- Style: Imperial IPA (DIPA)
- ABV: 8.60%
- Ease to locate: Begyle is still very young (my bottle was batch #16) and only available in the Chicago area. Here's a link to their beer finder. Or try beer menu for a more up to date locator.
- Color: Hazy dark golden brown with a hint of orange amber in the light
- Head: Half a finger of slightly off white head with little lacing and moderate retention
- Aroma: Slightly sweet with lots of caramel malts and cereal grains. Heavy grapefruit and pine scents as well. it smells refreshing.
- Mouthfeel: Medium with a slight syrup quality
- Finish: a bit short, but nicely dry and crisp
- Food friendly?: Yes. For a DIPA, it's balanced and dry enough to work with a variety of foods. Try it with barbequed or grilled meats. Would also work with oily fish such as salmon. Serve it with a sharp cheese such as cheddar or a peppery cheese like Monterey.
Chicago is an amazing place to live. Yes, for a few months of the year it's colder than Angelina Jolie at an Aniston family reunion. But we have a gorgeous lake front running along the East side of the city, an unbreaking strip of beaches, harbors and ruggedly rocky shores. We have a thriving theater scene that is widely respected throughout the country for it's raw, shopfront, black humor intensity. Our food scene is ridiculously diverse with ethnic, price and concept choices that when combined correctly, can make for one spectacular experience. I mean, where else can you begin the day with a pistachio glazed pastry from The Donughnut Vault, have a quick lunch from a food truck named The Tamale Spaceship, play with your science experiment dinner at Alinea and finish the night off at a friendly, everybody knows your name sort of brew pub like Haymarket? Not Pasadena, that's for sure. I've been to Pasadena. It's definitely no Chicago.
Chicago is also home to a growing number of small, newish breweries trying to make their mark on a thriving craft beer scene. Begyle Brewery is one of these. I first discovered Begyle at a beer fest last February (here's a review of their first beer, Crash Landed) and have been following their development since then. And by that, I mean drinking their beer while clicking "Like" on Facebook. My family and I did a little Begyle tasting event recently to check out all of their new offerings. And by "event" I mean we bought a few bombers and drank in my brother's backyard. My favorite of the bombers was a Black IPA named Jonny Quest Thinks We're Sellouts, a collaboration that they did with another brand new Chicago brewery called DryHop (it's currently on tap at DryHop. Get the pomme frites if you go there ) So why am I reviewing their DIPA here instead? Because this was EVERYONE else's favorite offering of the night. When I find a beer that the extremely picky and diverse group of people that I call family can actually agree on AND it's not Belgium? I think that warrants a bit of screen time.
|You've got me running, going out of my mind....|
|Fun fact: ELO holds the record of having he most top 40 hits without ever having a #1 song|
|ELO's Jeff Lynne also wrote songs for Olivia Newton-John's movie. Xanadu. Mind. Officially. Blown. Kind of.|
Some DIPAs play better with their food than others. Since Begyle's Don't Bring Me Down Zeus is a simple and straight forward sort of DIPA, I can see it working with quite a few summertime dishes. Serve it alongside a simple plate rosemary chicken thighs with a side of zucchini & tomatoes grilled in a foil packet for a casual summer get together with friends. I could also see this beer pairing well with oily fish, such as salmon or tuna (both fish often benefit from a bit of acidic notes when cooking or pairing.) I'd like to try it with yellowfin tuna fillets with a simple salad of Romaine lettuce and tropical fruit. Don't Bring Me Down Zeus is a good beer to easy your DIPA phobic friends into Big Beer territory. Begyle is just a baby in the ever growing Chicago craft brewery scene. Of course, at the rate that new breweries are emerging around these parts, they'll be the ever so wise ass teenager who wants to borrow your car keys and needs $50 for gas before you know it. Time to get in on the ground floor with them is now. Take my advice, grab a bottle for your next gathering and bask in the (craft beer) glow of being that "guy" who is in the local know. I'll back you up.