tickets sold out in just one week for Saturday’s event at the DANK Haus, 4740 N. Western Ave.
This is the second year for Winter Brew, which is organized by the Lincoln Square Ravenswood Chamber of Commerce and the Square Kegs Home Brew Club. With the first year’s success, organizers added another session; one is 2 to 5 p.m. and the other 7 to 10 p.m.
Home brewers are waiting in anticipation as the winners of the home brew contest will be announced at the afternoon session.
With more than 20 offerings of beer and whiskey from local breweries, the sheer amount of flavors can be overwhelming for even the most experienced beer enthusiast.
Eric Kapraun, the cultural coordinator at Half Acre Beer Company, suggested tasting more subtle and balanced beers first. Then, move on to the bolder beers.
“If you start your day drinking a very hoppy, high-alcohol beer, it’s going to ravage your palate,” he said. “It might be harder to pick up on some of the more subtle nuances.”
To get the full flavor of beer, keep it simple when tasting, Kapraun advises. He uses a simple ‘smell and swig’ process.
“I just like to grab the aroma from the glass as I’m getting ready to drink it,” he said. “I think that you can get a lot of the flavors and aroma and the mouth feel in just that two-step process.”
But with any tasting process, remember to grab some food while you go. The Grafton Pub and Fountainhead will be serving up dishes that mesh with the beers being served. Check out the Chamber of Commerce website for the food menu.
Read on about the beers:
Daisy Cutter Pale Ale 5.2% abv: a West Coast-style American pale ale
Half Acre Lager 5.2% abv
Bones + All (Belgian Brown Ale) 5.5% abv: a brown ale that uses Belgian yeast
Double Daisy Cutter Pale Ale 8.0% abv: an amped-up version of the Daisy Cutter, higher in alcohol and bitterness
Hunter Gets Captured by the Game (Spiced Ale) 5.5% abv: a lightly smoked, spiced ale brewed with smoked malts and some herbs as well
5 Rabbit Golden Ale - 5.3% ABV: an elegant golden ale with hints of light caramel and honeyed malt notes, carefully balanced with a sophisticated European noble hop aroma, with fruity and spicy notes
5 Lizard Wittier - 4.3% ABV: a Latin-style wheat beer that is creamy and refreshing. Brewed with passion fruit, lime zest and coriander, it has some spicy complexity and a light touch of passion fruit for a delicious and slightly exotic flavo.
5 Grass Hoppy Ale - 6.4% ABV: a refreshing yet substantial beer that is pale in color and nicely hoppy. With this beer we wanted to invoke the brisk, clean aroma of the desert. On the palate you’ll experience caramelly Vienna malt up front, then a complex outdoorsy herbal character blending into assertive hops, followed by a wave of cookie-like malt, and finally a hint of a smoky finish.
Anti-Hero IPA 6.5% abv: an American hop assault
Eugene Porter 6.8% abv: striking, robust porter full of warmth and chocolate malt
Bottom Up Wit 5.0% abv: Belgian-style wheat beer spiced with coriander and orange peel
Cross of Gold (Golden Ale) 5.0% abv: Crisp golden ale with a delicate hop finish.
Threadless IPA 6.0% abv: a balanced experience of both perceived hoppiness and true bitterness. It pours a darker amber color and finishes with a citrus flavor
Secret Stache Stout 5.3% abv
Bad Mamey Jamma 5.0% abv
Krankshaft Kolsch 5.0% abv: a pale straw hued smile in a glass with a little wheat malt to round out an easy Santiam hop bitterness.
Dynamo Copper Lager 5.8% abv: First, you’ll notice the spicy aromas of Vanguard and Liberty hops. Then - wipe the foam off the tip of your nose - dive into the toasty flavor of Vienna malt.
Generator Doppelbock 8.2% abv
North by Northwest IPA 6.7% abv
Begyle Blonde Ale 5.4% abv
Neighborly Stout 6.0% abv
Rua (Irish Red Ale) 6.3% abv
Cocktail #1 - Hip Manhattan Lion’s Pride Dark Rye, Rose Hip Liqueur, dry vermouth, bitters, lemon peel garnish
Cocktail #2 - Pamplemousse Koval Levant Spelt, Caraway Liqueur, grapefruit juice, rosemary syrup, Peychaud's and grapefruit bitters
Tasting #1 Lion’s Pride 47th Ward 4-Grain Whiskey Named after the distillery's corner of Chicago, the 47th Ward is distilled from a mash bill of rye, wheat, oat, and malted barley. This new whiskey is aged in heavily charred new oak and bottled single barrel at 94 proof. The four grains define its depth with a banana nose, creamy palate, and spicy finish.
Tasting #2 Koval Bierbrand A classic German spirit, bierbrand has all but been forgotten in the United States until recently. Using our neighbors’ Dynamo Copper Lager (Metropolitan Brewery), this beer schnapps has a strong nose of hops and barley.
Tasting #3 Walnut Liqueur With delicate nutty notes and hints of anise and cardamom, our new seasonal liqueur will be available for a limited time only. Stop by the distillery to purchase a bottle, or see what your favorite bartender is doing with this unique liqueur.
Beer information was compiled through brewery websites and the Chamber of Commerce.