20081120-flossmoor.jpgSometimes when you get pretty much everything you want, the few things you can’t get take on a much bigger sense of importance than they deserve. This has generally been true regarding beer in Chicago. Home to great local breweries like Two Brothers, Goose Island, Three Floyd’s—and not to mention mega-stores like Sam’s and Binny’s replete with aisles and aisles filled with more craft brewed beers than there are stuffed animals at an FAO Schwarz—you’d think we’d be sated.

But, no, we're not. For years, we longed for that Texas export Shiner Bock or the sweet lager of Brooklyn Brewery, and more recently the brews of Bell’s from Kalamazoo, Michigan, when they lost their distributorship. In these parts, securing a box of New Glarus Spotted Cow (not sold outside of Wisconsin) is akin to scoring a bag of premium of Humboldt County’s top notch kush. But, while some of these brews have been worth the wait, most of them weren’t much better or more distinctive than our bevy of homegrown options.

And, so when I recently discovered some bombers from Flossmoor Station at the local Binny’s, I shrugged. Flossmoor is a local brewpub, which has won many beer awards, but until recently you couldn’t secure any of their product outside of a growler or a visit to the restaurant. For those of us in the city proper without a car or those who have one and brave the traffic, Flossmoor is a pretty long trip. So you’d think I’d be excited that I didn’t have to make the trek if I wanted a sip or two.

But when it comes to new food items, I’m basically like Oprah with her Christian Louboutin shoes: If I’ve never seen it before or I don’t have it, I buy it. So, I picked some up—I’m glad I did. While I tried a few different bottles, my favorite was the wheat. Unlike most wheats gussied up with an ester-filled banana nose and a light citrusy body, the Flossmoor is sturdy and replete with hot spice, and just a touch of orange. At the risk of continuing on like a sommelier with a cork up his butt, the Flossmoor wheat is more Scarlet Johanssen than Paris Hilton. There’s no sense of inflated importance here, just a unique wheat that I won’t have to drive an hour for, and one I’m glad is available at the local store.

About the author: Michael Nagrant writes for Serious Eats from Chicago, where he also publishes Hungry magazine. Michael never met an organ meat he didn't like. He hopes to meet many more.

Flossmoor Station

1035 Sterling Avenue, Flossmoor, IL 60422 (map)


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