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Matt's Top Selections

Revolution galaxy Hero 6.6% ABV Price $12.99 for a 6 pack can

Galaxy Hero is a Galaxy and Zythos hopped IPA, and another well crafted offering from Revolution's Hero series. An abundantly fresh aroma is piney as well as strongly grapefruit and citrus. The same intensity greets the palate with these distinct flavors in a pleasant and immediately satisfying punch. Though bordering on pungent, it is actually very crisp and almost light in the mouth. A nice crisp bitter finish compliments the medium malt base that remains strong enough throughout. All in all, pleasing to hopheads of any galaxy!

Great Lakes Chillwave 9.4% ABV Price $11.99 for 4pk 12 oz bottles

Probably Great Lakes' best one-off, and it couldn't have arrived at a better time. Mosaic, Cascade, and Nugget hops combine with honey and caramel malts to become an almost too smooth Double IPA. Thick head and an array of fruits on the nose explode to a beginning that is almost tropical and sweet. It is medium on the mouth and remains vibrant through the middle and into the bitter finish, with the hints of the alcohol content and warm burn at the tail end. Very complex and meticulously made, yet easy to drink for any Double. A release as limited as Chillwave can be on the cold shores of Lake Erie, Chillwave is a must buy if you can find it!

Pipeworks priced from $7.99 and higher for 22oz. bombers

Pipeworks is canning!! One of the hottest and hard to find Chicago breweries, featuring limited production brews and a rotating selection of over 100 beers per year has started canning, and is becoming more available by the day! Selections in the 4 pack, 16 oz. can thus far are Ninja vs. Unicorn, Blood of the Unicorn, Lizard King, Close Encounter, and Glaucus. All are excellent brews, even by the standards of the discerning Pipeworks connoisseur. Not to be missed, Pipeworks is always brewing up something interesting, experimental, or just plain delicious!

Deschutes Obsidian Stout 6.4% ABV Price $7.99 for 6 pack 12 oz bottles

With most of the big stouts hibernating until next winter, you can still get your fix at a reasonable price from Obsidian. Even though it's lighter than its Imperial cousins, Obsidian is still plenty roasty with pronounced notes of chocolate and expresso. It has a surprisingly heavy body for its alcohol content and finishes with a touch of bitterness that rounds out the sweetness nicely. Obsidian certainly can sate your stout craving year round without getting excessive... Or breaking the bank! ($7.99 for 6pk 12 oz bottles)

Off Color (in collaboration with Jester King) Radio Laria (4.5% ABV) Price $17.99 for 750 ml

A limited release from Off Color and a rare find, we are lucky to still have this unique summer offering. Essentially a hopped up berliner; light, sour and refreshing, wild yet Sorachi Ace hopped to add the perfect touch of bouquet and gentle hoppy bitter finish. Great drinkability paired with the complexity we have come to expect from Off Color!

21st Amendment Toaster Pastry (7.6% ABV) Price $11.99 for 6 pack can

An "India Style Red Ale," This beer is 21st Amendment's homage to their new facility, which was once a Toaster Pastry factory. Made with ingredients reminiscent of Pop Tarts, this is certainly unique. Biscuity and grainy like a toasted pastry, just a hint of berries, and the perfect amount of hops and spice rounding everything out nicely. Definitely worth a try, and at this price point a not-so-guilty pleasure!

BrickStone APA (6.25% ABV) Price $9.99 for 6 pack 12 oz can

Amarillo and Citra hopped APA (American Pale Ale) at it's pinnacle, this local brew (Bourbonnais, IL) also has the distinction of outshining the vaunted Zombie Dust in competition. At 2/3 the price it is no wonder this beer has caught fire since becoming available in our area. A perfectly citrusy, hoppy, floral, well balanced and not too full bodied this is definitely a must try as it has just become available in our territory recently.

Tyranena The Devil Made Me Do It Imperial Oatmeal Coffee Porter (7.5% ABV) Price $10.49 for 4 pack 12 oz bottles

Intense, dark, oily, and viscous, we are truly getting into the winter months and the season for all of the smoky, coffee, viscous malt bombs that fit the holidays, and the great freeze beyond so well. Not too overpowering on the alcohol, the coffee and roasted malts are packing serious flavor making this a great winter style representation!

Boulevard Bourbon Barrel Quad (11.8% ABV) Price $12.99 for 750mL bottle

Loosely based on the Smokestack Series' The Sixth Glass, this Belgian quadruple is separated aged in several different bourbon barrels, some as long as three years. Over time as beer was lost to the "Angel's Share,” boulevard decided to replace the volume with cherries. The result is an incredibly tasty quad that is almost too smooth for the ABV, with only subtle hints of cherry, plenty of toffee and vanilla from the barrels.

Buckle Down Clencher 8.1% ABV

Double IPA made with citra hops without being overly citrus. Strong malt presence, more resinous than one expects from a citra hopped beer, with a full bodied, crisp finish. Definitely bitter but the backbone is a bit stronger at 8.1% than the Belt and Suspenders. Greatly anticipated and well received third beer canned from Buckle Down!

Ballast point Pineapple Sculpin 7.0% ABV

Fans of the Grapefruit Sculpin were perhaps put off by the apparent "lack" of fruit flavor, but I will tell you this has plenty of pineapple goodness within! Pineapple is not as strong and overpowering as grapefruit, and as a result many people are missing the boat on this one. Plenty of pineapple on the nose, you would catch it even approaching a table where people are enjoying this tropical delight! The pineapple is prevalent in the flavor as well and reminds one of sunny days on the beach more than the chilly early spring here in Chicago. A great beer that is destined to become a summer favorite!

Short's Huma Lupa Licious 7.7% ABV

Short's is finally available in Chicago! A staple in the great state of Michigan, Short's was founded in 2004 and has finally made its way around the lake to us. They released several styles but the flagship seems to be the Huma. Biscuity and not overly fruity, this is a throwback bitter, grassy IPA. Definitely worth a try if you are fruited out this year by all of the tropical offerings! Short's products also available include Controversiale, Soft Parade, and Space Rock, a Gluten Free IPA!

Ale Syndicate 6 pack bottle $9.79

Another local brewery making noise and finally settling in Logan Square as of 2014, Ale Syndicate is finally available here in DuPage County. Featuring brews such as Municipal IPA and Sunday Session, Ale Syndicate believes in strong flavor along with the strength, toughness, and audacity of our own Windy City. Their selections reflect this well and we all benefit from their continued growth!

Alpine Brewing

"The Home of Pure Hoppiness" is their slogan, and certainly this is an apt description for what they do. Acquired by Green Flash (another excellent California brewery) and thus recently made available in our market, Alpine does their reputation justice. With west coast hoppy IPAs at every turn, So far we have received such gems as Duet, Hoppy Birthday, Pure Hoppiness, and Nelson. All are unique but speak to the full bodied, piney, not too sweet west coast style. I would recommend any and all of these to anyone into this style when they are available. Another brand with potential to grow exponentially in the future!