Rare Beers Close to Home

The weather has changed and we’ve had four or five days straight of sunny days over fifty degrees. This has led me to start walking home from work most days. In addition to the weather, an advantage to walking home is that I can walk right by Local Option. I went there for the first time a couple weeks ago, and had some ridiculous beers.

Wednesday morning I got an email from the excellent Chicago Beer Society Listserv (viva los 90s!) with the tap list that Local Option would be having that evening. The relevant excerpt:

Founders Black Biscuit
Founders Breakfast Stout
Founders Canadian Breakfast Stout
Founders Double Trouble
Founders Endurance Ale
Founders Imperial Stout
Founders Kentucky Breakfast Stout

I originally wasn’t planning on stopping in. I had some silly ideas of going to the gym, and I was heading to rare beer event at Sheffield’s later that night. All that said, as I walked by Local Option on the walk home, I was drawn in like a moth to the flame.

Local Option

Some of the Taps at Local Option

The place was packed with a wide assortment of beer nerds. There were the stereotypical befacialhaired folk wearing the shirt/hoodie of their favorite brewery; there were men and women still in fancy-pants work clothes; there were DePaul students in their craft beer adolescence with a chance to try one of the pinnacles of the movement. What I’m trying to say is that it was a diverse, excited crowd all waiting for 6pm when the Founders kegs would be tapped. I’ve mentioned this before, but like going to see a movie at midnight, going to special tappings and being immersed in a crowd that is buzzing with excitement for the same thing makes the wait nearly as exciting as the payoff.

I grew up in Grand Rapids and still have friends and family there, so I’ve been lucky enough to be able to routinely go to the Founders Taphouse. Between that and the Michigan Brewers Guild festivals, I’ve tried all but one beer on that list, the Canadian Breakfast Stout.

They were doing small pours (about 7-8oz) to ensure all beer nerds in attendance got the chance to try something from each 5gal keg. Even so, the Canadian Breakfast Stout was the first to kick – after only 25 minutes. Luckily, I got my glass and, as so often seems to happen at Local Option, struck up a conversation with some other folks who were trying the CBS. I’ll do a brief review of the beer:

OH MY GOD! THIS IS AMAZING!

I feel the better the beer, the less I’m disposed to analyze it and try to isolate flavors. When I drink something that is that good, I like to turn off the analytical side and just enjoy the experience.

So after my amazing beer and meeting a fellow homebrewer (bottle exchange coming soon), I left the bar and headed home to get ready* to taste some crazy belgians made by Goose Island.

…To Be Continued [Part 2]

*“Get ready” is a phrase which here means “lose by 30+ points to Tim in NCAA Football.”

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