Hop To It

Spunky suds from the city's newest brewery

The West Loop's new Haymarket Pub & Brewery tapped the first five of their house-brewed beers last week–and they have no intention of stopping.

Owner Pete Crowley, previously the senior brewer for Rock Bottom, won't rest until Haymarket has over a dozen house beers on tap, a handful of which will be barrel-aged in the 800-square-foot aging room he built below the brewpub's dining room.

Four-ounce pours ($1.50 to $2.50 each) are an excellent way to cover the varied ground (and manage intake).

Crowley's beers are inspired by the great styles of the world, then, in most cases, tweaked to be hop-aggressive. Sample his favorite hop, Amarillo, in a bright IPA that he "dry-hopped to the gills," or a fruity Belgian-style session beer.

He calls the jewel of his list, the 7.5-percent-alcohol Mother Jones Dubbel, "the most dangerous beer in America." The dark-hued brew has a deceptively light body, with raisins and chocolate on the nose. The threat: its remarkable drinkability.

As for the aged beers, barrel racks arrive this week. By the end of the month, an assortment of suds will be mellowing in Woodford Reserve barrels, ready to be tapped come May.

Haymarket Pub & Brewery, 737 W. Randolph St.; 312-638-0700 or haymarketbrewing.com