|Testing the beer's alcohol content|
Mandy and I opted for a tour of Lake Effect Brewing, which is in the Portage Park neighborhood. Surprisingly, neither of us had heard of it. Not surprisingly, we got lost and were late. In our defense, this place was really tough to find. It was down an unmarked alley that I just happen to wander down when the address numbers didn't add up.
Once we finally found wandered through the right unmarked door, it was like stumbling into a Willy Wonka Factory of beer. Lake Effect Brewing is really tiny, a converted garage mostly, but the brews are legit. We sampled four beers, my favorite of which was the Bitchin' Blonde Belgian-Style Ale. They bottle four varieties for local shops for now, and there are several bars nearby that serve it on tap. The company is also cooking up barrel-aged brews and working to expand next door to create a tap room where they can distribute locally from.
This was a fun experience, because we might not have otherwise gone to this local business. It was great to pull the curtain back and see how the sausage is made, so to speak. It was the smallest scale brewery I've ever seen and I was impressed with how they're making it work. The owner talked about their business plan, how they made their four-bottle bottler and labeler and what it's like to try and make it in a highly regulated business.
And the end result is pretty bitchin', too.