Long-Distance Brew

What happens when an Illinois brewer goes to France...

It could be said that the relationship between Two Brothers and Brasserie Castelain was a fated one.

The Illinois and northern French brewers have recently produced a collaborative beer, one that has historical precedent: Chicago's first brewery, Diversey & Lill, was run by an Alsatian and an American throughout the mid-1800s, until it burned in the Chicago Fire of 1871.

In March, Jason Abel of Two Brothers in Warrenville, Illinois–a brewery well known for its French-style ale, Domaine DuPage–flew to northeastern France to work with brewers at Brasserie Castelain, a historic producer of bier de garde, a French farmhouse beer similar to Belgian saison.

The resulting beer, Diversey & Lille, is a copper-hued, medium-bodied beauty, the fruity maltiness of the French style complemented by hoppiness that hints at its American half. The limited run was simultaneously released Stateside and in France late last month. The Castelain team has plans to make a trip to the Illinois brewery for another collaboration next year.

Find bottles at Binny's, Fox & Obel and In Fine Spirits ($11.50 for 750 ml), or try it at Hopleaf, Fountainhead, Publican and Bangers & Lace. True to its roots, it's as natural a pairing for pâté as it is for pulled pork or spice-rich barbecue.