I live about a block away from a Binny’s, so I thought the John Leinenkugel event would be very convenient. Fortunately, I checked the event details early enough to realize that it was in the Lincoln Park Binny’s. Being new to Chicago, I fired up Google Maps to find the best way there, and to my delight, I saw that it was right across the street from the Goose Island Clybourne Brewery and Taphouse.
So after Binny’s I headed across the street with the smell of malt and wort in the air. I’m not sure living in that smell would be great, but as someone who has been homebrewing-deprived, it was beautiful.
The bar itself seems much older (in a good way) than you would expect from a brewery with a 22 year history. My bartender immediately suggested I try the R.I.P. Ale, a rye pale which, if you have followed the beers I’ve reviewed lately, is obviously up my alley. The service was friendly and fast, and the bartenders were always quick with a taste or to explain a beer. The food smelled amazing, but my budget was for beer only.
I tasted a few of their beers, trying to focus on the ones that I don’t see that often in the stores. I thumbed out some quick reviews as I was drinking them:
- Partial Eclipse – 5.5%: dark belgian wit brewed with Chicago Brew Society. Spiced with Szechuan peppercorn, coriander, Seville oranges, and star anise.
Notes: spices nice in the nose, not overpowering in the taste. Flavor dominated with malt and wit taste with a bit of the spice lingering through the end
- Oatmeal Stout – 5.1%: A classic English style stout with an aromatic blend of oats, chocalte and roast malts.
Notes: poured like motor oil out of the cask tap with almost no head. The taste is velvety and sweet with a hint of stone fruit. It finishes with a very strong, but appropriate acrid note from the roast barley.
- R.I.P. Ale – 5.8%: “Mad Brewer” Jared, balancing caramel and rye malts with Chinook and Nuggett hops, crafted this crisp, dry autumnal ale.
Notes: copper color, citrus hops and a nice spice from the rye.