Square Kegs Kicks Off Beer Appreciation Season

By Victoria Wiedel | Monday, March 14, 2011

A crowd of thirsty home brew devotees gathered at the Red Lion pub for a special event. Credit: Victoria Wiedel

Over 60 craft beer and home brew enthusiasts gathered at Red Lion Pub (4749 N. Rockwell Street) on March 10 to taste, talk and tantalize each other with homemade concoctions and stories of yeast experiments gone horribly awry.

The Lincoln Square Chamber of Commerce sponsored what they called the kick-off to a series of events this year aimed at the growing interest in craft beers and home brewing.

“The response to this event has been overwhelming,” said Chamber Executive Director Melissa Flynn. “We hope to build on this enthusiasm with a beer-food pairing event with local chefs this summer, and then a homebrew contest this fall.”

Chamber member and Ruff Haus Pets owner Rich Forsythe was responsible for launching the event on behalf of the Square Kegs home brewing club.

He showed off his brewing skills by sharing tastes of his “Butter Beer Bitter” and “Bourbon Barrel Porter” with participants.

Tracy Hurst, self-proclaimed matriarch of Metropolitan Brewery, was also on hand to debut their latest beer, “Iron Works*”, which is made by using ale yeast to ferment beer that is later lagered (stored at a cold temperature before serving).

Tracy Hurst (Metropolitan Brewing) and Rich Forsythe (Square Kegs) served up some tasty brews. Credit: Victoria Wiedel

“We got our start as home brewers, so we didn’t want to pass up this opportunity to support this event,” said Hurst.

The craft beer industry is growing exponentially in the city. In addition to Metropolitan and Half Acre, Finch’s Beer Company is setting up shop in Albany Park.

If we can somehow lure Pipeworks Brewing into the Center Square area we may be able to corner the market on the craft beer scene in Chicago.

* Earlier this article incorrectly said the beer was called “I-beam.” CSJ regrets the error.

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