Good Beer Hunting

Feb 22, 2018 (Chicago) — Uppers & Downers Decaf: Preview Party



Each year for Uppers & Downers, we’re bringing more and more non-local breweries to town—some whose beer has never been available in the Chicago market. We wanted an opportunity to introduce their more iconic beers to the city—the sours, saisons, barrel-aged beers, and delicate lagers they’re known for—so we partnered with Publican Anker to do a tap takeover of non-coffee beers.


Our host for the evening, Adam Vavrick (named one of the 40 Under 40 Tastemakers in Wine Enthusiast last year), runs beer for all the One Off Hospitality spots, including Anker. He affectionately described the event as “a preview party featuring beers that don’t have coffee (except the 4 Hands beer, ‘cuz f*&% the rules).”

The corner bar quickly crowded with U&D attendees, brewery entourages, Fervent Few members, friends, and accidental guests—all cramming into the spaces between bar top tables to try some of our favorite beers in the country. 

Brewery Bhavana, from Raleigh, NC brought their popular Grove double IPA and a foedar-aged Brett Saison. Burial Beer Co. from Asheville, NC tapped The Separation of Light & Darkness (a mixed culture saison), along with Houtenhamer (a double barrel-aged milk stout with molasses). Cruz Blanca Brewery, local but new to the Chicago scene, showcased Coconut Train, an IPA with toasted coconut, and Mexico Calling, a lager brewed with hibiscus and yuzu. Guinness brought their Foreign Extra Stout—first brewed in 1801, FES was designed for export, and is more heavily hopped than their other popular stouts. Hulk Hands, a dry-hopped gose, was on tap from Prairie Artisan Ales out of Tulsa, OK. Rounding out the takeover, the aforementioned 4 Hands Brewing out of St. Louis, who understandably missed the fine print and brought Barrel-Aged Bona Fide, and imperial stout aged in whiskey barrels with coffee and vanilla.

The wait staff bustled around, serving the assembled guests, until the party waned.

Photos from the 2108 Chicago festival

photos by Stephanie Byce