I’m staying in the Chicago suburbs tonight for work, and made a last second tweet out to the biggest Chicago beer lover I knew – @RealLizGaribay – to see what breweries she might recommend I visit while I’m there. She’s more of a city girl, but had @SubBeerBia send me some recommendations. His suggestions were Lunar Brewing and Beer House Chicago, so I decided to try to do both. My first stop was Lunar Brewing Co., which, upon entry, looked like your standard neighborhood dive bar. However, there were 6-8 locals there talking craft beer at the bar, and several Lunar Brewing Co. beers on tap next to some nice craft beer selections.
Location: On tap and served in s tumbler style pint glass at Lunar Brewing in Villa Park, IL.
Numbers: 6.2% ABV, ~160 Calories
Appearance & Aroma: It was dark amber in color and fairly hazy. The head fell to a thin, somewhat soapy consistency, but it left some decent lacing on the glass. The aroma was a resinous-piney hoppiness.
Taste & Feel: The body is medium, and the mouthfeel is smooth, a little oily, and lightly creamy. Up front, there’s a piney hop flavor with some bitterness and hints of caramel maltiness in the background. The hop flavors get a bit sweeter in the middle with a good amount of piney hop juiciness. In the finish, however, it turns bitter again, with the piney bitterness dominating everything, and leaving some spicy hoppiness in the background. The aftertaste is mostly piney and resinous bitterness with some oily stickiness.
Food Pairing: This beer has mostly piney hop flavors, and I think it would need something hearty, like a thick burger to stand up to bitterness. Because of all the pine flavors, I might also try to contrast it with something cheesy, like a pizza or plate of nachos.
Overall Impression: This was a pretty good beer, and I enjoyed the hop flavors and bitterness – especially the hop juiciness in the middle. However, the hops were a bit one dimensional, and could have been a bit more complex. I did like the mouthfeel complexity it had, with both creaminess and some hoppy oiliness. Overall, I thought it was a pretty good beer, and it encouraged me to stick around and try another one of their brews.