by Kevin Sterne
If you we’re anything like me this past holiday, you ate for America, drank for America and possibly barfed in the name of ‘merica. I feasted my through beans, greens, hogs, dogs, chickens and turkeys slathered with sauce. I imbibed sheer gallons of frothy IPAs, double IPAs, lagers and pilsners. All the while cursing the name of the Donald.
I woke up for work the next day in a sticky, sweaty t-shirt…swathed in a blanket of empty beer cans, needing about three more recovery days. And perhaps even a lifestyle change—nothing too drastic though. Because I have a New Year’s resolution to uphold.
Maybe just turning back the dial on the ABVs. This means shagging the malty, ultra bready double IPAs in lieu of bright, effervescent hopdom. Thankfully, Chicago has plenty of crushable session beers to get me through this week and the looming dog days of summer.
Daytime IPA by Lagunitas
Unbuckle your slacks, hop on the diving board and jack-knife into this juicy, tropical thirst-pool. It’s a downright chuggable juicy blend made for hop lovers. Chug away, just don’t try shot-gunning these stubby bottles. DO stay hydrated with this crisp, refreshing nectar, just be sure to wait 20 minutes before jumping back in the water.
Flywheel by Metropolitan Brewing
A Chicago-style pilsner from a brewery bucking the IPA trends—Metro Brewing, like Hopewell Brewing Co, focuses mainly on lagers. But this isn’t your dad’s beer by any means. Flywheel packs spicy hops that are evident in the nose and the taste. Pair this one with some backyard grilling or summer pizza.
Lil Citra by Pipeworks Brewing
An enormously juicy session that somehow keeps the ABV below 5%. True brewing prowess by the masters at Pdubs. With hordes of citrus flavor, including mango and guava, this is a beer that demands a companion. A Chicago-style hotdog makes a great pair. Hold the ketchup.
Troublesome by Off Color Brewing
Crisp, tart and refreshing, this beer gives no trouble going down the gullet. So why is it troublesome? Well, it uses Lactobacillus, which I had to look up too. If you’re not clicking on that hyper-informative hyperlink, then you’re missing out on the bacterial properties that lend to the sour flavor of this here Off Color wheat brew. I guess they call it a Gose.
Mango Guppy by Pipeworks Brewing
Does anyone do scintillatingly citrus beers in Chicago better than Pipeworks? Anyone? Bueller? How about session IPAs brewed with mango puree and honey? Mango Guppy is like your cool step aunt’s fruit salad. You know, the one without the shitty honeydew.
Kevin Sterne is a writer and journalist based in Chicago, the editor of LeFawn Magazine. Apart from Shuga Records, he’s written about beer and music for Mash Tun Journal, The Tangential and Substream Magazine. His creative fiction has appeared in Drunk Monkeys, Potluck Mag, Defenestration, Praxis Magazine, Down in the Dirt Magazine, and Word Eater, among many others.