Welcome to stop #88 on the Brews and Choos project.
Brewery: Hop Butcher for the World, 4257 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago
Train line: CTA Brown Line, Montrose
Time from Chicago: 33 minutes
Distance from station: 1.1 km
Named after the opening line in Carl Sandburg's "Chicago," Hop Butcher for the World took over Half Acre's Lincoln Ave. facility last January. It took me a while to visit because they're so close to my house that I wanted to walk over, but they don't allow dogs. Boo.
So Friday evening, a friend and I had dinner a couple blocks away on Lincoln Ave., and decided to get a beer after. My friend had two 5 oz. pours and I had a single 10 oz. pour, so we got to try three.
The brand-spanking-new barrel-aged Lincoln Anniversary Stout (12.5%) hit pretty hard, with a sweet and malty body and a strong alcohol feel. My friend, who knows more about beer than I do, said the alcohol covered up some "technical issues," and didn't recommend the beer; I thought it was OK. The Dees, Dem & Dose IPA (6.75%) had a nice, hoppy, clean flavor, with a good finish, but also a slightly sweeter palate than I would expect. I had the Grid APA (5.75%), with good Citra flavors and a very drinkable balance.
(My friend later clarified her opinion of the Anniversary Stout: "I don't remember saying I wouldn't recommend the stout. I wouldn't give it 5 stars, since that alcohol heat can cover up technical issues and isn't my preference, but the alcohol heat is also somewhat inevitable in beers with ABVs over 12%. A lot of people like the alcohol flavor, but I don't. I also don't like it when breweries use sugary add-ins to cover it up, which Hop Butcher didn't do in this one.")
Unfortunately, I can't fully recommend the taproom. It's loud, as it was when Half Acre lived there, with hard cement walls and nothing on the floor or ceiling to mitigate the sound. The Atlantic complained about this phenomenon five years ago. And since they don't allow dogs, I wouldn't just walk over there with Cassie on a weekend afternoon.
Beer garden? No
Dogs OK? No
Serves food? No, BYOF
Would hang out with a book? Maybe
Would hang out with friends? Maybe
Would go back? Maybe