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Brew Dude: April 6, 2019

April 6, 2019

The newest installment of The Untappd Challenge is a little bit different than what I have done in the past. Usually, I choose the badges that focus in on certain beer styles or country of origin.

This time, I am recommending a time of day for this venue badge. This month’s badge is Happy Hour Hound. You have to check 10 beers into a location during the hours of 5 to 8 p.m. in a calendar month. I can’t recommend 10 different beers for you to try — that would take up a lot of space, but I will recommend five different places where you could check in two different beers. I unlocked this badge in 2013 and would be at level 100 at this point if this badge stacked in the way some others do.

Happy hour drink specials were banned in the state of Illinois in 1989, but in 2015, the state overturned this ban. I remember when this rule was overturned, which allowed certain craft beer bars and breweries (especially ones with a brewpub) to expand offerings to their customers.

I reached out to some local craft beer purveyors about their happy hour specials.

Brickstone Brewery & Restaurant always has been a brewpub that offers drink specials for their patrons with some of the deepest discounted beer I have seen in the craft beer industry.

Capitalize on the advantage, and check in this badge. The official happy hour day of the week is Monday from 4 to 6 p.m., when you can get a $3 pint. Don’t forget about Tall Tuesdays, when you can get a 23-ounce pour of most things on tap for $3.50.

The day I am most often at Brickstone is Sundays for $6 of growler fills, $3 pints and half off wings.

The Hoppy Pig in Bradley also has great craft beer happy hour specials. With more than 30 different taps, The Hoppy Pig represents the largest selection of craft beer on draft in Kankakee County. Multiple times per week, drink specials give customers an attractive offer to come out and grab a pint after work or before dinner.

Wednesday is the best day to check out what Hoppy Pig has on tap, as “Best Hoppy Hour Ever” is from 3 to 6 p.m. with $5 appetizers, $3 any draft (barrel-aged not included), $5 martinis, $2 domestic bottles and half-price bottles of wine. It has something for everyone.

The newest craft beer spot in Kankakee County, Steam Hollow Brewing, offers $1 off 16-ounce pours Wednesday (all day) for your afternoon drinking enjoyment. Steam Hollow opens at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday to Friday, which makes it a great spot to check in after work.

The head brewer at Steam Hollow, Blane White, won a gold medal at the prestigious Brewers of South Suburbia Homebrewing Competition a few years ago, which allowed him to brew the beer at Arrowheads Ales in New Lenox. White finally was able to brew his favorite beer on his own system, and we now have to a chance to taste a product of a long-pursued goal.

Raspberry SMAAK! From Brickstone Brewery

ABV: 7.75 percent

IBUs: 15

Style: Raspberry fruit beer

Notes: Loaded to the brim with raspberries, lactose and a touch of oats for tart but creamy feel.

Where to Buy: You can find this on tap during the week. Pints are $3 from 4 to 6 p.m. Mondays for the happy hour special.

Double Dry Hopped Galaxy Hero from Revolution Brewing

ABV: 7 percent

IBUs: 70

Style: IPA — American

Notes: Tropical fruit and fresh citrus, with perfect balance from pine and herbaceous notes.

Where to buy: You can find this at The Hoppy Pig in Bradley on Wednesdays for $3 pints; Tuesdays and Thursdays for $3 craft pints; and Friday and Sunday $4 Illinois craft pints.

Irish Red from Steam Hollow Brewing

ABV: 5.3 percent

IBUs: 30

Style: Red Ale — Irish

Notes: Roasty goodness.

Where to Buy: Steam Hollow Taproom on Spruce Street in Manteno, where you can get $1 off pints on Wednesdays, which would make this beer $5 for a 16-ounce pour.