beermelodies

For Beer Geeks And Rock Freaks

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WARRENVILLE, ILLINOIS

Situated at Warrenville’s industrial park just north of Interstate 88, TWO BROTHERS BREWING was founded by brothers Jim and Jason Ebel during 1996. Previously, the duo sold beer and wine equipment in nearby Naperville and traveled Europe to discover the possibilities of brewing craft beer in the burgeoning US market. By time of this July ’14 sojourn, Two Brothers had already begun bottling its excellent fare for national distribution starting circa 2000.

In a freestanding off-white warehouse, this …

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ELKHART, INDIANA

Opened in 2011 by hometown married couple, Chip and Summer Lewis, Elkhart-based IECHYD DA BREWING COMPANY (its name is Welch for Cheers!) has become a popular Main Street bistro in this small northern Indiana metropolis. Visited July ’14, the caliginous freestanding pub was packed on a Friday evening. Settling in at the long right side granite bar (with hanging tiki lamps), I ordered up some hummus from the respectable light menu (pizza/ sandwiches/ snacks) and prepare to consume …

Rating: 4

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Uniquely herbaceous West Coast-styled India Pale Ale brings pronounced mint freshness to stylistic piney-hopped fruit juicing. Sharp resinous hop bittering heightens embittered yellow grapefruit-peeled navel orange briskness as well as ancillary tangerine-peach-pear-apple sentiments. But it’s the entertaining spearmint-leafed wintergreen and peppermint herbage that truly takes this to a different level. Wispy anise, pine nut and lemon tea illusions add to the pleasant peculiarities.

Rating: 3

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Stylistic banana-clove frontage picks up modest lemon-peeled orange zest over light herbal smidgen and black peppered Belgian-inspired yeast funk. Soft honeyed wheat bed sweetens the back end of fairly sufficient German-styled moderation.

Rating: 3.5

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Ace amber ale allows delicate mocha nuttiness and pleasant hop roasting to nullify any mild fruit ambiance. Earthen musk dirties up dry cocoa-powdered chocolate seed moderation, wavered peanut-hazelnut conflux and minor cardboard edging. Sharp carbolic fizz tickles the tongue. No ordinary lightweight.

Rating: 3

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Affable rust-hazed American pale ale with supposedly “significant amount” of caramel-toasted pale malts and dry Cascade hops could be mistaken for mild IPA thanks to brisk floral-perfumed citric nature and oily pine bittering. Bright grapefruit-peeled orange rind, lemon zest, pineapple and peach tang reaches ultra-dry finish.

Rating: 2.5

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Welcoming blonde ale proves wholly sessionable as smoothly clean local rice adjunct lightly sweetens soft-toned summertime citric spritz and buttery crystal malting above heavily fizzed carbolic pep. Grassy-hopped yellow grapefruit and navel orange wisps lost beneath surface. Blue collar fodder.

Rating: 3

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Crisp Mexicali-styled adjunct lager gets a light syrupy agave nectar twist Corona ransacked from its original herbal recipe circa 2005. Zesty lemon-juiced effervescence and brisk lime peel tartness pick up salty coriander nip. Maize-flaked cracked corn provides light mineral graining to delightful light-bodied summertime serenity.

Rating: 3

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Crisply clean 2014 summertime moderation brings mild mango tartness and light ginger herbage to indifferent India Pale Ale fruiting. Dried orange desiccation picks up astringency, deadening tropical kiwi-guava-passionfruit snip. Grassy hop bittering remains subtle.

Rating: 3

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Aggressive lemony grapefruit bittering and musty orange-rotted souring lead the way for well-balanced pilsner that compares favorably to Saranac’s White IPA. Tropical pineapple-mango-passionfruit stead increases fruity nature above grassy dry-hopped spicing and peppery earthen minerality. Floral-perfumed jasmine, lilac, rosebud, dandelion and lavender nuances flutter by.

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Rating: 2.5

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Marginally hybridized Brit-styled summer shandy/ German radler offers spritzy grapefruit-juiced tartness to ginger-spiked lemonade sugaring, orange-rotted lime parch and syrupy woodruff sinew. Frail white-breaded wheat cracker spine softens over time. Subtle green apple nuance beckons beneath the surface.

Rating: 4

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Surly-brewed canned version from shared recipe (with Texas’ Real Ales and Indiana’s Three Floyds Brewing) is stylistically as good as it gets. A complex Imperial Stout/ IPA-styled Cascadian Dark Ale, its expansive flavor profile combines rich mocha nuttiness with brisk citric fruiting. Initial coffee whimsicality, dried cocoa bittering and mild caramel latte creaming deepen dark-roasted chocolate malting over pine-charred hop roast. Sweet orange peel zest sprinkles grapefruit, pineapple and lemondrop illusions just below the brown chocolate-y surface. Well done.

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