Straight ‘Outta the Trade


The best time of the year for me is typically when our quarterly beer exchange happens, or when my beer trades happen with my cousins. It started with my “cousin-in-law” from Seattle and has not reached Chicago. With all the beers available in the country, why not taste as much as possible? Well, my Chicago trade has arrived! I look for unique brews from places that I cannot get locally. Well, my cousin delivered in more than one way. First, these brews come from a microbrewery in Chicago. Second, they came in crowlers!

What’s the big deal with crowlers? well, I would say they are overrated if you’re just going to your local brew pub. However, for the sake of beer trades, crowlers make it even more possible to share beer with your friends that was once nearly impossible (unless you want to daringly attempt to send a growler). Anyway, here’s what came straight ‘outta the trade this time (tastes to follow):


1. Crank it Hop 7C’s IPA (6%)

Apparently every batch of “Crank it Hop” includes different hops. The 7C’s are the hops featured in this particular brew. Pretty much – each batch will taste at least subtly different, depending on the hops chosen for that batch. This batch was a “Hop Union proprietary blend of 7 popular “C” hop varieties.” If you guess at least two hop varieties that begin with a C – I’ll buy you a beer. Ready? Citra, Centennial, Chinook, Cascade, Cluster, Columbus, and Crystal. Hoppy, yet also sweet and tropical with those kind of hops.

2. Dark Water Imperial Black IPA (9%)

Imperial Oak collaborated with artists to brew this beer. Not sure what qualifies artists to brew, but whatever. The suds have the malt character of stouts and porters, yet have a higher IBU of 90. Supposed notes of stouts and porter with malty flavors, less the roasty flavor of stouts and porters. Of course, followed by hops (hopefully) in your face.

3. Udderly Black – Milk Stout (5.4%)

I love that name. Lactose sweetens the stout, already made sweet with crystal malt (look it up). I’m excited to try this – may be one of those “save it for a special occasion” beers.

Of course, you’ll be hearing about all of these in the coming weeks. As an educator, I plan on utilizing my time off quite well. And all for your benefit. You’re welcome. Moral of the story – crowlers are a great way to go when participating in a beer trade. I know that some of these brews are almost gone. Luckily, I got them. Another moral of the story – get involved in a beer trade and taste some stuff you would otherwise not have the chance to drink.


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