We are not a beer review site, but we do drink beer, so we’re always quite tickled when craft businesses send us some of their tasty suds. In this reoccurring column, we will shamelessly attempt to con more breweries into sending us free beer and craft-related swaggery in exchange for the riches and fame that come with a profile post on CBB. We will also highlight the awesome packaging techniques that good PR companies and clever brewers put together for the media. The beer box above showed up at my house last week, and I was most impressed by the steampunk packaging and design work of the beer inside, which included some of my favorite things: robots, dinosaur robots, face melting, fire in general and butchers named dick.
The mixer sixer came via Burnt City Brewing Co. out of Chicago. In 2012, the company opened a brewpub on the north side of Chicago as Atlas Brewing Co. but recently rebranded as Burnt City. I love the giant, beautifully designed beer cards that were included with the package (I will probably bring them to my next Magic: The Gathering event and bomb those nerds with a board sweeper). Also, I totally dig the matches. They are great for burning things, and I find the reoccurring themes of destruction and survival of the coolest in the Burnt City universe to be quite satisfying — just like their delicious craft beer — which definitely Chris Cornell’d my taste buds.
What’s Burnt City all about?
Burnt City Brewing makes bold, nuanced beer celebrating the spirit of perseverance that’s so deeply rooted in Chicago’s history. From founding brewers John and Ben Saller, Burnt City includes a brewpub and bowling alley in the Lincoln Park neighborhood, as well as a canning facility in the Pullman neighborhood. Three year-round beers plus seasonal offerings make up the portfolio. Burnt City’s brewpub serves an elevated pub menu featuring, among the many beer-friendly offerings, several dishes made with smoke, a nod to the brewery’s name. The adjacent bowling alley makes the party complete, and guests can book events in advance or stop by on a spontaneous evening out. Burnt City’s current distribution area includes Chicagoland, northern Illinois, northern Indiana and parts of Alabama.
The year-round beer selection
- Face Melter Hibiscus IPA (7 percent ABV) — A righteous dose of hops and hibiscus give this IPA a powerful aroma of citrus and tropical fruit accompanied by a combination of Citra, Centennial and Cascade hops to provide a strong, yet smooth bitterness.
- Dick the Butcher Pale Ale (5.3 percent ABV) — Cascade hops deliver a fresh grapefruit aroma and a clean bitterness while rye malt keeps this beer dry and drinkable.
- Balloon Boy Farmhouse Wheat Ale (5 percent ABV) — This easy-drinking and refreshing Belgian-style wheat ale has a subtle tart citrus up front that gives way to a complex fruitiness.
The popular seasonals
Retrofit Lime Radler (3.7 percent ABV) — Less sweet than other radlers and shandys on the market, this session ale is brewed with real Key lime juice, making it ideal for warm weather. Available May-August.
Oktoberfest (5.3 percent ABV) — Burnt City’s Oktoberfest Märzen celebrates the wonderful German tradition as respectfully as possible. Fancy German malt and hops were used in this flavorful, quaffable amber lager. Malt notes are prominent, but the beer finishes dry. Hop character is subtle, adding a gentle floral aroma.
Freight Handler Milk Stout (5 percent ABV) — This milk stout is full-bodied and smooth, with rich chocolate flavors and complex maltiness along with a touch of subtle lactose sweetness.
The canning facility
Burt City’s canning facility, located at 825 E. 99th St. in the former Jays potato chip plant in the Pullman neighborhood, began distributing the flagship cans of Face Melter Hibiscus IPA, Dick the Butcher Pale Ale, and Balloon Boy Farmhouse Wheat Ale in May 2016. Burnt City also cans rotating seasonals and other special releases throughout the year, with the first being Retrofit Lime Radler. In its first year of operation, Burnt City expects to brew 3,000 plus bbl at the canning facility. The Tasting Room will be open soon.
Burnt City Brewpub’s menu features bar food made fresh from high-quality ingredients, specializing in meats smoked in house, along with a variety of hearty sandwiches, entrées and pizzas. The bar includes 12 to 15 rotating taps of original Burnt City beers, as well as a handful of guest drafts with a local focus. The brewpub provides a workshop for John and Ben Saller and Pub Brewer Christian Burd to explore a huge variety of brews before selecting the most successful to be packaged and distributed out of the canning facility.
Adjacent to the brewpub, Burnt City’s intimate eight-lane bowling alley allows guests to enjoy friendly competition with a beer in hand from one of 14 rotating taps. The brewpub and bowling alley are located at 2747 N. Lincoln Ave. in the Lincoln Park neighborhood of Chicago. Burnt City Brewpub accepts carry-out orders as well.
Big thanks to Burnt City for sending along that tasty mixer sixer!