Oak Park Micro Brew Review

File this under: “THINGS YOU SHOULD HAVE DONE” and be sure to put it in your “THINGS TO DO NEXT YEAR” file.

This past Saturday I had the pleasure of going to the Oak Park Micro Brew Review. Drinking samples from about 50 breweries on a warm, sunny day in downtown Oak Park? No one needed to twist my arm for that one.

2012 was the 5th year for the Oak Park Micro Brew Review and it was an incredibly enjoyable time. The weather was perfect and the beers were delicious. The event took place on Marion Street and stretched from Lake Street, under the train tracks, down to Pleasant Street. Two long blocks filled with so much beer it was impossible to try it all (believe me, I tried).

This year’s festival had another showing of what they call the Replicale. The idea behind it is to give various breweries instructions to make a specific style of beer with certain ingredients and let the breweries show you how everyone has a different interpretation. This year’s style was a Belgian Abbey Single, which was a great beer for the warm summer day. Many breweries brought a respectable showing, but I think Revolution and Three Floyds were the shining stars.

Other beers worth noting: Goose Island’s Gran Gas made an appearance, although very limited. This beer brewed with spruce tips and lingonberries only stuck around for about an hour (it was great, as can be attested to by all the people who ripped through it). Three Floyds brought their Mentol Brown, which was an English brown brewed in collaboration with Brodie’s in London. Destihl dropped off an incredible apricot sour, that forced me to circle back around in line and get it a second time. Finch’s offered up their Sanchez Stache (barrel aged coffee stout), which was absolutely incredible. It was a wonderful mix of coffee, vanilla, chocolate, and booze. All in all, it was a great day.

Keep an eye out this time next year, you don’t want to miss the Oak Park Micro Brew Review again.

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