Beer, Beer, Beer – and some Cider!

Yesterday Jeff and I were fortunate to be invited to a beer expo hosted by Chicago’s largest distributor. When I was at WXRT, I did a lot of work with the distributor and the station provides the music and some prizes for the event. Jeff’s part-time job at Sam’s Liquor was also a bonus at the event as different brands were suddenly very interested in talking with us once he mentioned that he works there (for those outside of Chicago, Sam’s is one of Chicago’s largest beverage retailers).

For Jeff, the expo was like his birthday and Christmas combined. Seriously, his eyes were huge when we entered – I think he felt like he got a taste of what heaven would be like for him! We sampled many different beers, some for the first time and some were old favorites. We even got to meet Jim Koch of Sam Adams!

When we got home, I asked Jeff what was his favorite beer he tasted. We both agreed that our favorite was Peak Organic. Jeff loves the IPA (I’m not an IPA fan but I have to admit that Peak’s is mighty tasty!) and I’m a fan of the pale ale. I admit that I was skeptical that organic beer would really taste all that different but, indeed, organic beer has a cleaner, crisper taste than most non-organic beers. Peak was created by a couple of home brew pals and it is a relative newcomer to the beer world. I know you can find it along the east coast (they’re based in Maine), Oregon, parts of California, and, of course, Chicago (preferably, at Sam’s).

The other stand out at the expo was Crispin Cider. Crispin, based in Minneapolis, is an all-natural cider that you drink over ice. We sampled the light, original, brut and unfiltered. I really enjoyed the original but I think I would have also really loved the light if I hadn’t tasted it side by side with the others. In that context, it definitely tasted “light”. Again, since it’s all natural, the clean flavors really came through when tasting.

For those of you in Chicago, if you are looking to expand your beer repertoire, Sam’s is hosting a beer tasting night on June 30 at the Lincoln Park location. For $25, you can sample up to 150 beers (you’d better have cab fare!) and meet some folks from the brands. To order tickets, just click here.

Thanks for reading Bright-Yellow. Remember, it’s all about giving each other ideas to share so remember to post in the comments or just send me an email.

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