Monday, April 15, 2013

Back to Beer

It's been a long time! I actually forgot about this blog, and for some reason it popped in to my head tonight. Stay tuned for an update coming soon. We'll get back in the swing with a liquor store review (top 5 in the Region).

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Top 5 Northwest Indiana Beer Stores

1. Liquor Stop in Highland, IN. This store is located just north of Dunkin' Donuts and south of Texas Corral on Indianapolis Boulevard. "Harry" has a great selection of beer, including some very hard to find favorites. Liquor Stop has the largest selection of micro and craft beer in the area and stock is rotated on a regular basis, meaning that each time you go, you're likely to find something new. This fall, I was able to find 15-20 examples of Oktoberfest style and Marzen beer from all over the world. The liquor and wine selection is pretty good too. You can also find glassware for enjoying your favorite styles, as well as the latest edition of The Great Lakes Brewing News. As if this wasn't enough, the staff is very friendly and knowledgable.

2. Pete's Liquor Bucket in Merrillville, IN. Pete's can be found on 80th Place and Merrillville Road, next to the Merrillville BMV and Ted's Imported Foods. Pete's also has a great selection, but CHECK THE DATES! I've seen some beer that should not be on the shelves because it is past it's prime. The prices seem pretty good too, considering the hop shortage and inflation. Pete's seems to lack some to the domestic craft beer that can be found at The Liquor Stop (Stone, Rogue, Breckenridge etc..). All in all, Pete's is a pretty good place for craft beer, and has earned the number 2 spot on the list.

3. Wise Guys Crown Point, IN. This store is located in the WiseWay strip mall at 93rd and Main Street. What we have here is a liquor store owned by the guy that handles the alcohol purchasing for the WiseWay stores. Their micro/craft selection is minimal at best, but you will still find some. The other "good beer" (Sam Adams, Leinie's, Amstel, etc...) is available at a great price. Recently, I paid just over $10.00 for a 12 pack of Boston Lager. This was a pretty good deal, and worked out good for me, because I always keep Sam Adams, Goose Island etc.. in the fridge. More craft and micro availability would definately help this stote thrive.

4. Delock's Dyer, IN. Delock's is a familiar name to fellow Regionites, and I'm sure most are familiar with their selection. They have a decent craft/micro selection and their beer in general is plentiful. They have all the local favorites, but again, check the dates. Not all beer ages well, and before you drop $10.00 on a six-pack, make sure it's fresh. Also, if they don't carry a particular beer, ask, and they will try to order it.

5. Strack and Van Til in Schererville, IN. Yes, I know this is a grocery store, but due to the lack of quality beer stores, and the halfway decent beer selection at Stracks, they round out the top five. Sam Adams, Guinness, Pilsner Urquell, Three Floyds, Amstel Light, and others are available in the beer aisle. Several others as well as mass produced American Lagers can all be found here. I usually volunteer to to the grocery shopping just so I can grab a sixer of some decent beer to go with dinner. Next time you need some groceries, stop by the beer aisle too!


Thursday, January 8, 2009

Old Chicago review

Old Chicago is a fairly new restaurant which is located near U.S. Route 30 and Rhode Island in Merrillville, IN in the building which used to house Smokey Bones. Their "claim to fame" is having 110 beers. The atmosphere is pretty cool, and the food was decent. I had a steak calzone, and paired it with a Newcastle Brown Ale (I wasn't feeling too adventurous). The calzone was huge, but a little greasy. The menu was somewhat limited, and wouldn't be sufficient for a family dinner. The food was more suited for a lunch while watching the game and sampling some beer. They do indeed have 110 beers, however, there are several (too many) common domestics and mass produced swill included in the mix. Remember, Bud, Bud Light, Miller Lite, Corona, and other "household names" are included in the beer list. I was also disappointed with the draft selection. The vast majority of the craft and micros were only available in bottles. In defense of Old Chicago, I was able to find some offerings from Magic Hat, New Holland, and other craft breweries. This particular location also had Chimay which was a good find! For those who have been enjoying "real beer" for a while, you are not likely to find anything new here. But if there is something you want to try, you may want to give Old Chicago a try, instead of buying six bottles of a beer you have never tried and may or may not like. Old Chicago strikes me as a great place to meet friends to enjoy a beer and pizza, but again, you are not likely to find any beer here that can't be found elsewhere.


Sunday, January 4, 2009

Harrison's Brewpub

As always, lunch at Harrison's was a great experience. Bartender Dustin and brewmaster Joe were great and very willing to share their knowledge of beer. The food (steak sandwich with a glass of Black Diamond Stout) was great, and the fish tacos were also a hit. All the beers were great, but the Black Diamond Stout and Raspberry Wheat were my favorite. The Black Diamond has a smoky flavor more reminiscent of a porter, but it paired very well with the steak. Also on tap for a limited time, and not mentioned on the website or menu...Butterscotch Stout. The aroma of butterscotch is very evident, and mellows slightly on the palate, but is still very noticeable.

Harrison's also has an expansive dining room, which is completely seperate from the bar, making the restaurant very family friendly. The menu is extensive and the food is reasonably priced. Like most brewpubs, Harrison's has several beers available year 'round, and some seasonal and limited time only beers. There is always a fruit beer available, whether it be blueberry, cherry or raspberry. There is a barleywine expected to be released in the next two weeks, which will be approximately 11-12% ABV. I was able to sample some and noticed that it finished dry, and lacked the "alcohol burn" sometimes associated with barleywine. I will definately give it another try. Whether seated in the beautifully decorated dining room, outdoor patio, or the well stocked bar, you'll love what Harrison's has to offer. When in Orland Park, Harrison's is a must try for both beer lovers and families looking for a great meal!!


Friday, January 2, 2009


This is the first post on what I hope is a very successful and informative blog. For those who have never tried a micro/craft beer...if you don't want to get hooked, stay away. For those "beer experts", use this blog as a source of information and reviews. Remember, the posts here are the opinions of the blogger, and you may or may not agree with what I say. It's hard to explain, but there are so many varieties and styles of beer to try it can be overwhelming at first. I suggest picking up a copy of Draft magazine to get started. It's a wealth of information. Try several different styles and find out which ones you like. From there try that style from different breweries, and EXPERIMENT! Be sure to check out the links on this site to get hooked up with local breweries and other beer resources. Another great book is titled 'The Brewmaster's Table". This book was written by Garrett Oliver, the brewmaster at Brooklyn Brewery. Mr. Oliver has traveled the world drinking, brewing, and writing about beer and his book is very informative.

This site will also serve as a resource for reviews and opinions on various beer and beer related products. Remember that with so many different types of beer available, there's bound to be one you can't live without! Beer is like anything else, you have to try it to know if you like it. There is truly a beer for everyone. If you're a brewmaster or brewery owner and don't like what others (including myself) are saying about your beer, BREW BETTER BEER!!! From the darkest stout to the lightest lager, there is one for you. I hope you enjoy my site, and will allow it to serve as your atlas to the world of "good beer".