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Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Tuesday Tasting: A Gaggle of Midwestern Beers

Tuesday Tasting is a regular feature of Lyke2Drink that explores some of the best beers, wines and spirits on the market. This week we spend a couple of days wandering around Chicago tasting Midwestern suds.

One thing was clear during my recent visit to Chicago: People in the Windy City like to gather in taverns and hoist a few. Great neighborhoods across the city are centered around restaurant and entertainment districts. We were focused on trying fresh Midwestern beer and found our way to some of the best beer bars in the country. Places like Sheffield's, Hopleaf, Clark Street Ale House and the Map Room. We even had time for a stop at Goose Island's Wrigleyville brewpub and two Ram Restaurant and Brewery locations, one in Schaumburg and the other in Rosemont not far from O'Hare Airport.

The following is a brief tour of some of the standout beers from the trip:

Founders Centennial IPA: A clean and crisp IPA with good floral notes and a nice hop bitterness.

Goose Island Maltilda: This Belgian-style ale is 7.0 percent alcohol by volume. It has an inviting flavor profile that combines a malty sweetness, hints of fresh fruit and some spice.

Goose Island Pere Jacques: Named for a Trappist monk that brewmaster Greg Hall encountered during a visit to Belgium, this 9.0 percent alcohol by volume brew is a rich mahogany color that is a complex malty and fruity ale.

Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald Porter: One of the best porters in America. Nice roasted nose and a beautiful coffee flavor base. Good tight head and dark color adds to the enjoyment.

New Holland Mad Hatter IPA: Full rich hop nose and flavor in a golden amber package. The rich head stands firm throughout, lacing the glass.

Ram Total Disorder Porter: A nice slightly malty flavor with a touch of smoke in a very drinkable dark beer.

Two Brothers Cane & Ebel: A wonderful 6.8 percent alcohol by volume brew using rye malt and Thai palm sugar. The beer is a mahogany color and malty, with a touch of nut flavor.

Two Brothers Hop Juice: Pulled from the cask using a beer engine, this is a classic bitter ale. Slightly cloudy appearance, with a clear hop flavor.

Three Floyds Dreadnaught: This high gravity brew is a hop explosion in a glass. Nice dark color, aromatic nose and good fresh hop bite.

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