Hometown Special: Chicago Edition
Thought you would only get an exclusive look of the East Coast Boulder Brew Babe? Don't worry, we wouldn't do that to you guys. Over Thanksgiving break Stephanie decided to give a little taste of sweet home Chicago on the Brew Babes' Tour. Stephanie was accompanied by honorary Boulder Brew Babe Sarah, her sister. Sarah lives in Wrigleyville, right next to the Chicago Cubs stadium. Needless to say, there is always something to do nearby. So we decided to take a break from the holiday festivities and relax while drinking an ice cold beer at Off Color Brewing: Mousetrap in the Old Town neighborhood. The really unique thing about this brewery is that it is "yeast forward," meaning they get the majority of their flavors from yeast instead of other ingredients. Sooo since Off Color focuses solely on yeast, the brewery does not make any IPAs... Alisa, the mega IPA lover, was very sad to hear we didn't enjoy a nice hoppy beer. However, even if you are an IPA lover like her, you will find plenty of brews that you will absolutely fall in love with. Our experience was definitely heightened by the bartender at Mousetrap. He was so knowledgable about the art of brewing and each individual brew itself. Stephanie will definitely be back during other holiday breaks to pick up one of Off Color's cute t-shirts to rep the amazing brewery.
Off Color Brewing has two locations, Logan Square and Old Town. The Logan Square location brews the main brews like Apex Predator, Tooth and Claw, Very Very Far, and Troublesome. The Old Town locations brews the experimental beers so they don't mix or contaminate the different flavors.
"A place to delve deep into the history of beer through the lens of the contemporary craft beer movement" - Off Color
Collaboration with the Chicago Field Museum
Off Color Brewing had the amazing opportunity to partner with one of Chicago's treasures, the Field Museum. After scientists discovered an ancient brewery in 2004, people started to wonder, could we possibly recreate an ancient beer? The brewery and museum came together to create a "Wari-inspired beer brewed with Peruvian purple corn and molle berries" (Thiel). How incredible is that? The first collaboration was such a big hit that Off Color rolled out their second collaboration with the Field Museum, "Wari Chicha de Molle, based off an ancient corn based beer or chicha." (Off Color Brewery).
"The Field Museum and Off Color Brewing have made a beer using 'fancy science shit' and a thousand-year-old recipe" -Julia Thiel
Brew Babes Featured Beers
Apex Predator: 6.5% ABV
Apex Predator is one of Off Color's most popular brews and for a very good reason. This is the closest think the brewery has to an IPA because it is a dry hopped farmhouse ale. It definitely smells like an IPA before your first sip, but don't let that fool you. The beer is very light with almost a lemony flavoring. So don't worry Alisa, you can get your IPA fix with this beer!
Scurry: 5.3% ABV
This beer gets you in the holiday mindset with the malty notes hitting you before your first sip. The honey flavors are definitely evident which actually makes the brew a tad dryer. They heavier flavors almost resembles a dessert beer like an American Guinness, obviously not as dark but very similar flavors. We can picture ourselves now at a holiday party with friends and family by the fire drinking this beer. Off Color hit the description right on the nose, "if it's sweater weather, it's most definitely #scurryseason!"
Known Gnome: 6.7% ABV
If only I'd gnome how amazing this drink was going to be, I would have order a 13 oz on my first pour. Known Gnome is such a unique beer because it is extremely light for a porter. You'd expect a heavier flavors because of traditional porters, but this one stands out from the rest. We caught on to the spices within the brew and were informed by the bartender that there were hints of licorice. However, don't let your stereotype of licorice scare you off because it has all of the good and none of the bad.
The Sun Also Rises: 7.0% ABV
If you are a fruity/tart beer fan, The Sun Also Rises is for you! It's jam packed with grapefruits, acerolas, red pomelos, and calamansis. Now if you are like us, you probably only recognize grapefruit out of all those ingredients. We'll break it down for you don't worry: acerolas are little red sweet cherries, red pomelos are basically grapefruits without the bitterness, and calamansis are just a sweeter lime. Off Color did not just come up with this amazing concoction by itself. The brewery partners with Jackie O's Brewing in Athen's Ohio to produce this Hemingway Daiquiri inspired brew. The Sun Also Rises definitely made the top of the Brew Babes' favorites list.
Very Very Far: 6.0% ABV
Very very far away in Chicago, Off Color brewed the 2019 Great American Beer Fest gold winner. Okay, maybe not that far away. If you have ever wanted to see what it takes to be a gold medalist, this beer is for you. The first taste seems pretty hoppy and we expected the hoppiness to escalate, but then it settles into a smooth flavor that is very pleasant. After you get over that initial strong flavor, Very Very Far becomes very easy to drink.
All of Off Color's beers are seasonal except for the 4 favorites. Once they run out of the seasonal beers, they are done making them for the year. So make sure you stop in the brewery to try as many seasonal beers as possible before they are gone! Unfortunately, Off Color does not offer flights of beer. Instead, you can order an 8 oz brew instead of the 13 oz. If you don't want to stay and enjoy your beer, you can always take a wine bottle size of your favorite brew home. Yes, you heard me, a WINE BOTTLE SIZE beer. What could be better than that?
4 Staple Off Color Brews:
Tooth and Class
Very Very Far
Want to go on vacation and visit Off Color Brewing: Mousetrap?
Old Town Location: 1460 N Kingsbury St, Chicago, IL 60642
Logan Square Location: 3925 W Dickens Ave, Chicago, IL 60647