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Notes from Michael Jackson, on a visit to the Chicago area

At the elaborate new Flatlander's brewpub, in Lincolnshire, I especially liked their 80/- (Eighty Shilling) Ale: a dark, amber-red color; lightly earthy and chewy, with very good malt flavors and a smooth, well-rounded finish. A touch of peated malt is used. Original gravity is 1042, but alcohol is only 3.0 per cent by weight, 3.75 by volume -- very low for the style.

Nearby in Libertyville, I tasted a clovey, spicy, fruity, smoothly refreshing, Hefe-Weizen at Mickey Finn's brewpub. Very good indeed. Their Maibock and Pale Ale were also well worth sampling.

In Chicago itself, the micro Golden Prairie has new premises, in the late 19th-century building of the Michael Brand brewery, which closed in the 1950s. I greatly enjoyed a Buckwheat Beer. Ten per cent of the grist was buckwheat, toasted. The orangey color of this hazy beer might have suggested mandarin-peel flavors. I also found a suggestion of poppyseed cake. A little graininess, perhaps. This big brew is intended as an offbeat alternative to a wheat beer.


Published Online: OCT 1, 1997
Published in Print: OCT 1, 1997
In: Beer Hunter Online

Beer Review - Brew Travel

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