Monday, September 9, 2013

Chain Livin': Chain O' Lakes Brewing

It's been awhile since we had a Chain Livin' post so we thought we'd interrupt our reports from Utah and Idaho to talk about the new Chain O' Lakes Brewery in McHenry, IL.
Chain O' Lakes opened in the home of the defunct McHenry Brewery. Apparently that company was around from 1860's - 1950's. Never heard of it until now.
Right now there's a taproom open for a few hours a day offering 2-3 beers made onsite and a rotation of guest taps. The day we visited the two flagships were available: Fox River Scotch Ale and The Colonel's IPA. The Oktoberfest was coming online the next day. The owner/brewmaster said that beer would likely last two days because of the size of the batch and the amount of traffic they have been getting. We sampled the IPA - which you know we don't usually like. This one was decent with a relatively low IBU in the 40's. We had pints of the Scotch Ale and enjoyed it!
We talked to The owner/brewer (Curt) for a minute and he told us he prefers malt beers to hoppy beers. YES!!!
Since they have been opened for just a few days the taproom still has time to develop its character. The seating available was one long bench along a wall and several kegs turned into stools. Each keg was hand painted with a different design.
Curt is a retired Marine and has a wall dedicated to those currently serving or killed in action. You can bring in a 5x7 photo and he'll hang it up. Nice touch. There are a few nods to the former brewery in the taproom as well as a full line of merchandise.

This won't be our last visit. Shocking.....

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