Brewery Feature: Motor Row Brewing
A couple of weeks ago, I had the pleasure of checking out a local Chicago favorite, Motor Row Brewing. Motor Row stays true to the history of the area, which is evident by their beautiful refurbishing of their building. One of my favorite things is the lengths that they went to to preserve the original architecture and history. The building is an original from the 1800s when it was a residential building. From there, it was a car showroom (hence motor row).
Motor Row has created a beautiful space with all 3 floors available for rent. The old Chicago charm is evident with most building materials being re-purposed from the original. The first floor is a smaller, more intimate tasting bar. Currently, it is in use on their slower traffic days as well as private rental. I really hope it becomes available to the public more often, it has a fantastic cozy feeling to it. The second floor is their main taproom with a lot of great, open space and an industrial feel. The free popcorn is a fantastic touch! The third floor, pictured in the photo above is where they host local Blues bands and is also available for rent!
Now lets get to the beer! Here's my arbitrary ranking of their beers currently on tap.
Jitters- This one was fantastic! If I wasn't so scared of being kept awake by caffeine I probably would have had a full pour of this. This was a heavy imperial stout bursting with coffee flavor from the late addition cold brew from Passion House coffee. If you've been following my page for a bit, you probably know I'm biased towards coffee beers, but this one earns the top spot all on its own!
Emergency IPA- This was what I ended up going with a full pour of, and I was not disappointed! It is a NE style IPA bursting with orange and citrus flavors yet its not overly juicy. Thanks to the dry hop, it has a fantastic citrus aroma that really makes for a great drinking experience. I found it to be a really great middle ground between the Coaster (more hoppy) and a typical juice bomb.
Cozy Holiday- As the name implies, this one is a winter warmer, but it really reminded me of mulled wine....in a great way! Its brewed with licorice root and Belgian sugar candy both of which come through really nicely in the flavor. Not overly heavy like some that I have had. Its definitely good to keep in mind that it is 8% ABV because it hides it really well. I have a feeling this would really keep you warm on those cold Chicago days!
Coaster- This style was something I had never heard of but am a huge fan of! Its a New England wheat or NEW. It has that east coast yeast which gives it the haze and the west coast hops. This really solves my issue of New England styles being too juicy and lacking a real kick. This ones got it!
Dry Humor- This one really reminded me of a hefeweizen with a dry finish. This would be a fantastic beer to convert that wine loving friend of yours. What's even more surprising is that there is 60 lbs of honey in there! Yum! It still has that dry finish, I don't know how they do it.
Reclamation- This is their flagship helles pilsner, crisp and clean. It's a fantastic gateway beer for that friend that you want to bring to breweries but they claim to not like craft beer. Plus, at 4.5% ABV you won't have to drag them home drunk.
Fleetwood Black- A schwarzbier that is their fall/winter can. This one is one that you can drink all day, its light and smooth with clean malt flavors.
After Hours- their black India Pale Lager is hoppy with a touch of sweetness on the end. Its smooth the whole way through and a nice carbonation level carries the flavor really well. Personally, I'm not a huge fan of the style which is why this is my lowest rank, but that doesn't mean that you shouldn't try it!
So that was incredibly difficult...all of their beers truly are fantastic. It took me about 5 read through's and a bunch of edits for me to actually make up my mind. I think that's a testament to how underrated Motor Row is. Not to mention the fantastic atmosphere.... you can bring your pups! :D