Haymarket Pub and Brewery, lead by brewmaster and founder Pete Crowley, has long been a platform for new brewers in the city of Chicago. Once part of a large brewpub chain himself, Rock Bottom, Crowley has generously dedicated himself to the rise of the Chicago craft industry tide by opening his doors, and his brewing system, to up-and-comers of all shapes and sizes. He's just one of the good guys that way.
This week, Buckledown Brewing's Ike Orcutt and Sean Mahoney joined Haymarket's brewers Dave Kerns and Steven Mosqueda to brew a pair of collaborative beers. The reason: they're building the same brewing system that Haymarket uses, and it was time to get some hands-on experience with their first recipes. And Crowley welcomed them aboard.
The team brewed two beers, a classic American IPA, Belt & Suspenders, brewed with two unique hops: Crystal and Sterling. According to Ike, "these hops provide huge aromatics, but don't have the dank and resinous character of most IPAs. The beer also features an awesome British crystal malt that provides just enough malt backbone to support those delicious hops."
The second is Fiddlesticks, a Belgian IPA aiming to "bring together all of the best qualities of Belgian brewing and American hopcentricity. This beer features an amazing Belgian yeast strain that is incredibly aromatic, Belgian candi sugar and loads of Horizon hops." As you might suspect, the result is super spicy and dry beer with a ton of hop character.
The aspirations to collaborate with Haymarket were anything but random.
"Haymarket has really been a second home to us. Sean and I typically have lunch there a few times a week. Over the course of many months we've developed a real friendship with Pete. Both Steven and David bring loads of experience to the brewhouse — Steve has been brewing with Pete (both at Rock Bottom and Haymarket) for a long time, while David has brewed all over Germany. They come at brewing from slightly different points-of-view, but are both absolute sticklers for running the cleanest brewery I've ever seen. It's not an accident that these guys turn out awesome beer.
This summer will be an intense workload for the duo, but Buckledown is determined not to buckle.
"This summer is really going to be consumed with getting the brick-and-mortar in place to start brewing. We've got our 15-bbl brewhouse on order and in fabrication as we speak. The buildout of our location is going to start in the next few weeks. We've got an aggressive timeline to be up-and-running by mid-September.
Like many new breweries in Chicago, Buckledown wants to get their point of view, and their product, into market ahead of the first official brew-day. And they plan to use their collaborative efforts with Haymarket to kick off during Chicago Craft Beer Week. Look for them to be pouring at Beer Under Glass, Goose Island's 25th Anniversary Party, and the West Loop Block Party. They'll have both Belt & Suspenders and Fiddlesticks on tap.