During the pandemic, it has been hard to find something to write about regarding beer. I have covered topics in this column that I did not ever anticipate having to address. I look forward to a time that would simply embrace the rhythms that I was used to in writing this column.
In the past, I would feature a certain beer style a month wrapped in the guise of the Untappd Challenge. I would also feature an event that was happening at that time and locally that readers might be able to attend. The thing I miss most now is the brewery crawl articles. Over the course of the five years I have been doing this column, I visited more than 150 breweries and wrote about them to you fine people. I would also feature news-related topics, developments in the industry, notable people, or something fun to run alongside these articles. I have not done much of that this summer. This week feels like a throwback to an older time because it is a local event that is about as much of an event as I can write about while feeling safe to do so.
The Hoppy Pig is starting a new series of Brewery of the Month beers that will feature one local brewery in the area and getting on-tap stuff from them that we cannot find too often down here. For the month of August, The Hoppy Pig is featuring Revolution Brewing. All month long Revolution 16-ounce pours will be $4 and they will have special tappings of harder-to-find Revolution Brewing throughout the month as well.
In our socially distanced times, it is hard to put together a space for a beer festival. It is hard to have a big release party for a specific cause or concern. I couldn’t in good conscience recommend such a thing, but what I can do is recommend that during the last days of summer you flock to The Hoppy Pig and get a $4 draft of Hazy Hero or Sun Crusher or Freedom of Speech because it is a near-perfect beer. You keep an eye out on Facebook or Beermenus.com to see when they tap the latest barrel-aged release from Revolution’s Deep Woods series called Supermassive Café Deth which is a beer so exclusive that even I have not had yet.
If you read my column earlier this summer, I did a rundown of all the breweries I have featured in this column over the years. There was a close race for first in times recommended or referenced in this column, and that contest was between Brickstone Brewery and Revolution Brewing. I have recommend Revolution Brewing 33 times over the course of this column. From such a strange event as hosting the Don’t Drink Beer beer writer Alex Kidd in a stand-up Barleywine is Life evening, to showcasing Chicago Tribune writer Josh Noel’s book release party, the entire block consuming Octoberfest celebration, every year’s Deep Woods series releases, and plenty else. One year during the Christmas Gift List Giveaway they donated the General’s Jacket that I was recommending that year to go into the kitty that eventually got given away.
“Revolution Brewing started as a neighborhood brewpub in February 2010 and expanded into packaging in 2012. Today, Revolution Brewing is the largest independent brewer in Illinois, and proudly brewing only in Chicago,” said John Carruthers, Revolution Brewing communications manager.
This is what a brewery that still considers itself to be a neighborhood brewpub does. They sponsor local events. They take part in their community. They brewed a batch of the Black is Beautiful initiative beer and donate 100% of the proceeds to My Block, My Hood, My City. Beyond all of that though, they make excellent beer. One of my favorite beers all summer long was one of its limited releases DDH Tropic Hero with Haze! I started a small controversy on Twitter when I posted a photo of it with some steaks and shrimp that I was about to put on the grill. I was more excited about the beer, the rest of beer Twitter was more excited about the food.
The other thing I think a brewery Revolution’s size and impact should be doing is leading the way, being out in front of the craft beer movement, defining the categories they are involved in, and doing what they think should be done. Last summer they released Summer Barleywine which is still definitely not a thing, but they tried to make it a thing. They did so again this summer with Mixed Berry Ryeway, a summer Ryewine, because why not? During the great alligator scare of the summer of 2019, Chance the Snapper took over the airwaves, and I could count on Revolution to do something interesting for the occasion with Humboldt Gator.
“As for Supermassive Café Deth ... I’m almost out of superlatives after the last few years of coffee-forward beers (both barrel-aged and not) from our brew and cellar teams. The massive dosing rate of this behemoth makes it closer to a hybrid of coffee and beer than anything I’ve tried before — just a superb result from Marty Scott and the barre program. It’s really more “Coffee. Beer.” than “Coffee Beer.” John Carruthers, marketing director of Revolution Brewing.
So, in honor of one of the great ones, The Hoppy Pig is starting their new brewery of the month series with Revolution Brewing. After I get done typing this column, I am headed there for lunch. I will order a Hazy Hero and a Black Bean Burger (because I have recently took upon myself a pretty loose connection to vegetarianism – I had a Popeye’s chicken sandwich this week so I don’t hold it too firmly), and sit in their glorious, spacious outdoor patio area.
Hoppy Pig, because these are good and smart people who care deeply about their customers’ health and safety, is also hosting a Virtual Family Paint Party night, from 8 to 10 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 14. Tickets for this event and info is at eventbrite.com/e/virtual-family-paint-party-tickets-98168280971.
Name: Hazy Hero from Revolution Brewing
Style: IPA – New England
Notes: “Gaze into the mist and discover the transcendental supremacy of American hops in Revolution’s newest Hazy IPA. A smooth, velvety body sets the stage for big fruit-forward flavor and a refreshing finish.”
Where to Buy: You can find this one at The Hoppy Pig in 16 oz pours for $4 throughout the month of August.