Serving the rural town of Plainfield as well as neighboring Naperville, NEVIN’S BREWING COMPANY took over its large North Plainfield Crossing Mall space on main drag, Route 59, during December 2012. An expansive upscale sportsbar and brewpub (with intermittent entertainment), its plushly designed red-bricked interior matches antique wood with modern flagstone in a burnt orange-walled setting .
Besides its pristine central bar island, Nevin’s also offers wraparound dining tables, terrace balcony seating, a backroom banquet facility, glass-encased brew room and huge lanai vinyl side deck. Exposed pipes line the black ceiling, a chalkboard lists all current house brews available and a few pinball games at the entrance attracts gamers.
Science-teaching home brewer Marc Wilson, a Texas-reared Seibel grad formerly at Rock Bottom-Warrenville, provides a wide variety of beer styles for Nevin’s customers. Burgers, pizza, tacos and sandwiches fill the pub-fared menu.
On my mid-July ’14 two-hour nighttime stopover, I quaffed all twelve four-ounce pours available. Though best selling golden ale, Nevin’s Yolo!, had a gnarly vegetal musk, dank grained pungency and soured yellow fruiting, a better choice had to be soft-toned Nevin’s Summer Sesh, a less pungent alternative with lemon-rotted grapefruit acidity and grassy hop herbage overriding wheat-chaffed wild oats.
One of my faves, Ardennes yeast-affected Nevin’s Quick Witted, gained an herbal lemongrass-chamomile piquancy to highlight its sweet orange-peeled coriander spicing and distant banana snip.
Decent Vienna lager, Nevin’s Vienna Waltz, maintained a musky lemon-bruised tartness over rustic alfalfa, whey and poppy nuances. But a finer option was dry-hopped Nevin’s IPL, a yellow-orange fruited India Pale Lager with dry bark astringency and resinous pine bittering contrasting sugary crystal malts.
Flagship medium body, Nevin’s Contentious IPA, brought tropical fruiting to peppery herbage as orange-peeled yellow grapefruit, pineapple and mango subtleties battles back banana-clove whims. Just a tad richer, Nevin’s Fool Proof, a rounded Imperial IPA, let its multi-hopped tropical fruiting get affected by unexpected vanilla-creamed Chardonnay buttering.
Belgian pilsner malts aided Nevin’s Tripel Hops Brewed, a citric Cascade-hopped pleasantry with wood-dried perfuming. Easygoing maibock, Nevin’s Bock It Up, possessed a dry honey-spiced yellow fruiting and candied Pez-like tartness.
Busy Baltic porter, Nevin’s Bolsha Moi, layered its cocoa-dried Baker’s chocolate bittering with sour prune, sweet raisin and black cherry illusions, finishing like day-old coffee. Creamy mocha nuttiness and a thick eggshell head furnished Nevin’s Southside Stout, a decisive oatmeal stout with hop-charred graining, dark-roasted chocolate malts, amber walnut sugaring and wild cherry scurries.
The strongest and most aggressive offering, Nevin’s None Of Your Business (a hybridized 12% ABV Imperial Stout), received a barleywine-like dark fruiting to contrast its sweet chocolate-toffee conflux and deep-roasted black patent malting.