Over the summer, I wrote a retrospective column of all the breweries and beers I have recommended over the years.
I counted up each reference — even off-the-cuff mentions — and came up with a number for each brewery.
The winner here obviously was BrickStone Brewery, but a few others really surprised me as to how many times I talked about them.
The one brewery that I had surprisingly mentioned less times than I thought was 3 Floyds Brewing, of Munster, Ind.
According to that list article, and my recounting for this one, apparently, I have only mentioned this titan of the craft beer industry nine times — well, 10 times now.
One reason, I think, for the lack of mentions is because up until recently, we could not get 3 Floyds in Kankakee County.
You could get it most other places craft beer drinkers go in our surrounding area, but not inside the confines of our county.
One of the main stipulations of my column is that readers must be able to get the beer locally at the time of its recommendation.
I have fudged that last stipulation some throughout the years because I really wanted to recommend or talk about certain things.
But that all changes for 3 Floyds right now.
It’s the brewery of the month for The Hoppy Pig in Bradley.
It will feature a wide selection of 3 Floyds beer that you cannot find anywhere else, probably outside of the brewpub in Munster itself.
Right now, the brewpub in Munster is closed to the public.
The decision was made largely with an eye toward the safety of their staff and their customers.
Some parts of Floyds’ future are unclear, but they continue to make and distribute a high-quality product.
We are fortunate enough to have a craft beer bar in Kankakee County to bring in all of this excellent beer — the Hoppy Pig.
In the past, I have referenced 3 Floyds nationally-renowned beer festival called Dark Lord Day, which usually takes place annually in late-April or May.
I have been to it once.
It was a challenging day to say the least.
This is the thing that I have mentioned most often in my recommendation of this brewery.
If in 50 years, I am looking back on this time in my life as a craft beer writer and chronicler of this movement in American history, one of the things that will leap out in my mind, as something that seemed so outrageous that I couldn’t believe it was a thing people did in real life, Dark Lord Day will be one of those things.
New Belgium’s Tour de Fat is another one of those occasions though, but with volume turned down by half.
I want to best capture the spirit of this metal-loving, deeply eccentric brewery as I hope to reintroduce this odd collection of stories.
My first introduction to 3 Floyds beer was when I was living and working in Lombard at a now-shuttered craft beer bar.
There was a special occasion coming to our little shop — we were getting a keg of Zombie Dust.
We painted bloody hand prints on the huge glass windows that lined the front of the establishment, turned down the lights quite a bit and played the new episode of “The Walking Dead” on all of the TVs.
We popped popcorn and all dressed in zombie garb and had a blast.
I didn’t know how big of a deal this particular beer was then, but I loved that a single beer could drive so much attention, that we would convert our shop into a Halloween-style party for the sake of getting one of these kegs.
That is what 3 Floyds means to me.
It is an occasion in a glass, and most every sip is well worth the price of admission.
This month, The Hoppy Pig will feature some excellent flagship beers from 3 Floyds, as well as specialty drafts that I have never seen outside of the brewpub in Munster, ever.
I remember when you had to sit outside of your favorite bottle shop on a Thursday in the hopes of getting your hands on a heavily marked-up six pack of Zombie Dust.
Now, we can get it on draft in Bradley for $5 for a 16-ounce pour this month.
There is something so deeply strange about this happening that I almost don’t believe it is true.
Not only Zombie Dust, but my favorite Alpha King, as well as Gumballhead, Yum Yum and so many others.
As of the writing of this column, The Hoppy Pig also has Pear Bear (a pear forward sour ale), Deesko (which I have recommended a straight forward Berliner Weiss sour), Center Square (a peach forward sour ale) and the intimidating Behemoth English-style Barleywine (which up until this bar put it on tap I had never had this beer before).
They will continue to bring in some of the very best 3 Floyds has to offer all month long.
The deal for this month is that each draft will be $2 off its normal price for these beers, which makes Zombie Dust $5 instead of $7 and Behemoth $8 for a 10-ounce pour instead of $10.
In related news, Kankakee County has been relegated to only outdoor dining at the moment.
I am not sure when these restrictions will be lifted again, but I do know that The Hoppy Pig has one of the best outdoor dining areas in Kankakee County.
I hesitate to mention this to you fine folks because I love their little back patio area that feels like a back alley bar you would find in Chicago.
Get out and support your local craft beer bar.
Their food is excellent.
This month’s beer selection is truly mystifying, and it is still pleasant enough to drink outside.
Zombie Dust from 3 Floyds Brewing Company
Style: Pale Ale-American
Brewery’s note: “This intensely hopped and gushing undead pale ale will be one’s only respite after the zombie apocalypse. Created with our marvelous friends in the comic industry.”
Where to buy: The Hoppy Pig in Bradley, in 16-ounce pours for $5 this month
Pear Bear from 3 Floyds Brewing Company
Style: American Wild Ale
Brewery’s note: “American wild ale brewed with pears.”
Where to buy: You can only find this one locally at The Hoppy Pig in Bradley, in 12-ounce pours for $6, which is an absolutely wild price. I’ll race you there.