Tapping limited edition kegs is so yesterday. Now restaurants are going one step further to offer guests unique beers by collaborating with craft brewers on exclusive brewskis for their bar programs. Here are seven restaurants with private label beers that are each a must-try for craft fans — especially during American Craft Beer Week 2017.
Bottlenectar at City Works, Doral, Florida
The brewery: Goose Island Beer Co.
The beer: A light-bodied ale made with Huell Melon hops, which add a sweet melon aroma, bitter bite, and fruity finish.
Make a reservation at City Works.
Ape Hanger Ale at Dinosaur Bar-B-Que, Rochester, New York
The brewery: Middle Ages Brewing Company
The beer: A dry British-style pale ale that goes easy on the hops and has a touch of apricot hiding in its amber depths.
Make a reservation at Dinosuar Bar-B-Que.
The Last Matador at South Water Kitchen, Chicago, Illinois
The brewery: Around the Bend Beer Company
The beer: Inspired by the Blood & Sand cocktail (scotch, OJ, sweet vermouth, and Cheery Heering), the brew is forged from lightly peat-smoked malt, blood orange juice, and scotch-soaked cherries.
Make a reservation at South Water Kitchen.
Bub City Gold at Bub City, Chicago
The brewery: Moody Tongue Brewing Company
The beer: The easy drinking light lager has a smoky aroma to complement the restaurant’s Southern-style barbecue.
Make a reservation at Bub City.
India Red Ale at Red Star Tavern, Portland, Oregon
The brewery: Widmer Brothers Brewing
The beer: Five hops go into the ale for bitterness, a pine accent, and citrus notes, oats add body, and dark chocolate deepens the color.
Make a reservation at Red Star Tavern.
Fume de Miel at Imperial, Portland, Oregon
The brewery: Culmination Brewing
The beer: A smoked honey saison that evokes the flavors of the farm, it’s rich with aromas from the hearth, the flowerbed, and a flourishing herb garden.
Make a reservation at Imperial.
Humpback Golden Ale at SY Kitchen, Santa Ynez, California
The brewery: M.Special Brewing Company
The beer: A pilsner malt ale based on a traditional Belgian recipe is aged in the restaurant’s bourbon barrels for 10 months, which contribute hints of caramel, wood, sweet molasses, and honey.
Make a reservation at SY Kitchen.
Nevin Martell is a Washington, D.C.-based food and travel writer and the author of several books, including Freak Show Without A Tent: Swimming with Piranhas, Getting Stoned in Fiji and Other Family Vacations. Find him on Twitter @nevinmartell and Instagram @nevinmartell.
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Photo credits: Zoe Rain (Bub City).