When Gary Gulley launched Alarmist Brewing this spring—after four years of preparation, uncountable revisions of his business plan, and several rounds of investors’ meetings—he had only one beer, Pantsless Pale Ale. It was a gutsy choice, not least because pale ales and IPAs are by far the most crowded and competitive subcategories in craft beer. But any brewery would do well to have Pantsless as its flagship: extravagantly juicy and beautifully harmonious, it braids fruity, floral hops with silky caramel malts for an easygoing sipper you never want to stop drinking. (Alarmist has since released a sessionable Belgian-style table beer called Phobophobia, but I haven’t tried it yet.) In April, Alderman Margaret Laurino introduced an ordinance to lift the moratorium on liquor sales in Alarmist’s neighborhood, near Peterson and Pulaski, and by early next year Gulley hopes to open an on-site tap room. The brewery recently started distributing to bars through Chicago Beverage Systems, so keep an eye out for its tap handles—they look like bundles of dynamite.
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