Brewer Tom Korder already had plenty of details to share about Penrose Brewing Company when we first spoke to him in September. From big-picture ideas about his brewing style to intricacies like beer names and tap handle design, it felt like Penrose could begin making beer any day. Seven months later, Chicago was still waiting to try those beers.
Much to Korder—and Chicago beer fans'—relief, Penrose finally has debuted in the city this week. The Geneva, Ill.-based brewery's creations currently are on tap at The Bad Apple, Fountainhead, Hopleaf, Small Bar in Wicker Park, Longman & Eagle, Haymarket Pub & Brewery, Owen & Engine and more.
Flexing the brewing muscles he developed during his time at Goose Island Beer Company, Korder's beers are Belgian-inspired but distinctly American. After trying them at a launch event, my favorite is Proto Gradus, a Belgian-style single that's refreshing, lightly floral and an incredible session beer at 4 percent ABV. Other initial offerings from Penrose include Navette (a Belgian black ale) and P-2 (a Belgian pale ale).
Want to get a taste of Penrose without a Metra trek to the Geneva taproom? The brewers will take over some taps at Small Bar for a pop-up taproom on Monday, April 14. In addition to the three beers listed above, Penrose also will pour Here After, a Belgian strong beer with pears brewed in collaboration with St. Louis-based Perennial Artisan Ales.
The brewery's next move will be bottled beers, which they're hoping will hit shelves in midsummer. That timeline is, as we well know, subject to change.
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