Flights: Whiner Beer Co. in ChicagoFebruary 15, 2017
Located in Chicago’s Back of the Yards neighborhood—famous for the once-great stockyards that inspired its name (see The Jungle)—Whiner Beer Co. (1400 W. 46th St. #104) embraces the story of its industrial setting. A ram’s head hangs above the bar, like some gothic joke nodding to the neighborhood’s past. The decorative scheme includes plants planted in the brewery’s tables, steampunk lighting and a color palette dominated by dark wood and exposed concrete. It all betrays the nature of the predominantly wild and sour beers available at the bar: industrially efficient, self-aware, aesthetically beautiful and very tongue-in-cheek. Each 5-ounce sample is $3.
*Et La Tête!
5.3 % | Kölsch-Style Beer w/ Honeycrisp Apples
Snappier than the first bite of an apple picked fresh in cool weather, this beer immediately dispels any worry of a cloying fruit bomb. Honeycrisps reinvent the apple skin note of some kölsches and lagers for the better, adding a light, ciderlike sweetness and a welcome touch of astringency to this beer’s crackery backbone.
Soupe Du Jour
6.8 % | Barrel-Aged, Kettle-Soured Wild Ale w/ Brett Brux Trois Vrai
Tannins and winelike flavors from the Cabernet barrels in which this beer is partly aged leap to the forefront in bright, bold flavors reminiscent of a dry, sparkling Lambrusco. This rosé-colored pour ends with a semisweet, vinegar-laced and fruity aftertaste that calls to mind chutney … in a good way.
6.8 % | Oak-Fermented Wild Ale w/ Strawberries
All-oak fermentation and barrel-aging soften the quiet bite of this beer, which delights with flavors of strawberry frappe, vanilla and toasted almonds.
6.8 % | Cabernet-Barrel-Aged Wild Saison w/ Hibiscus & Strawberries
Pours a beautiful, rich hibiscus red and has a floral bouquet to match. The flavor is all raspberries up front with a flowery edge, then it segues into vanilla, crackers and funk before ending on tannic hibiscus tea.
6.1 % | Cabernet-Wine-Barrel-Aged Saison w/ Blackberries, Pears & Brett Brux Trois Vrai
This beer is toasty and lightly sweet. Notes of almonds, light oak and vanilla mingle with funk as they evolve into impressions of pear, cassis and cream.
*Order the full pint