Brewer’s Choice: Double Clutch Brewing’s Scott Frank on the unique vibe at his award-winning brewery, a fondness for Evanston neighbors Temperance and Sketchbook, and gearing up for a big Oktoberfest party
Head brewer at Double Clutch Brewing Company
2121 N. Ashland in Evanston, IL
The last really good beer you drank was…
I had a really good Maibock from Church Street recently that was given to me in a can by their sales rep. It had all the flavor profiles and an amber color that was darker than expected. I really enjoy that toasted Munich malt. It was a little high at 7.1% ABV, but I loved it.
What fellow Illinois breweries and specific beers have impressed you lately?
The folks at Sketchbook Brewing Co. are super nice, and I go there often. I had their Helles lager called Level Par and it was very nice. I had their English mild there recently as well, and I always have to get the Snowy Owl, a red rye ale, when it’s on draft.
I like Temperance Beer Co. too, where my go-to is called Smittytown, an English-style ESB. All of us in Evanston are spoiled to have a very supportive community. We all visit each other’s establishments and share ingredients and equipment frequently.
Double Clutch is unique. The classic cars on display, the live music, the quality food. … It’s been a really cool experience the way the neighborhood has embraced us. It’s a legitimate bond, and that’s a testament to the environment we created.
What are you most proud of at your brewery?
I would say the vibe we have. The warm and welcoming vibe that all the employees here helped create. It’s unique. The classic cars on display, the live music, the quality food. We had to change city ordinances in order to produce beer in the 5th Ward here in Evanston, and we’ve come a long way. It’s been a really cool experience the way the neighborhood has embraced us. It’s a legitimate bond, and that’s a testament to the environment we created.
We also were able to bring home a couple silver medals for our helles lager and helles rauchbier at the Great American Beer Festival last October. And we won Brewery of the Year and Brewer of the Year in the smaller 250-barrel category because we hadn’t even been open a year at the time we had to submit our beers for judging.
What do you have coming up that people should know about?
We have a popular amber lager Marzen and lighter Festbier for our big Oktoberfest party on Saturday, Sept. 23. We have all kinds of festive food, contests, three bands playing — highlighted by The Polkaholics. As a German brewery, we plan this party a year out, and it’s a lot of fun. The Marzen and Festibier will be on draft by the middle to end of August. Every year we have to brew more of each, and that’s a good problem to have.