Hello brew crew! After a year and a half hiatus, I am bringing back our monthly beer newsletter – our “Brewsletter”, if you will– to keep you filled in on beer happenings in Chicago, the U.S., and even the world. I hope to bring you some fun, hoppy info that you enjoy. As we start a new decade, I want to reflect a bit on the past. A lot changed in the beer world in 2019, and a few things really stick out to me. The rise in alcoholic seltzers was dramatic – there Ain’t No Laws when You’re Drinking Claws, after all – although the data seems to indicate it impacted the sales of mass-produced beers much more than craft. Signs of a maturing craft market abound, including the acquisition that shocked the world: small Highwood, Illinois brewer Kings & Convicts purchased formerly $1 billion-valued Ballast Point. Consumer tastes and brewer ingenuity showed no signs of slowing, as pastry stouts, milkshake IPAs, and beer slushies gained in popularity. And legal pot in Illinois! Holy smokes…(hey-o!). Predictions for 2020? My guess is that craft brewers will find ways to fill a growing demand for low and ever non-alcoholic beers. Younger people are becoming more and more health-conscious and this segment of the market continues to grow. I also think you’ll see continued brewery consolidation in Illinois and beyond. Regardless, it has never been a better time to drink beer! I hope you have an excellent start to 2020. Cheers, Bruce
Upcoming Beer Events
Chicago Beer Experience Beer Tours, various dates; Link
Polar Beer Fest, February 8, 2020, Rock Bottom Brewery, 1 West Grand Avenue; Link
Friday Night Flights @ Chicago Auto Show, February 14, 2020, McCormick Place; Link
Uppers & Downers, February 23, 2020, Thalia Hall, 1807 South Allport Street; Link
Chicago Beer Festival, March 14, 2020, Field Museum; Link
Beer News from Chicago, the U.S., and Around the World:
Here’s a nice article on West Town brewery On Tour. Link.
Enjoy fine dining with your beer at Moody Tounge in the South Loop. Link.
Half Acre Brewing and Big Star Tacos are hooking up at the Balmoral brewery on the north side. Link.
The Northwestern Chicago ‘burbs are brewing some awesome stuff: here are some highlights. Link.
Turning 21 this year? Natty Light will hook you up with some free beer. Link.
Prohibition took place 100 years ago. Here’s a look at the economic impact. Link.
Cannabis legalization may lower beer consumption. Link.
For those doing dry January (booo), non-alcoholic beer is getting better. Link.