Ale Asylum

Chicago Lagers with Tracy Hurst of Metropolitan

Chicago Lagers with Tracy Hurst of Metropolitan

AVONDALE, CHICAGO

One of the earliest adopters to the modern craft beer movement in Chicago was Metropolitan Brewing. Founded by then husband and wife Doug and Tracy Hurst, the brewery established themselves in a niche few others ventured – traditional lagers. We sat down with Tracy to discuss their unwavering commitment to style.

Looking back at the 2014 Spring Chicago Beer Festival

Looking back at the 2014 Spring Chicago Beer Festival

UNION STATION, CHICAGO

The Chicago Beer Festival at Union Station has become something of a tradition here at The Hop Review. It's one of the first events we attended together back in it's 2012 and many of the connections we made back then have spawned the interviews you now see throughout our site.

The event itself is much the same as it's always been which is, for the most part, a good thing. The cavernous Union Station Great Hall provides a beautiful and spacious setting for the hoards of people who descend on the 65+ breweries in attendance. The event organizers have still yet to address some of our biggest gripes, namely the difficulty in locating a brewery (very little signage and no mobile app) and a truly terrible website that is entirely unhelpful.

Despite those complaints, it's a great time and a perfect excuse to schmooze with some of the country's best brewers while sampling beers you've never laid your hands on.

Brewery Chat: Minkoff Brothers Revamp Chicago's Famed Berghoff Brewery

Brewery Chat: Minkoff Brothers Revamp Chicago's Famed Berghoff Brewery

CHICAGO, IL

The end of the 19th century was a fine time to be a Chicagoan. The first L trains rumbled over downtown's streets and the city welcomed the world to the most influential World's Fair of all time. 1887 also saw the birth of Berghoff Beer, a brand that still sits on Midwestern shelves 126 years later. However, after a century of success, the brand had seen a steady drop in market share, especially since the recent explosion of craft beer.

Change is brewing at Berghoff. Back in June we had the chance to attend the relaunch party for Berghoff Beer and got a few minutes to chat with brothers Ben and Josh Minkoff whose family owns the Berghoff brand and are personally leading the charge to resurrect the brand from obscurity and lift it to the heights Chicago craft beer drinkers expect.  A month on and they've hit the ground running. Berghoff's lineup can be found in an increasing number of establishments throughout Chicago and the midwest and the rebirth is well under way.

Our short chat with Ben and Josh wasn't nearly enough to wrap our heads around this immense task so they invited us to their West Town office to discuss what they've been up to, their goals, and how they plan on getting there.