Illinois Brewing Insider Geoff Hutchins on a love of Hubbard’s Cave’s dessert-style stouts and Phase Three’s Pixel Density Lite, breweries on vacation, and finding Goose Island Green Line again
Photo: Une Année/Hubbard’ Cave patio
Geoff Hutchins, 62
Park Ridge, IL
Favorite Illinois breweries: It’s always tough for me to go against Phase Three (Lake Zurich). They really just do consistently high-quality and consistently great beer styles and innovations. Their new Pixel Density Lite still has all the complexity of one of their regular hazy IPAs, but it’s more drinkable all day at 4.5%.
I like Hubbard’s Cave (Niles) too. You’ve got a really good combination of styles, and they — along with their sister brewery, Une Année — usually have 24 beers on tap. The location is great, they have a fun beer garden and the BBQ is smoked in house. Their dessert-style stouts, like the Coffee Cake, will blow you away with the flavors.
Une Année/Hubbard’s Cave has a fun beer garden, the BBQ is smoked in house and their dessert-style stouts, like the Coffee Cake, will blow you away.
Drinking tendencies: My favorite, especially with my English heritage, is definitely a pale ale. I find I have to judge every brewery with how well they do a pale ale. IPAs and hazy IPAs have dominated the scene lately, and you can get more creative with those for sure, but there’s just something reliable about a good, straight-up pale ale.
Recent Illinois craft beers that have caught my eye: We were down at Eris Cidery & Brewery on the northwest side of Chicago for brunch this fall, and my wife and I really enjoyed the Cali Dream, a “California common” or “steam beer,” which was pretty unique.
Best stop for a beer you’ve made on vacation: Foam & Folly Brewery in Grand Junction, Colorado. We were just there at the end of July. Very interesting, eclectic space. They’re relatively new, but they’ve got an interesting selection of beers already. Grand Canyon Brewing & Distillery in Page, Arizona by Lake Powell too. It’s a large, beautiful brewery, inside and out.