Off Color Brewing

We brew beer. Sometimes we do other stuff, but not as well.

Internet home of Off Color Brewing in Chicago, Illinois.

We brew beer. Sometimes we do other stuff, but not as well.

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Beer Here!

Find current releases in our brewery Bottle Shop and To Go at our taproom.
Chicagolanders can utilize this BeerHunter site maintained by our local distributor
Windy City Distribution
To find it beyond... you're on your own. (Hint: Look up 12% Imports.)

Year Round Beers

Farmhouse Ale

When you brew as much as we do, sometimes we get tired of telling the yeast what to do. For Apex Predator Farmhouse Ale, we pitch the yeast cold, turn off the temperature control, and let the yeast do it's thing. To our delight, it spat out the sweet scent of juicy fruit wafting from a frothy, white mane. Brewed only with grain and sugar unencumbered by the heat of the kiln, we create a hazy, golden body. Apex Predator gets its teeth from a generous Crystal dry-hopping that completes the dry finish with a fruity bite. Pounce on the opportunity to let it part your lips and you may find yourself at the top of the food chain.

Availability: Year-round Draft and Bottles

ABV: 6.5%   |    IBU: 35

Malts: Pils and Flaked Wheat

Hops: Crystal and Sterling

Secret Techniques: Free rise fermentation and prey selection

Gose Style Beer

Most brewers spend a lot of time and effort keeping lactobacillus out of their breweries; it was the first thing we brought in (it still has to stay in the corner though). We blend together two different beers to make Troublesome. The first is a somewhat uninteresting wheat beer and the second is an overly acidic & funky beer fermented solely with lactobacillus. We blend the two beers together with coriander and salt at the tail end of fermentation to create a mild, lemony tartness and a fuller sensation of mouthfeel. And yes, it's hard to make. 

Availability: Year-round Draft and Bottles

ABV: 4.3%   |    IBU: 10

Hops: Northern Brewer

Malts: Pils, Wheat Malt, Flaked Wheat, Flaked Oats

Secret Ingredients: Coriander and Lactobacillus

Dry Hopped Lager

John likes bees. John's like of bees led him to hanging out with other people who like bees. Some of the other people who like bees work at The Field Museum. The Field Museum was opening a bistro and bar. John was opening a brewery. And that is pretty much the story of how Off Color and The Field Museum collaborated to make this crisp, clean pilsner with a dry-hopped bite far inferior to Sue's.

Availability: Year round in kegs and bottles

ABV: 5.0%

Gravity: 11.5 dP

IBUs: 35

Malts: Pils, Carapils, Pale Malt

Hops: Herkules, Tettnang, Hersbrucker

Secret Ingredient: Discovery

12 oz Specialty

Russian Serf Stout

Rather than a typical Imperial Stout, which quickly decimates you and buries you in the yard, this delicate beauty wraps a warm scarf around your neck and just tightens it, ever… so… gently. Also, we put Russian Serf Stout on the label because we got a lot of emails from people arguing you can't make a 3.5% RIS and we don't feel like going through all that again.

ABV: 3.5%  |    IBU: 25

Malts: Marris Otter, Dark Munich, Extra Special, Crystal 120, Dark Chocolate, Black Malt, Flaked Oats, Roasted Barley

Hops: Nugget

Secret Ingredients: Ambition

Coffee DinoS'mores (2017) | 10.5% alc/col

Every year we team up with a different roaster to make new friends and see how different roasters and small businesses operate. We couldn't be more excited to be working with Passion House Coffee Roastersthis year. During cupping, we fell in love with two different coffees and how they both added something unique. So we blended them. The first bean, an heirloom varietal hailing from the Sidamo region in Ethiopia, provides floral notes and citrusy acidity.  The second bean, a mix of Bourbon and Catuai varietals from a microlot in the La Paz region of Honduras, gives a chocolatey sweetness and heavy body to the coffee.  Together, these coffees show great balance, the pinnacle of careful work on the part of farmer, roaster, and brewer.

Coffee Dinosmores (2016) | 10.5%abv

We worked with Metric Coffee this for this years Coffee Dinosmores. Looking to highlight and expand upon the roasty, smokey aspect of the beer we chose a single origin bean from Sumatra - Ibu Rumani with classic dominant chocolate, pipe tobacco and cherry notes because big, dumb stupid flavors in the right proportions can be delicate and nuanced as well.

Table Beer

ABV: 3.8% | IBUs: 15

Malts: Pils, Special Aromatic, CaraMunich

Hops: Sterling

Secret Ingredients: Money, Sugar

 

Belgian Dark Strong

A big ole' dark beer filled with ethanol (and stone fruit esters)

ABV: 9.5% | IBUs: 28

Malts: Pils, Dark Munich, Oats, Dark Crystal

Hops: Nugget

Secret Ingredients: Dark Candi Syrup

Coffee Farmhouse Ale

0ur well-loved Farmhouse Ale, Apex Predator, gets a coffee kick. Metric Coffee's effervescent Ethiopia Hambela Abeba Genet contributes notes of jasmine, lime, honey, and berries. A bright, refreshing coffee beer: who knew?

ABV: 6.5%  |    IBU: 25

Malts: Pils, Flaked Wheat, Honey Malt

Hops: Crystal, Sterling

Secret Ingredients: Abeba Genet - Ethiopia

Applewood Smoked Wheat Beer

We brew this beer with 100% applewood smoked wheat to drink during brew days. Small so we can drink all day, but alluring enough to hold our attention. The only problem is no one makes applewood smoked wheat malt so we have to smoke it ourselves...which lengthens our brew day...so we need more beer. It's a vicious cycle of fragrant hops punctuating sweet, ephemeral applewood smoke. And if you don't want to drink it, fine. We'll drink it all ourselves.

ABV: 3.5% | IBUs: 37.6

Malts: Applewood Smoked Wheat

Hops: Simcoe, Sorachi Ace

Secret Ingredients: Water

Belgian Style Tripel

A bright, but strong Belgian Style Tripel with a heavy dose of Sorachi Ace hops brewed with the Chouffe yeast strain producing spicy yeast esters paired with a mandarin orange hop profile.

ABV: 8.5% | IBUs: 25

Malts: Pils

Hops: Nugget, Sorachi Ace

Secret Ingredients: No biting, scratching, kicking, of hair pulling

Berliner Weisse

Troublesome's meaner cousin will flail your tongue as hard as he can, but being such a little guy, you'll probably just pucker a bit. Spawned through an overnight kettle souring with our house lactobacillus culture, the wort emerges furious at what we did to it. Then, just because, we pitch a saison yeast and allow it to free rise to it's further distain. It comes out angrier than... uh, angrier than... well, something really angry. But at 3.8% ABV there's no reason for you to be too afraid.

In kegs and bottles

ABV: 3.8% | IBU: 3ish?

Malts: Pils, Wheat, Flaked Wheat

Hops: A little

Secret Ingredients: Lactobacillus, Napoleon complex

SPOTS Tiki Weisse Style Ale

Dense jungle and rainforest are the preferred habitat of jaguars, however as these areas are destroyed through deforestation these noble creatures are forced to roam farther and farther afield in search of the Tiki drinks and grilled cheese sandwiches that sustain them. A couple years ago, we ran into one at Sportsmans Club and shut down the patio with him. Amongst stories of travel and pouncing, he went on at length about his favorite cocktail bursting with all the sickly sweet aromas of passion fruit and grapefruit peel but balanced by a lively acidity and slight but world-wise touch of funk. We've done our best to pay homage to that fine beast and his libations and hope you find Spots as nimble and explosive as its namesake.

ABV: 3.8%

MALTS: Pils, Wheat, Flaked Wheat

HOPS: None of your business

SECRET INGREDIENTS: Passion Fruit, Grapefruit Peel, Funny Hats

Hibiscus Gose

Curious kittens sometimes get themselves into trouble. What they find out is some things are best left alone. Likewise, curious brewers sometimes add flowers and junk to their beer to see what'll happen. What they find out is those flowers will add a sweet note and stunning pink color to an otherwise tart and salty beer. 

ABV: 4.3%

MALTS: Pils, Wheat, Flaked Wheat, Oats

HOPS: Northern Brewer

SECRET INGREDIENTS: Hibiscus, Coriander, Salt

French Style Saison

A beret-wearing, baguette-eating, mustached farmhouse ale made with French malts, French saison yeast, and Australian hops... what?

Availability: Fall 2015 in mostly bottles

ABV: 6.5%   |   IBUs: 25

Malts: Pils, Wheat, Special Aromatic

Hops: Nelson Sauvin

Secret Ingredients: Google Translate

Berliner Weisse with Yuzu Fruit

Our kettle soured, free rise fermented Berliner Weisse with Yuzu fruit. It's ok to enjoy yuzu again!

Availability: Summer, Draft and bottles

ABV: 3.8% | IBU: 3ish?

Malts: Pils, Wheat, Flaked Wheat

Hops: A little

Secret Ingredients: Lactobacillus and Yuzu (duh!)

Chicha de Molle inspired ale 

We have some friends over at the Field Museum because they like animals and beer and stuff and we like animals and beer and stuff. We started saying we should work on making different beers together from countries other than England and Germany. It just so happened Dr. Ryan Williams was part of a team who discovered an ancient brewery in Cerro Baúl, Peru. They found a mill, boiling and fermenting vats and remnants of molle berries all around the brewery. You can read about it here. So we thought it would be fun to try to make a beer inspired by the ancient drink known as chicha de molle. All we had to do was import some purple corn from Peru, mill it up, spice it with molle berries and pump the beer into the closest thing we had to a ceramic vat, which is our old, beat up lactobacillus tank. What came out was a beer-like drink with a dry, grainy funk and pepper spiciness, plus it was deep purple in color with pink foam lacing. Made us wonder if the Wari's wished they drank out of glassware rather than ceramics.

Availability: dependent on Peruvian purple corn availability

ABV: 4.0% | IBUs: Negligible 

Malts: Pils, Peruvian Purple Corn, Honey Malt

Hops: The Green Kind

Secret Ingredient: Molle Berries, Excavation

Octoberfest Lager

A fest beer to celebrate the wedding of one of our favorite twenty employees! Brewed in the classic style of an Oktoberfest lager, except if you see it after October, then it is a Marzen.

6.5% ABV

Gravity 16.6

IBUs 12

Malt: Pils, Dark Munich, CaraMunich III, CaraPils

Hops: Nugget, Hersbrucker

Secret Techniques: Step Infusion and Polka Lagering

Biere de Garde

Inspired by our brewery puppy, Hops, Biere de Guard Dog seems sweet enough will a strong malt presence lead by Munich and Vienna malts. But at 7.3% ABV, it packs a bite. Just ask our delivery guy!

In kegs and bottles

ABV: 7.3%   |   IBUs: 20

Malts: Pils, Vienna, Dark Munch

Hops: Chinook, Strisselspalt

Secret Ingredients: Territorial Aggression

Wet Hopped Saison

Saison Wet hopped with Michigan Crystal hops... because wet hops are better than dry hops! (Well, maybe they are not better, but the certainly are not worse.)

Alc/vol: 6.5% | IBUs: 25

Malts: Pils, Flaked Wheat

Hops: Crystal

Secret Ingredients: Wet Hops From Hop Head Farms

Porter with Bark and Roots

The gnome's name is Alfie, and he's a good guy.

Known Gnome is a throwback to when old timey porter brewers tried to avoid paying hop taxes by (illegally) using quassia as a hop substitute. The bark of quassia came into fashion in the early 19th century as a bitter tonic in herbal medicine.Known Gnome also gets its unusual sweetness from licorice root and the naturally contained chemical glycyrrhizic acid which is 50 times sweeter tasting than sucrose. Notes of nuts and biscuits if they were briefly introduced to a coffee roaster. Sweetness and tannins further complement the biscuit backbone while it finishes dry on the palate with a kiss of fleeting brown malt.

Availability: Fall/Winter

ABV: 6.7% | IBU: What's IBUs?

Malts: Pale, Brown Malt, Oats, Dark Chocolate, Black Malt

Hops: Nugget

Secret Ingredients: Quassia Bark and Licorice root

Dark Honey Ale

Just cause it's dark and German doesn't mean it's an alt. Based on the obscure Kottbusser style of beer, this surprisingly dry beer retains all the aroma and nuance of honey (from bees) and molasses (not from bees) creating a perception of sweetness through cool, controlled fermentation. Because we're sweet enough damn it. 

ABV: 5.3%   |    IBU: 18

Hops: Strisselspalt, Nothern Brewer, Hallertau Hersbrucker

Malts: Pils, Dark Munich, Wheat Mal, Chocolate Malt, Flaked Oats

Secret Ingredients: Honey and Molasses

Imperial Marshmallow Stout

Amager Bryghus and West Lakeview Liquors Collaboration

When we launched BorrachaBaker made us some s'mores shaped like dinosaurs for our launch event. Then, we made an imperial stout with graham flour, marshmallow fluff, vanilla, and cocoa nibs with Amager and West Lakeview Liquors. Then, we brought this beer to the Brewpub Shootout and paired the beer named after the food with a food the beer wasn't named after. People were confused and named it best beer (or was it food?) at the Shootout. 

Availability: Draft and Bottle in the winter

ABV: 10.5%   |    IBU:40

Malts: Pale, Vienna, Wheat, Cara II, Extra Special, Flaked Oats, Dark Chocolate, Black, Roasted Barley

Hops: Nugget

Secret Ingredients: Marshmallow fluff, vanilla beans, molasses, graham flour, cocoa nibs

Finnish Style Sahti

A long time ago in Finland, a bunch of Finnish dudes built a sauna. It was nicer in there than it was outside, so they stayed in there until they ran out of beer. When they ran out of beer they still didn't want to go outside so they decided it would be better if they just started brewing their beer in the sauna. And so began the tradition of brewing this Finnish style beer in saunas. Chock full of rye and juniper and spicy yeast esters, our sahti might inspire you to build your own sauna to ride out this winter.

In kegs and bottles

ABV: 7.0%  |    IBU: 20

Malts: Pils, CaraRye, Rye Malt, Carapils, Red malt, Roasted barely

Hops: Nugget

Secret Ingredients: Juniper Berries

Prisoner’s Dilemma Aussie-Style Colonial Mild Ale with Herbs

This herbal beer was inspired by the story of James Squire, a British convict banished to Australia in the 18th century. He was later caught stealing horehound and pepper from a local pharmacy to use in his homebrew, which he sold to people around town, including the local authorities. Instead of execution they sentenced him to 150 lash of the whip. After his sentence was up he became a successful businessman and was celebrated for first cultivating hops in Australia. Prisoner's Dilemma is brewed with horehound for (a sharp and menthol- like) bittering as well as coriander, grains of paradise, and costmary (another historically significant herb that is nearly impossible to source so Dave grew some in the back of the brewery). The name Prisoner's Dilemma is based on a concept in game theory but economic theory is beyond the scope of this webpage.

Availability: Fall

ABV: 5.4% | IBU: What's IBUs?

Malts: Mild, Crystal Malt

Hops: Nugget

Secret Ingredients: Horehound, Grains of Paradise, Coriander, Costmary

Zwickel Lager

Mouserap Specialties

  A native fermented Belgian Style Ale inoculated with yeasts harvested from spontaneously fermenting apple cider. Complex interplay between dark soil, hay, tannic apple skin, and dried apricots with a subtle, balancing tartness. 

A native fermented Belgian Style Ale inoculated with yeasts harvested from spontaneously fermenting apple cider. Complex interplay between dark soil, hay, tannic apple skin, and dried apricots with a subtle, balancing tartness. 

    Sudachi is a seldom seen Asian citrus fruit akin to yuzu but with a deeper, more complex character which mingles pleasantly with the mild tartness and floral notes from our wild house culture. Mid-pallet is reminiscent of lemon tart, preserved limes and meringue fading into the softness of white tea suitable for idle afternoons reading poetry underneath April's soft, warming rains.

 

Sudachi is a seldom seen Asian citrus fruit akin to yuzu but with a deeper, more complex character which mingles pleasantly with the mild tartness and floral notes from our wild house culture. Mid-pallet is reminiscent of lemon tart, preserved limes and meringue fading into the softness of white tea suitable for idle afternoons reading poetry underneath April's soft, warming rains.

  Primary co-fermenation of Apex Predator farmhouse yeast and Brettanomyces claussenii exudes pineapple and mixed fruit esters with a hint of barn cat funk. The grungeist dry hop addition add a peach and floral backend along with a dry finish.

Primary co-fermenation of Apex Predator farmhouse yeast and Brettanomyces claussenii exudes pineapple and mixed fruit esters with a hint of barn cat funk. The grungeist dry hop addition add a peach and floral backend along with a dry finish.

  Wild Farmhouse Ale    ABV:  7.8% |  IBU:  21    Malts:  Pils, Flaked Wheat, Special Aromatic, Dark Munich     Hops:  Galaxy, Sterling     Secret Ingredients:  Oxygen   Bretty, funky and striped for camouflage, Space Tiger is a larger cousin our our other lion based farmhouse ales.  Fermented with our house funk culture and hopped with a blend of Galaxy, Kazbek and Sterling for a melange of lemon, farmhouse, and tropical notes. Some from the hops and some from the different brett cultures just getting weird with it. I mean, we miss David Bowie too.

Wild Farmhouse Ale

ABV: 7.8% | IBU: 21

Malts: Pils, Flaked Wheat, Special Aromatic, Dark Munich

Hops: Galaxy, Sterling

Secret Ingredients: Oxygen

Bretty, funky and striped for camouflage, Space Tiger is a larger cousin our our other lion based farmhouse ales.

Fermented with our house funk culture and hopped with a blend of Galaxy, Kazbek and Sterling for a melange of lemon, farmhouse, and tropical notes. Some from the hops and some from the different brett cultures just getting weird with it. I mean, we miss David Bowie too.

 Jonesy - American Wild Ale with Buddhas Hand  House wild yeasts add a mild acidity and pineapple rind funk to the bright fragrance of Buddhas Hand - a fingered citron indigenous to South East Asia reminiscent of peach tea, elderflower and tangerines.

Jonesy - American Wild Ale with Buddhas Hand

House wild yeasts add a mild acidity and pineapple rind funk to the bright fragrance of Buddhas Hand - a fingered citron indigenous to South East Asia reminiscent of peach tea, elderflower and tangerines.

 Barrel-Aged Growl Quadrupel Ale aged in Rye Whiskey Barrels     Availability:  Fall    ABV:  10% |   GRAVITY:  20 P  |  IBUs:  28   MALTS:  Pils, Dark Munich, Oats, Dark Crystal   HOPS:  Nugget   SECRET INGREDIENTS:  Dark Candi Syrup, Second-use Willett 2 Year Rye Barrels  

Barrel-Aged Growl Quadrupel Ale aged in Rye Whiskey Barrels  

Availability: Fall 

ABV: 10% | GRAVITY: 20 P | IBUs: 28

MALTS: Pils, Dark Munich, Oats, Dark Crystal

HOPS: Nugget

SECRET INGREDIENTS: Dark Candi Syrup, Second-use Willett 2 Year Rye Barrels
 

   QingMing , 9.5% abv, $16/750mL bottle   Inspired by artifacts discovered during archaeological digs in Taixi and a Changzikou tomb dating from the Late Shang/Western Zhou Dynasties circa 1600-722 bce, this a modern recreation of Chang. A stronger, drier herbal version of Li, a sweet, low abv rice- or millet-based "beer." Rather than a strict recreation of a single dig site, we chose to make an amalgam because existing evidence shows a wide range of beverage types were produced... and the federal government decided that many of the ingredients and flavorings being used at the time are not currently legal to use in beer production. Of particular interest, these sites have some very early evidence of mold based sacchrificaton - China's unique contribution to the production of alcoholic beverages.  Taste profile is of peaches and lemon rind with fragrant aromas of tea, bubblegum, and sake followed by an onslaught of complex fruit, herbal, and floral character. Body is dry and effervescent with the warming alcohol dissipating quickly from the palate leaving one with the perception of nectar, honey, and perfumed rice.

QingMing, 9.5% abv, $16/750mL bottle

Inspired by artifacts discovered during archaeological digs in Taixi and a Changzikou tomb dating from the Late Shang/Western Zhou Dynasties circa 1600-722 bce, this a modern recreation of Chang. A stronger, drier herbal version of Li, a sweet, low abv rice- or millet-based "beer." Rather than a strict recreation of a single dig site, we chose to make an amalgam because existing evidence shows a wide range of beverage types were produced... and the federal government decided that many of the ingredients and flavorings being used at the time are not currently legal to use in beer production. Of particular interest, these sites have some very early evidence of mold based sacchrificaton - China's unique contribution to the production of alcoholic beverages.

Taste profile is of peaches and lemon rind with fragrant aromas of tea, bubblegum, and sake followed by an onslaught of complex fruit, herbal, and floral character. Body is dry and effervescent with the warming alcohol dissipating quickly from the palate leaving one with the perception of nectar, honey, and perfumed rice.

  Hellbroth   Danish Style American Wild Ale  6.3% ALC/VOL  GRAVITY: 14.3 P  IBUs: 21  MALTS: Pils, Flaked Wheat, Vienna  HOPS: Herkules, Sterling, Hersbrucker  SECRET INGREDIENTS: Cranberries, Juniper Berries, Wild Blossom Honey, Lemon Blossom Honey  Pinkish tinged and funk forward, juxtaposing the softness of the honeys with a complex acid profile with the lactic hues of our house lactobacillus and wild yeasties and deeper tannic/malic acid of fresh cranberries. Supposed technically this would be a wild biere de miel at heart.

Hellbroth

Danish Style American Wild Ale

6.3% ALC/VOL

GRAVITY: 14.3 P

IBUs: 21

MALTS: Pils, Flaked Wheat, Vienna

HOPS: Herkules, Sterling, Hersbrucker

SECRET INGREDIENTS: Cranberries, Juniper Berries, Wild Blossom Honey, Lemon Blossom Honey

Pinkish tinged and funk forward, juxtaposing the softness of the honeys with a complex acid profile with the lactic hues of our house lactobacillus and wild yeasties and deeper tannic/malic acid of fresh cranberries. Supposed technically this would be a wild biere de miel at heart.

 Class War | 10% Gotlandsdricka  Gotlandsdricka, or Gotlandsdricke, is the indigenous farmhouse ale of Gotland, the largest island in Sweden. A cousin to the Finnish Sahti, it's similarly kept alive by a handful of old men and very much in danger of dying off with them. Was taught how to make it by the head brewer at Nårke over the course of several, several beers where he made me run through several books he had with him a the bar despite the fact that a) they were in Swedish b) there were no pictures and c) I don't speak Swedish. Undeterred, he carried on and felt it was very important to discuss the tradition of brewing dricke and also that there are different sexes of juniper trees.  Our version is deeply spicy with both malted and unmalted rye and a hefty addition of juniper but, while rich, finishes dry and fruity thanks to a large honey addition and a portion of malt Dave smoked by hand over pear wood in the backyard. ABV is deceptive and balances against the stonefruit sweetness of dark munich. At 9.5% it should leave you well prepared for the brave new world we're heading into or at least blissfully despondent. Just remember, vikings didn't have health insurance either. Gonna go ahead and guess lots of us won't anymore, so we have priced Class War accordingly. Brewing for the proletariat.

Class War | 10% Gotlandsdricka

Gotlandsdricka, or Gotlandsdricke, is the indigenous farmhouse ale of Gotland, the largest island in Sweden. A cousin to the Finnish Sahti, it's similarly kept alive by a handful of old men and very much in danger of dying off with them. Was taught how to make it by the head brewer at Nårke over the course of several, several beers where he made me run through several books he had with him a the bar despite the fact that a) they were in Swedish b) there were no pictures and c) I don't speak Swedish. Undeterred, he carried on and felt it was very important to discuss the tradition of brewing dricke and also that there are different sexes of juniper trees.

Our version is deeply spicy with both malted and unmalted rye and a hefty addition of juniper but, while rich, finishes dry and fruity thanks to a large honey addition and a portion of malt Dave smoked by hand over pear wood in the backyard. ABV is deceptive and balances against the stonefruit sweetness of dark munich. At 9.5% it should leave you well prepared for the brave new world we're heading into or at least blissfully despondent. Just remember, vikings didn't have health insurance either. Gonna go ahead and guess lots of us won't anymore, so we have priced Class War accordingly. Brewing for the proletariat.

 I'm Sorry | 7.2% Belgian Ale brewed with roses  The aroma at first blush is a layered cloudburst of flowers, nectar, and white fruits offered in apology to the onslaught of flavors of peach, Juicy Fruit gum, and rose petals which quickly evaporates off the tongue leaving a delectable dry finish and sense of euphoria that comes with a return to the good graces of one's stung love.

I'm Sorry | 7.2% Belgian Ale brewed with roses

The aroma at first blush is a layered cloudburst of flowers, nectar, and white fruits offered in apology to the onslaught of flavors of peach, Juicy Fruit gum, and rose petals which quickly evaporates off the tongue leaving a delectable dry finish and sense of euphoria that comes with a return to the good graces of one's stung love.

 Biere de Miel  John likes gin, but John makes beer. To reconcile these two things, John made a Bee's Knees cocktail inspired honey saison made with gin spices and lemon juice.   Availability: Now, and maybe later; Draft and Bottles  ABV: 7.5%   |    IBU: 15  Malts: Pils and Flaked Wheat  Hops: Liberty, Santiam, Sorchi Ace  Secret Ingredients: Honey, Lemon Zest, Lemon Juice, Juniper, Coriander, Chamomile, and Rose Hips

Biere de Miel

John likes gin, but John makes beer. To reconcile these two things, John made a Bee's Knees cocktail inspired honey saison made with gin spices and lemon juice. 

Availability: Now, and maybe later; Draft and Bottles

ABV: 7.5%   |    IBU: 15

Malts: Pils and Flaked Wheat

Hops: Liberty, Santiam, Sorchi Ace

Secret Ingredients: Honey, Lemon Zest, Lemon Juice, Juniper, Coriander, Chamomile, and Rose Hips

  Blueberries Feel Pain   American Wild Ale Fermented with Blueberry Juice  8.1% Alc/vol  MALTS: Pils, Wheat, Vienna, Spelt  HOPS: Nugget, Sterling  SECRET INGREDIENTS: Blueberry juice, Native yeast harvested from blueberry skins  One mid-summer day, John and a group of furry cohorts we navigating through a blueberry field. Suddenly one of his furry friends, who had just gone through a difficult breakup, started bashing blueberries with a mallet. John said to the creature, "Friend, fret not for we will bring these blueberries back to the brewery and save them for you to snack on later." John put the blueberries by his desk and then forgot about them. As days turned to weeks, the blueberries began to ferment, as stuff by John's desk tends to do. As weeks turned to months, a spicy, almost peppery aromatic began wafting from the corner. Re-discovering the blueberries, John decided to try and make a beer with them. Also because he wanted to play off out like that was his plan the whole time. Now that the beer is here, we can only look back at that faithful day with joy and be thankful about that furious, furry creature.   

Blueberries Feel Pain

American Wild Ale Fermented with Blueberry Juice

8.1% Alc/vol

MALTS: Pils, Wheat, Vienna, Spelt

HOPS: Nugget, Sterling

SECRET INGREDIENTS: Blueberry juice, Native yeast harvested from blueberry skins

One mid-summer day, John and a group of furry cohorts we navigating through a blueberry field. Suddenly one of his furry friends, who had just gone through a difficult breakup, started bashing blueberries with a mallet. John said to the creature, "Friend, fret not for we will bring these blueberries back to the brewery and save them for you to snack on later." John put the blueberries by his desk and then forgot about them. As days turned to weeks, the blueberries began to ferment, as stuff by John's desk tends to do. As weeks turned to months, a spicy, almost peppery aromatic began wafting from the corner. Re-discovering the blueberries, John decided to try and make a beer with them. Also because he wanted to play off out like that was his plan the whole time. Now that the beer is here, we can only look back at that faithful day with joy and be thankful about that furious, furry creature.

 

  Market Rate   Brewed annually for Green City Market BBQ, with both unripened green and ripened Mara de Bois strawberries from the market, this is the first time we've let  Market Rate    sleep in wine barrels peacefully for 17 months.  Green strawberries lend a unique acidic note while the diminutively sized Mara des Bois have a potent aromatic burst more reminiscent of slicing into fresh berries than stewed jam.  A wisp of gin elevates the character from a small addition of three year old gin barrel aged saison we opted to blend in at the last second because at this point you all know John tends to add gin to things at the last second.  Bright chords of honey and meadow flowers overlay light, toasted malts that play base for the vibrant fruit- and fermentation-based acidity. The finish is dry with a dose of American oak for structure leaving one reminded of vanilla, cracked black pepper, strawberry seeds, and late spring naps. We weren't planning on releasing any more wild beers out of Dickens but nature has it's own schedule.   American Wild aged in wine barrels with strawberries    5.8% ABV    MALTS: Pils, Flaked Wheat, Wheat Malt    SECRET INGREDIENTS: Blend of wild house cultures fermented in wine barrels with ripened Mara des Bois strawberries, and unripened green strawberries.

Market Rate

Brewed annually for Green City Market BBQ, with both unripened green and ripened Mara de Bois strawberries from the market, this is the first time we've let Market Rate sleep in wine barrels peacefully for 17 months.

Green strawberries lend a unique acidic note while the diminutively sized Mara des Bois have a potent aromatic burst more reminiscent of slicing into fresh berries than stewed jam.

A wisp of gin elevates the character from a small addition of three year old gin barrel aged saison we opted to blend in at the last second because at this point you all know John tends to add gin to things at the last second.

Bright chords of honey and meadow flowers overlay light, toasted malts that play base for the vibrant fruit- and fermentation-based acidity. The finish is dry with a dose of American oak for structure leaving one reminded of vanilla, cracked black pepper, strawberry seeds, and late spring naps. We weren't planning on releasing any more wild beers out of Dickens but nature has it's own schedule.

American Wild aged in wine barrels with strawberries

5.8% ABV

MALTS: Pils, Flaked Wheat, Wheat Malt

SECRET INGREDIENTS: Blend of wild house cultures fermented in wine barrels with ripened Mara des Bois strawberries, and unripened green strawberries.

 Papillion (750 mL bottles)  Batch One of Papillon won gold at 2014 FOBAB...though you may remember it as "We Can Do This Too, Cory King." We were able to get our grubby little hands on enough gin barrels for aging a big enough batch to actually bottle it (even if it is only 118 cases). Which is good because we have all these wild yeasts and bacteria around, and everyone here likes gin. The oldest beer in this blend has been in our first barrels (the ones that taught us you can't fit a full sized gin barrel in a Honda Civic) for three years and is blended with two year old beer from wine barrels and "freshened" with a little one year old wild ale also aged in wine. Unfortunately, all these barrels were pitched with varieties of our indigenous house cultures and not spontaneously fermented so we can't claim Jester King's Method Gueuze. Would have been pretty sweet to rename it "We Can Do That Too, Averie Swanson." Oh well. She's dead to us anyway.  Moderately acidic and highly floral. On the first sip, dense wood wood immediately supplies structural tannins before bursting with honeysuckle, gooseberry, juniper and lychee that flashes to jasmine in an unbelievably light, ephemeral finish. A study in duality. Subsequent search finds layers of funk, sweet tarts and a surprisingly present malt character for a beer this old.

Papillion (750 mL bottles)

Batch One of Papillon won gold at 2014 FOBAB...though you may remember it as "We Can Do This Too, Cory King." We were able to get our grubby little hands on enough gin barrels for aging a big enough batch to actually bottle it (even if it is only 118 cases). Which is good because we have all these wild yeasts and bacteria around, and everyone here likes gin. The oldest beer in this blend has been in our first barrels (the ones that taught us you can't fit a full sized gin barrel in a Honda Civic) for three years and is blended with two year old beer from wine barrels and "freshened" with a little one year old wild ale also aged in wine. Unfortunately, all these barrels were pitched with varieties of our indigenous house cultures and not spontaneously fermented so we can't claim Jester King's Method Gueuze. Would have been pretty sweet to rename it "We Can Do That Too, Averie Swanson." Oh well. She's dead to us anyway.

Moderately acidic and highly floral. On the first sip, dense wood wood immediately supplies structural tannins before bursting with honeysuckle, gooseberry, juniper and lychee that flashes to jasmine in an unbelievably light, ephemeral finish. A study in duality. Subsequent search finds layers of funk, sweet tarts and a surprisingly present malt character for a beer this old.

COLLABORATIONS (OF DAYS PAST)

 For years whenever people asked what our favorite beer was we'd say High Life. (And not only because they'd send over cases of High Life when we said it.) A couple years ago we approached Lisa Zimmer at Miller about brewing a collaboration together. Big meets small. Technical acumen and resource meets magic and wishful thinking. Because at the end of the day, we're all brewers. Beer is beer and it's high time the trope of us vs them is replaced with an understanding of how big and varied the world is. There are more things in the heavens and earth, Horatio, than dreamt of in your philosophy.      Turning such a big ship takes time but Lisa was relentless and John was stubborn and cases of High Life kept showing up at the brewery. Finally, in June we went up to Miller in Milwaukee to learn the secrets of the Lady in the Moon, brewed a ludicrously small ten barrel batch of High Life on their pilot system and drank a bunch of High Life. Needless to say, we were giddy. Shortly thereafter, Miller's R&D brewers came down and we brewed Eeek! here in Chicago...and drank a bunch of High Life before drinking even more High Life at Sportsman's Club.      As High Life is a pinnacle of technical brewing expertise, we went rustic AF for Eeek!, blending all of our wild acidic and funky mixed cultures together with house lactobacillus and set them loose on base High Life (like) wort. After a month of unregulated primary fermentation, we turned on the jackets and lagered Eeek! for an additional three weeks before bottling conditioning with Champagne yeast. Because, obviously.     Aroma is bright tangerine, mild hay, lemon pepper, wild blueberries and pineapple funk. Delicate and perfectly light in body with a groundswell of yuzu-like acidity spiking to a delectable finish of wildflowers and nectar. 

For years whenever people asked what our favorite beer was we'd say High Life. (And not only because they'd send over cases of High Life when we said it.) A couple years ago we approached Lisa Zimmer at Miller about brewing a collaboration together. Big meets small. Technical acumen and resource meets magic and wishful thinking. Because at the end of the day, we're all brewers. Beer is beer and it's high time the trope of us vs them is replaced with an understanding of how big and varied the world is. There are more things in the heavens and earth, Horatio, than dreamt of in your philosophy. 

 

Turning such a big ship takes time but Lisa was relentless and John was stubborn and cases of High Life kept showing up at the brewery. Finally, in June we went up to Miller in Milwaukee to learn the secrets of the Lady in the Moon, brewed a ludicrously small ten barrel batch of High Life on their pilot system and drank a bunch of High Life. Needless to say, we were giddy. Shortly thereafter, Miller's R&D brewers came down and we brewed Eeek! here in Chicago...and drank a bunch of High Life before drinking even more High Life at Sportsman's Club. 

 

As High Life is a pinnacle of technical brewing expertise, we went rustic AF for Eeek!, blending all of our wild acidic and funky mixed cultures together with house lactobacillus and set them loose on base High Life (like) wort. After a month of unregulated primary fermentation, we turned on the jackets and lagered Eeek! for an additional three weeks before bottling conditioning with Champagne yeast. Because, obviously.

 

Aroma is bright tangerine, mild hay, lemon pepper, wild blueberries and pineapple funk. Delicate and perfectly light in body with a groundswell of yuzu-like acidity spiking to a delectable finish of wildflowers and nectar. 

  Brewed with our friends at Perennial and Side Project for Northdown Taproom's annual fundraiser for the Wildcat Sanctuary, Procatstination rotates host breweries every year and debuts at Lions, Tigers and Beers. This third iteration was brewed and blended here in Chicago from a blend of fresh wine barrels and matured barrelstock from Side Project all dosed with bugs from last year's beer.    Procatstination 2016 bursts with a menagerie of lime zest, gooseberry and lychee fruit. Bright vinous notes are coupled with dense french oak to providing structure and a stage for the interplay of deep malic and zestier lactic/citric acidity. Finish is long, dry and comforting. Like dozing on the sunny spot of the carpet.  Artwork by the indomitable Jill Thompson, best known for her work illustrating for Sandman, Wonder Woman and Scary Godmother

Brewed with our friends at Perennial and Side Project for Northdown Taproom's annual fundraiser for the Wildcat Sanctuary, Procatstination rotates host breweries every year and debuts at Lions, Tigers and Beers. This third iteration was brewed and blended here in Chicago from a blend of fresh wine barrels and matured barrelstock from Side Project all dosed with bugs from last year's beer. 

Procatstination 2016 bursts with a menagerie of lime zest, gooseberry and lychee fruit. Bright vinous notes are coupled with dense french oak to providing structure and a stage for the interplay of deep malic and zestier lactic/citric acidity. Finish is long, dry and comforting. Like dozing on the sunny spot of the carpet.

Artwork by the indomitable Jill Thompson, best known for her work illustrating for Sandman, Wonder Woman and Scary Godmother

 Bonaparte's Revenge (750 mL bottles)  Remember those big ass puncheons we bought? You know, the ones Whiskers came out of? Well, obviously we put them back to work a while back for our third or maybe eighth Side Project collab. Honestly, we've lost track. Always enjoy brewing with Cory King a) because he's devilishly handsome and b) we make beer very differently. Obviously, the basics are all the same and our approach isn't THAT different but we do spend a lot of time making fun of each other over relatively minor, insider baseball choices...like Cory's saisons are mashed in at a higher pH and he uses spelt constantly because he thinks the protein character combine to make his beers "fluffy" while we'll add 5% or so sucrose to saisons to f*ck with the yeast as they come out of the lag phase so they'll spit out more ester. The biggest difference, though, is Side Project beer is blended to be much more acidic than the beers we will typically blend. In fact, we've blended our individual house cultures several times and this is the first time Side Project's have dominated so strongly. Surprising since Side Project bugs are such strong acid producers and ours tend to be more floral/funky with moderate acid production.  It's a hoot, though, to welcome his bugs into our barrel stock and figure out how to use it harmoniously with ours. The whole point of working with collaborators is to expose each other to new ideas and push each other outside our comfort zones and it's such a joy to continue doing so with Cory. Don't 100% recall if we cast wort directly to barrels or if we cast to stainless to homogenize cell count then racked to wood on day two...something we like to do when tank space allows. Base beer was brewed and barreled 14 months ago and citrus was added at 11 months. Brew ID was #187 if, like Ron Jeffries at Jolly Pumpkin, you still listen to gangster rap from the 90s on #FYRJ.

Bonaparte's Revenge (750 mL bottles)

Remember those big ass puncheons we bought? You know, the ones Whiskers came out of? Well, obviously we put them back to work a while back for our third or maybe eighth Side Project collab. Honestly, we've lost track. Always enjoy brewing with Cory King a) because he's devilishly handsome and b) we make beer very differently. Obviously, the basics are all the same and our approach isn't THAT different but we do spend a lot of time making fun of each other over relatively minor, insider baseball choices...like Cory's saisons are mashed in at a higher pH and he uses spelt constantly because he thinks the protein character combine to make his beers "fluffy" while we'll add 5% or so sucrose to saisons to f*ck with the yeast as they come out of the lag phase so they'll spit out more ester. The biggest difference, though, is Side Project beer is blended to be much more acidic than the beers we will typically blend. In fact, we've blended our individual house cultures several times and this is the first time Side Project's have dominated so strongly. Surprising since Side Project bugs are such strong acid producers and ours tend to be more floral/funky with moderate acid production.  It's a hoot, though, to welcome his bugs into our barrel stock and figure out how to use it harmoniously with ours. The whole point of working with collaborators is to expose each other to new ideas and push each other outside our comfort zones and it's such a joy to continue doing so with Cory. Don't 100% recall if we cast wort directly to barrels or if we cast to stainless to homogenize cell count then racked to wood on day two...something we like to do when tank space allows. Base beer was brewed and barreled 14 months ago and citrus was added at 11 months. Brew ID was #187 if, like Ron Jeffries at Jolly Pumpkin, you still listen to gangster rap from the 90s on #FYRJ.

Beer Geek Mus!  |  3.5% Russian Serf Stout

Brewed with Mikkeller

Rather than a typical Imperial Stout, which quickly decimates you and buries you in the yard, this delicate beauty wraps a warm scarf around your neck and just tightens it, ever… so… gently. Exclamation point optional, but preferred.

Availability: Draft, Summer and Fall of 2013

Tonnerre Neige  |  8.5% Belgian Strong Golden

Brewed with Three Floyds

Echoing the constant bickering between Belgium’s French and Flemish speaking regions, we brewed a beer halfway between a Belgian Strong Golden and a Super Saison. Then we pitched in both Belgian yeast and French Saison yeast to let them fight it out.

Availability: Draft, Spring and Summer of 2013... of what wasn't pigeonholed away

CORYBANTIC | Wild Ale Brewed with Side Project

Prairie Dog Attack  |  7.5% Farmhouse Ale

Brewed with Prairie Artisan Ales

Chase Healey, founder and brewmaster of Prairie Brewing, recently paid Off Color a visit to collaborate on a beer. Chase, Dave and John brewed a beer so dry some claimed they didn't use water. The resulting beer was a deliciously palatable Tettnanger dry hopped farmhouse ale fermented with Prairie's saison yeast and Off Color's lactobacillus colony.

Smoked Bock   |  6.5%

Brewed with Metropolitan

Dave went to home depot, spent $45 and built a home-make malt smoker. Then him and Doug smoked a bunch of Vienna malt with maple wood and used it in a classic bock recipe. John meanwhile met with the insurance agent to get insurance. Both ventures were successful.

Availability: One half-barrel, March 10th, 2013- March 11th, 2013

Pink Pils   |   5.0%

Brewed with Metropolitan

We used a heritage strain of purple rice in a pils to trick Doug and Tracy into making their first adjunct lager. Unfortunately, they were onto us from the start. They’re smarter than we are... which is good because we learned most of what we know about building a brewery from them.

Availability: One half-barrel, March 10th, 2013- March 11th, 2013

Halfbock   |   3.5%

Brewed with Haymarket

We wanted to make something super small so we would have something to drink all day at our popup bar without falling over. Then, we figured there's a bock and a doppelbock so why not half of one? It didn't work. Well, the beer did but John stood up on the bar half naked and drunkenly rambled at everyone for unknown reasons. Or, as he tells the story, “I was calmly drinking a bottle of rum and then woke up at home."

Availability: Draft, Spring 2013

RADIOLARIA | 4.5 % ABV | American Wild

Our collaboration with Jester King in our first large format release. 

Availability: Get it before it is gone forever

ABV: 4.5%   |    IBU: 40

Malts: Pils, Flaked Wheat, Special Aromatic

Hops: Sorachi Ace

Secret Ingredients: House blends of indigenous yeasts and bacteria from the wilds of Texas and the frozen depths of Chicago.

RATS IN THE ASHES|  Belgian Half Quad

Brewed with Three Floyds

When Three Floyds comes knocking at your door with a half barrel of Alpha King asking to do another collaboration... you say yes. This time around we brewed as standard strength Belgian style Quad with D2 sugar and some yeast the Floyds stole from Belgium.

Availability: Draft only

Availability: Draft, Late Summer 2013

WHISKERS | Rose Style Wild Ale Aged in Wine Puncheons brewed with Central State

Silver Medal winner - FoBAB 2015

 

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