Festibarrel Beer Event at Riverview Tavern - Jan 31st

January 30 2015 - 2:41 AM

Too often beer bloggers rather annoyingly post about these really awesome beers which they just tried that you, the reader, possibly – or even probably – can’t buy.  Some joker will write a piece about something like Bruery’s Chocolate Rain, or even – ahem – Founders Canadian Breakfast Stout, extolling the beer’s virtues while you think, “Greeeeaaat.  Thanks, pal.”  Yes, I’m sometimes guilty of this snottiness myself.  But I’ve also, and too often, been on the outside looking in.  To be fair, sometimes when one tries an incredible brew, the world just has to know about it – that world being all 33 of my Twitter followers.  Moreover, broadcasting such a unique experience has virtues ranging far beyond the coolness factor.  It offers curious beer drinkers an idea of what’s possible, of what’s beyond the ordinary.   After all, how long would a beer blog carry your interest if every post was about mundane, everyday beers?  Probably about the length of time needed to finish a pilsner flight.  Well, here’s a chance to actually try some of these crazy-good barrel-aged beers over which the geeks obsess.  It’s the second annual Festibarrel event at Riverview Tavern, occurring on Saturday, January 31, beginning at noon.

Promising to be a terrific event, Festibarrel will feature rotating taps of several dozen barrel-aged stouts, porters, sours, Belgian-styled beers, and others.  Among the notables are several years of Bourbon County Stout, including the 2013 Bourbon County Barleywine, several versions of Revolution’s “Gene” series of barrel-aged porters, plus Founders Backwoods Bastard, Deschutes Black Butte XXV, and a High-West-barreled Lagunitas coffee stout.  I’ll disclose that my first drink ticket is surely dedicated to Begyle’s barrel-aged Imperial Pajamas, which I’m told is an overlooked treat.

Riverview has reinvented itself under new management as a budding craft-brew powerhouse.  Half a decade ago it was a popular trivia spot on Tuesdays, where you might find a Brooklyn IPA or a Sierra Pale as representing the “craft” category. These days Riverview is drilling down into the craft catacombs and pulling out rather hard-to-find gems, even on regular, non-event nights.  Last time I was there I enjoyed a refreshing Dreadnaught, a beer you certainly don’t see every day.

Festibarrel 2015 is a chance for Riverview to truly flex its craft-beer muscles in the city’s top beer bars’ faces.  I’m excited  for the outcome.  More info about the event is linked above.

Join bar manager Peter Faber, and my pal Brian who will be bartending, Saturday for some terrific barrel-aged goodness.  And don’t say that you have nothing to thank me for.  It’s all about the beer.

– M. Sheppard

Riverview Tavern

1959 W. Roscoe

Chicago, IL