Omega Midnight Stout

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.

Catching Up With Ale Syndicate

Catching Up With Ale Syndicate

LOGAN SQUARE, CHICAGO

If you follow the Chicago craft scene, the name "Ale Syndicate" has likely popped up more than once in the last year or two. With humble beginning as the New Chicago Beer Co., they've had a busy couple years as they've rebranded and relocated, built a brew house from the remnants of an old train station, and expanded their award winning beer portfolio.

Back in April 2013, founders Sam and Jesse Evans walked us through their plans and took us on a tour of their brewery to be. Early 2014 marks a huge milestone for the Ale Syndicate crew as they put the finishing touches on their Green Exchange brewery. Set for a huge year, we jumped at the opportunity to track down the Ale Syndicate crew and catch up on their latest news.