Extensive Chi-town western suburb brewpub tour commenced August ’06. The very best pub was undoubtedly FLOSSMOOR STATION RESTAURANT & BREWERY located at Flossmoor’s brown-bricked gold stucco railroad station in an upscale tree-lined neighborhood south of Chicago. Back bar has beautiful oak mantle and flat screen TV. Several dining tables saddle the front and glass-encased brew tanks adorn the left.

Delicious appetizers, chicken, ribs, and fish entrees went perfectly with well-crafted light fare such as banana-ripened clove-spiced lemon-zipped Nexte Haltestelle Hefeweizen, caramel apple-spiced floral-backed Panama Red Ale, citric-spiced dry-grained Station Master Wheat Ale, and less interesting mild-hopped popcorn-like astringency Zephyr Golden Ale.

After lunch, settled into more profound brews such as IPA-like red-orange-fruited piney hop-embittered Gandy Dancer Honey Ale, sweet molasses-softened oats-toasted resinous-hopped Pullman Nut Brown Ale, delicate raspberry-tart citric-soured Roundhouse Raspberry, and bitter woody-hopped grapefruit-apricot-apple-sweetened 1906 Anniversary Pale Ale.

But these were just praiseworthy preliminaries for soft orange-bruised cherry-girded coriander-nutmeg-backed medicinal seduction Avant-Garde Farmhouse Saison, buttery malt-induced piney-hopped grapefruit-peach-kiwi-quince-laced Vishnu’s Vice IPA, and illuminating sweet-tart red cherry-glistened, biscuit-y bottomed Chessie Cherry Wheat Ale.

Better still were prominently coffee-roasted espresso-milked soft-toned off-dry Imperial Mocha Stout, incomparable bourbon-barreled Wooden Hell Barleywine (a velvety digestif gathering butterscotch, bruised cherry, candied citrus, and anise illusions), and bitterly coarse, white wine-barreled, oak-dried, cherry-tart, grape-soured, floral-wafted, Belgian-styled sensation De Wilde Zuidentrain Frambozenbier (a mouth puckering sour ale).

In 2011, long-time brewer Bryan Shimkos was replaced by Nick Barron, a graduate of the United Kingdom’s Institute of Brewing and Distilling program and former Smoky Mountain Brewery guiding light.


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