Best Brewery With a Bright Tank Named "Waffles" | Best of Chicago 2013 | Food & Drink | Chicago Reader

Best Brewery With a Bright Tank Named "Waffles"

Off Color Brewing

Critics' Picks

After four years of scheming, former Goose Island "innovation brewer" John Laffler and former Two Brothers brewer Dave Bleitner are finally in business, juicing up obscure or borderline-extinct traditional European styles with the anything-goes creativity of American craft brewing. They've chosen a grain mouse as their mascot, and their two year-round beers are a kottbusser called Scurry ("like an ale version of a dunkel," says Bleitner) and a gose called Troublesome (similar in flavor to a Berliner weisse, which they’ve also got on deck). On a May visit to their brew house, I tried their 15 Feet grätzer (a fruity, toasty Polish smoked wheat ale, with its smoke from apple wood) and an espresso-dark "Russian imperial stout" brewed to a comically low 3.5 percent alcohol (the style often hits double digits) to give it the nutty, roasty flavor of an excellent porter but the clean, light body of an all-day session beer; its name, Beer Geek Mus, riffs on Mikkeller's beloved Beer Geek stouts and on the Danish word for "mouse." Also in the planning stages are a tripel, a saison, and a Belgian "Valentine's Day" ale brewed with flowers (it'll be called "I'm Sorry"). In case you're wondering: Most of Off Color's tanks are named after the brewers' dead pets, and Waffles was a Belgian sheepdog. The others are Lady, Sam, George, Salt, and Pepper.

In This Section:

showing 1 to 30 of 112

Start Over