Lake Effect Brewing Company

Brewing Collaborations with Cleetus Friedman

Brewing Collaborations with Cleetus Friedman

RAVENSWOOD, CHICAGO

Think of one word that describes the local brewery scene...go ahead, we'll wait. For us, we just might go with "collaborative". We've sat down with nearly 40 Chicagoland beer industry folk, and virtually all of them have spoken to how the local industry is unwaveringly helpful, communal, and always willing to collaborate on everything from sharing brewery space to whipping up their next beer. We sat down with one of the industry's most collaborative, Fountainhead Chef, Cleetus Friedman, to talk what it takes to stay inventive.

Picking the Top 5 Beers at the 2013 Chicago Beer Festival

Picking the Top 5 Beers at the 2013 Chicago Beer Festival


With winter in Chicago (hopefully, sort of) coming to an end, we could think of no better way to celebrate our warmer-weather-craft-beer-excitement than heading to the Chicago Beer Festival. Kicking off it's second year, the CBF again found it's home in Union Station's Great Hall; just steps from the hustle and bustle of the arrival/departure train traffic, and befittingly as crowded as the popular Chicago thoroughfare itself. Although, the scene was admittedly less stuffed than last year's inaugural event, likely due to some drama stirred up before this year's event that caused many patrons to request admission refunds. In short, some rumors were stirred up that the soon-to-be American Beer Classic, to be held at Soldier Field in May, called 'shenanigans' on Chicago Beer Festival's drink disbursement policy, alerting the Illinois State Liquor Commission that they were instituting an 'all you can drink' offering, illegal in Illinois (and likely...everywhere). This caused the CBF to recall they're unlimited samplings and institute a 20-sampling punchcard instead. But, whatever the reason for the slightly thinner crowds, we enjoyed our 1-4PM first session of the fest and wasted no time going after some new offerings, on our hunt to name the Top 5 Beers of the day.