h1

mayor daley not the only arrogant bastard in chicago?

February 16, 2010

Is solid info surfacing on San Diego’s excellent Stone Brewing Co. finally making their beers available in Illinois? The last time these rumors floated in Chicago it was 2008 and nothing really came of it.  Though, I was lucky enough to visit the Hopleaf a year or so ago when they mysteriously had a keg of Stone Ruination Imperial IPA on tap. Turned out to be a one-time thing as a few of the brewers from Stone were in town for a conference and had brought a little gift with them.  This time around though, the rumor is picking up steam. I hit the site of my favorite neighborhood pub the other day and it said this:

…Stone is comming, stone is comming, stone is comming.
um. thats it…

A little googling then turned this up from the brewery’s twitter:

Awesome! Details soon. RT @LimestoneBrew: @stonebrewingco When are you coming into the Chicago Market? We want to carry your great beers! 6:51 PM Jan 29th from TweetDeck

So while no official announcement exists as of yet (that I could find anyway), we’ve got a good Chicago craft beer bar and the brewery’s twitter hinting that it’s a done deal. Someone on Chicago’s best dining board is also saying Stone brews will be in the Chicago area within the next month or so, for whatever that’s worth.

Illinois is cursed with some of the lamest alcohol distribution laws on the books. Old money and the Chicago way are, not surprisingly, still hard at work in this town. Some ridiculous bureaucratic hammer could drop and squash this fantastic news at any time (see the reasons that Bell’s left the Chicago market altogether for nearly two years back in ’06), but given the sources I’m seeing online so far I’m feeling pretty good about  the long-awaited arrival of Stone in Chicago. It’s been long overdue as they are among the last of the “big boys” of American craft brewing to distribute here. Who knows, if Stone can finally make it into Illinois after Port Brewing did it in 2009, maybe that other California brewery, Russian River, the maker of the world’s new #1 beer, can make it happen as well. Dare to dream…and drink.

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