Sunday, March 22, 2009

Rare Beers Get Another Friend in the Market

Lust Wine and Spirits has of yet no website (a blog only), two locations (one in Roscoe Village and one near UIC in University Village), and a focus on wine, with a sophisticated owner (the Twisted Spoke guys) is a rare and good / great beer retail location in Chicagoland. MrQuartetman and I paid a visit to the University Village location in early March, and despite a mere one cooler of beer, they have an excellent beer lady (we met her) and some nice rare selections.

The shop holds tens of wines, lots of good ones, and a long wooden bar with wine selections and one beer tap (out when we were there), and a quite small footprint overall.

According to the beer lady this is the go to place for Goose Island's rare bottles. It may be the only place that has bombers of Extremely Naughty Goose, and it's no wonder it's only here, at $30 per bottle. Mr. Hall (Goose owner) apparently asked them to sell it as a rarity (to pay for the new website?). It is a great ale, but too pricy for us. Try this rarity at Goose Clybourn, currently on tap for no more than $7.

They also have Hitachino's Commemorative Ale, Poperings Hommel ale, Sam Adam's Double Bock, and several more rare singles, no sixpacks here, no macros. Most bottles were fairly priced considering the rarity.

This place joins West Lakeview Liquors as among the few retail locations in Chicagoland where you can find unique and even well "aged" beers.

We recently ran into Sam's Clybourn beer buyer recently and noted that they carry some rarities, like the 2002 Aventinus, a wheat dopplebock, which the maker ages in it's own mountain cellars. So in a pinch you can now find a few places around the city to pick up a well aged beer. Not all beers hold up well over time, they usually must be bottle conditioned (live yeast still in the bottle) and higher alcohol (usually above 8% by volume). Bottle conditioned Ales that are well aged can be spectacular.

I would site one I had recently as the beer of the year so far, a 2003 version of Bare Trees, a wheatwine (reviewed in detail at the link by dOb, the guy who brought it to the tasting, thank you man) made by Two Brothers. Sublime.

Good to see these stores know that some beers age as well as most wines. Great to have them around and I hope they keep up with more well aged beers.

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