Friday, September 21, 2012

The local beer tap takeover

A few weeks ago I ran into Nik White (@nkosio) at the Chicago Beer Society picnic and we got to talking about how things are growing pretty quickly in the Chicago and Illinois beer community. During this discussion Nik mentioned that he attended the local beer takeover at the Village Tap on September 6th, and how he really liked having nothing but local beer to choose from. We both agreed that it would be great if there were similar events around Chicago to continue giving beer drinkers an opportunity to enjoy and take pride in the beer that is made within our city and state limits. The question that we both had after sharing a mutual appreciation for such an opportunity as the Village Tap provided was why aren't there more local beer tap take overs in Chicago/Illinois? 

According to the Brewers Association, Illinois has 57 licensed breweries and approximately 67 in planning. With that many breweries, you would think there would be enough beer for a local (beer) tap take over on a monthly basis, or perhaps a monthly tap takeover by a local brewery. 

The benefits of hosting a regular local beer/brewery takeover are many in number and would help other folks/business besides the host bar. A few of the benefits of a local beer takeover follow bellow. 
  • Providing beer from one or more local breweries allows the host bar's regulars to (perhaps) try something new; to feel a bit of pride in a local brewery
    • It could also attract new partrons to a bar that they (the partrons) had never visited before
  • The host bar could receive greater foot traffic than a typical day
  • The breweries that are spotlighted would receive additional advertising (via the beer and their name on the tap list)
    • The opportunity to participate in such an event could help a brewery that is fresh out of the gate get its name and beer out to beer drinkers that may not have been aware they (they = the brewery) existed
  • It would create a greater sense of pride in locally made beer
  • It could lead to people discovering a new brewery that may make a new fan for life if the beer drinker finds a beer of theirs that grabs their attention
While I have not gotten into the guts of what goes into planning a tap take over (perhaps in a future post?), I hope I have provided a few things for you to consider. Also, I hope I have provided reason for you to propose a local beer takeover at your favorite watering hole. If you do organize one, let us know about it! Or send us some pictures and we'll post them!

Here's to local beer!!

P.S. In case you are curious, the tap and bottle list from the Village Tap take over (mentioned at the beginning of this post) follows below. Try to read it and not become thirsty.


  • 5 Rabbits 5 Lizard, Chicago, IL, 16oz, 4.3% - Latin Style Witbier brewed with passion fruit & spices from one of Chicago’s newest breweries and the first Latin micro brewery in the U.S.A.
  • 5 Rabbits 5 Vulture, Chicago, IL, 16oz, 6.4% - An Oaxacan-style Dark Ale brewed with piloncillo sugar and chile ancho.
  • Baderbrau, Chicago, IL, 16oz, 4.8% - For those old enough to remember, one of Chicago’s original craft beers and the original Chicago Pilsener now lovingly resurrected. Amber in color with a spicy hop-forward aroma, malty body, and creamy finish.  
  • Emmett’s Dark Night Black IPA, Palatine, IL, 12oz, 7.5% - A black IPA with roasted malts and a subtle chocolate- coffee nose, loaded with bitterness, hop resins & floral hop aromas.
  • Finch’s Fascist Pig, Chicago, IL, 12oz, 8% - A deep red malt-forward ale brewed with plenty of caramel malts and a touch of rye and dry-hopped with Palisade and Zythos hops.
  • Flossmoor Station Wallonian Saison, Flossmoor, IL, 12oz, 9.4% - A Belgian style saison brewed with ginger with a bouquet of fruits and spices and a slightly sweet finish. Glass
  • Goose Island Gran Gas, Chicago, IL, 12oz, 6.4% - Gran Gas is the Swedish term for “spruce goose” and Gran Gas is the 4th beer in the specialty Fulton and Wood series brewed with lingonberry, spruce tips and spicy Belgian yeast.  
  • Goose Island Marisol, Chicago, IL, 12oz, 6.1% - A Belgian style golden ale spiced with tangerine zest, coriander and ugli fruit and made in collaboration with Rick Bayless to pair with Mexican fare.
  • Goose Island Pepe Nero, Chicago, IL, 12oz, 6.4% - A Belgian-style farmhouse ale brewed with black peppercorns with an aroma of roasted chestnuts and a mysteriously dark, mahogany hue.
  • Half Acre Daisy Cutter, Chicago, IL, 16oz, 5.2% - American Pale Ale with aromatic hops.
  • Half Acre Over Ale, Chicago, IL, 16oz, 6% - An American Brown Ale.
  • Hopothesis IPA, Chicago, IL, 16oz, 7.1% - An IPA specifically formulated to be balanced, flavorful, and approachable.  
  • Metropolitan Flywheel, Chicago, IL, 16oz, 5.2% - A German style pilsner with mild malt sweetness and crisp hop flavors.
  • Piece Worryin’ Ale, Bucktown, 16oz, 5% - An English-style bitter brewed with rye malts and freshly kegged on 9/4. Very sessionable.
  • Red Streak Cider, Virtue Cider, Roscoe Village, 12oz, 6.3% - An English style draft cider with a lemon hue, a scent of ripe apples, a touch of oak and a crisp, tart finish.  
  • Revolution Double Fist, Chicago, IL, 12oz, 8.3% - A Double Pale Ale with pronounced citrus hop flavor.
  • Revolution Oktoberfest, Chicago, IL, 16oz, 5.7% - Pint 5.50 / Pitcher 20 / 8oz 3 -A classic German-style Oktoberfest beer with toasty malt flavor, a crisp, balanced bitterness and a spicy, earthy aroma.
  • Revolution Repo Man, Chicago, IL, 12oz, 6.2% - A dark roasty stout brewed with 20% rye for a finish that makes you eager to take the next sip.
  • Solemn Oath Khlorost Escobar, Naperville, IL, 12oz, 4.5% - Khloros is a light bodied and refreshing Belgian white ale delicately spiced with orange and lemon peels and Indian green coriander.  Khlorost Escobar is Khloros infused with Columbian coffee.  
  • Three Floyds Moloko, Munster, IN, 12oz, 8% - A Milk Stout brewed with a portion of golden naked oats and lactose milk sugar.
  • Three Floyds Replicale, Munster, IN, 12oz, 4.4% - Abby-style single with an addition of lemongrass and ginger. Dry hopped with New Zealand hops.
  • Three Floyds Zombie Dust, Munster, IN, 16oz, 6.4% - The intensely hopped and gushing pale ale.
  • Two Brothers Atom Smasher, Warrenville, IL, 16oz, 7.7% - A Marzen (Oktoberfest) style beer aged in oak foudres.  
  • Two Brothers Ebel’s Weiss, Warrenville, IL, 16oz, 4.9% - Unfiltered German-style hefe weizen with nice, malty sweetness and a soft aroma of clove, vanilla and banana.
  • Wild Onion Hop Slayer Firkin, Lake Barrington, IL, 12oz, 8.2% - An Imperial IPA that starts off with a beautiful malt flavor followed by bold piney hop notes from a smooth mix of 5 hop varietals.
  • Wild Onion Imperial Pilsner, Lake Barrington, IL, 16oz, 7.5% - A citrus and piney aroma leads into an aggressive Noble Hop flavor rounded out with ample malt sweetness   This is the first keg of Imperial Pilsner released in Chicago!
  • Wild Onion Pumpkin Ale, Lake Barrington, IL, 16oz, 5.4% - Spiced with cinnamon, ginger, allspice and clove, this beer brings the pumpkin pie into your glass.

Local Bottles:

  • Pipeworks Ninja vs. Unicorn, Bucktown, 22oz, 8.5% - An unfiltered double IPA sure to please the most discerning hop lover.
  • Pipeworks Poivre du Sichuan Saison, Bucktown, 22oz, 7.6% - A Belgian-style saison brewed with ginger and Szechuan peppercorns.
  • Pipeworks  Close Encounter Hoppy Double Stout, Bucktown, 22oz, 8.5% - The best of both worlds co-exist between a rich roasted malt character and an aggressive hop presence that will probe your taste buds like nothing you have experienced before.
  • Goose Island 312 Urban Wheat Ale, Chciago, IL, 12oz, 4.2%
  • Two Brothers Prairie Path Golden Ale (Gluten free), Warrenville, IL, 12oz, 5.1%


Mark Schweitzer said...

A great post and the concept is something that really needs to be promoted, especially where the craft beer community is just starting to grow and awareness is just beginning to build. I hope you will follow up soon with a nuts-and-bolts of planning...something I would definitely like to know more about.

Ethan said...

Hi Mark,

Thanks for the comment! I agree, that the local beer takeover is something that needs to be promoted and utilized more often than it already is (which, here in Chicago, is not often).

I will publish another post should i be able to talk a bar into hosting a local beer takeover. If/when I do, I will share the nuts and bolts of putting on such an event.

Again, thanks for reading the post and for the feedback. I really appreciate it!