Best Canned Beer Made in Chicago | Best of Chicago 2010 | Food & Drink | Chicago Reader

You searched for:

Start over

Narrow Search

Best Canned Beer Made in Chicago 

Half Acre

Following in the footsteps of boxed wine, which has only recently started to shake off the stigma that cheaper brands like Franzia have given it, canned beer is moving beyond Old Style and Bud Light. Craft brewers have recently started to embrace aluminum cans, which are lighter and cheaper to ship than glass bottles; unlike glass, they don’t let in light, which can make beer go skunky, and cans allow less oxygen uptake during packaging. And now that they’re lined, they don’t give the beer a metallic flavor. Minnesota’s Surly Brewing Company has been selling its beer in cans since it launched in 2006; other craft breweries that now offer cans include New Belgium, Oskar Blues, Big Sky, Ska, and Brooklyn. One of the most recent can converts is Gabriel Magliaro, owner of North Center’s Half Acre Beer Co., who recently decided to move away from bottles (except for 22-ounce bombers, which the company will continue to offer). Besides the aforementioned upsides, he says, “you can bring a can to the beach, the park, wherever you want to go; it’s light and there’s no broken glass. Really, on all levels it’s a positive thing.”

Half Acre’s canning equipment arrived in early April and was put to use right away; Daisy Cutter Pale Ale and Gossamer Golden Ale are currently available in four-packs of 16-ounce cans. (Magliaro says it’s easier to package as much as possible at one time. Besides, “tall boys are cool and definitely a Chicago tradition.”)

There is one hitch: the minimum number of cans you can order is more than 200,000—a 53-foot semi load’s worth—with up to two different labels allowed per order. Half Acre has limited storage space, which means that until it goes through most of its current order of cans, it can’t buy more. Magliaro predicts that’ll happen in the fall, when he plans to start canning a darker beer—maybe the popular Over Ale. Until then, if you want something besides Daisy Cutter or Gossamer you’ll have to hit a bar with Half Acre on tap or stop by the brewery for a growler or bomber.

Critics' Picks

Best Middle Eastern Restaurant

3129 S. Morgan St. 773-254-6300
Zaytune Mediterranean Grill continue

Best Manti

Cafe Orchid continue

Best Use of a Pernicious Weed

Kimpira at Masu Izakaya continue

Best New Neighborhood Restaurant

1119 W. Webster Ave. 773-472-7070
Kith & Kin continue

Best Hand Food

Mystery corn dawg at Franks 'n' Dawgs continue

Best New Burger

Charburger at Edzo's Burger Shop, Evanston, Illinois continue

Best New Veggie Burger

505 N. State St. 312-755-9704
Wild mushroom-brown rice burger at Sable Kitchen & Bar continue

Best Fries

Foie Gras Fries at Big & Littles continue

Best Pollo a la Brasa

D’Candela continue

Best Theoretical Food Truck

Tamale Space Charros continue

Best Squid Balls

Sweet Station continue

Best Place to Sup Like Henry VIII

Benny's Chop House on a Wednesday evening continue

Best Location for a Clandestine Tryst, With Dinner

Pescatore Palace, Franklin Park, Illinois continue

Best Unorthodox Pizza Topping

1927 W. North Ave. 773-772-4422
Spinach and Mashed Potato at Piece Brewery & Pizzeria continue

Best Way to Stuff Your Face With Thai Food for Under $5

Two-for-one coupons at Cozy Noodles & Rice continue

Best Coffee Roaster

1432 W. Irving Park Rd. 773-661-6530
Asado Coffee Company continue

Best Restaurant Name

Cheogajip/Chicken and Pizza Love Letter, Niles, Illinois continue

Best Breakfast Cocktail

The Easy Virtue at The Drawing Room continue

Best Beer Cocktail

The Michelada at Big Star continue

Best Use of Wild Midwestern Persimmons

Persimmon Solera from Purgatory Cellars continue

Best Place to Try Palm Wine

Bolat African Cuisine continue

Best Macarons

Macaron Chicago continue

Best Chocolates

Mayana Chocolate continue

Best Use of Leftover Cake

Cake balls at Bleeding Heart Bakery, Chicago and Oak Park, Illinois continue

Best Window Seat

Hoosier Mama Pie Company continue

Best Regional Cheese

Otter Creek Spring Cheddar continue

Best Food Co-op

Dill Pickle Food Co-op continue

Best Chef's Blog

Paul Fehribach of Big Jones continue
(Sorry, no information is currently available for other years in this same award category.)