Why Milwaukee Beer?

June 23, 2009 at 8:17 am

I was asked “Why didn’t you start your beer column with Chicago? Aren’t there a lot of breweries and brewpubs right here? There are multiple answers.

1. Editor at Large Rob Gardner cornered me shortly after a trip to Milwaukee. Milwaukee was fresh on the brain. So I wrote about Milwaukee. Deal with it.

2. For a city of its size, Chicago has a slightly disappointing craft brewing presence. MontrĂ©al, a city half Chicago’s size, has a much more vibrant craft brewing scene, as documented here.

3. But, at the same time, you can make a case that Chicago is responsible for a significant portion of the country’s beer supply – even if the breweries aren’t physically here. MillerCoors is headquartered downtown. And Pabst headquarters are in Woodridge. (Both companies make it less than obvious that their corporate headquarters are in the Chicago area.)

4. Dammit, I’ll get to Chicago area breweries and brewpubs. Give me a chance. Some are very good, some, not so much. C’mon back to The Local Beet every day or so for the articles. After you’re finished looking at the good ones, you can read what I’ve written about beer.