The Third Annual South of 80: A Celebration of Downstate Brewers

Tue, May 20th 7:00pm Beer Tasting The Green Lady
On May 20 at 7 p.m., in partnership with our friends at The Green Lady, humbly invites you to help us celebrate the brewers of downstate Illinois and St. Louis at the Third Annual “South of 80.”

When this whole thing started, it was simply a celebration of the homelands of Ryan and Andrew, the place away from Chicago that’s also known as “most of geographic Illinois.” It’s always been disparagingly known to Chicagoans like Karl as “South of 80.”

Since then it’s turned into a way to introduce beers and breweries to Chicago that hail from places like Ava, and Cantrall, and Moline. Places in our own state (and just across a river) that still never seem to get the same amount of respect or attention as places like Wisconsin and Michigan and Indiana.

This year, we’re revisiting some of our favorite breweries from the last couple years and introducing a few new ones your way. We’re biased, of course, but it’s one of our favorite Chicago Craft Beer Week events. We hope you agree.

Scheduled to appear at the Third Annual South of 80 event:

Urban Chestnut (St. Louis, MO)
DESTIHL (Normal, IL)
Triptych (Savoy, IL)
Little Egypt (Ava, IL)
4 Hands (St. Louis, MO)
Rolling Meadows (Cantrall, IL)

Tap List to include:

Rolling Meadows

Blood Orange Hefeweizen ( 5.8% ABV): Enjoy this hefeweizen’s fruity aroma, bright mouthfeel and hints of raspberry and grapefruit.

White IPA (4.8% ABV): They’ve taken a Weiss beer, added some farm grown coriander and combined it with a bunch of delicious hops — including some of their own home-grown.

Lincoln’s Lager (6.5% ABV): This beer is defined by its crisp, clean flavor, caramel color and refreshing bitter notes.

Little Egypt

Hefeweizen (5.4% ABV): A Bavarian Style Hefeweizen; unfiltered, with a turbid appearance and straw yellow color. The aroma features clove and banana esters and a firm wheat presence. The beer has a complex malt flavor with wheat, banana and a lightly spicy, balanced finish.

American Pale Ale (4.5% ABV): Brewed with Mosaic and Simcoe hops, this APA is dominated by a citrusy hop profile up front and balanced by caramel and honey in the finish.

Abbot 6 (7% ABV): This beer is a Belgian-style Golden Ale characterized by a crisp pilsner malt character balanced by lightly spicy hops and featuring restrained Belgian esters.


Strawberry Blonde (5% ABV): This fruit beer is made by adding generous quantities of strawberries to a blonde ale base beer, providing harmonious fruit qualities, golden-strawberry blonde color, crisp/dry palate, light body, low hop characters & bitterness and light malt & fruit sweetness.

Hoperation Overload (9.6% ABV): Our mission for this Imperial or ‘Double’ India Pale Ale is to overload the beer with hops for an intense hop bitterness, flavor and aroma while still being balanced by a big malt profile, resulting in a hoppy beer with more dimension. This beer is light copper in color with some hop haze from overloading with dry hops as well.

Wild Sour Series: Black Berliner (3% ABV): We like to dare to be different, so we have brewed this Black Berliner–Style Weisse, which is much like the traditional German-style sour wheat beer, but we have brewed it with debittered black malt for a dark sour beer that is acidic and lemony-tart from our unique wild yeast and lactic fermentation. This beer is highly attenuated, very light bodied with high carbonation and low hop rates, which showcases the sourness all the more.

St. Dekkera Reserve Sour Ale Series – Kriek (5.5% ABV): Barrel #1 – Aging since July 2013. Single barrel aged, spontaneously fermented, wild acidic sour ale.

Urban Chestnut

Zwickel (5.2% ABV): Our flagship lager, pronounced ‘zv-ick-el’, is an unfiltered, unpasteurized, German classic that finishes as a smooth-drinking, vitamin rich (from the yeast), naturally cloudy bier.

Winged Nut (5.4% ABV): We affectionately refer to the first beer in our Revolution series of modern, American craft beer, as our unusual little bird. It’s a little on the flighty side at 5.4% ABV, and it’s a little on the wacky side because we brew it with finely milled chestnuts, Willamette hops and we ferment it with a Bavarian Weissbier yeast strain. All of these nuances contribute to its ‘nutty’ personality

Hopfen (6.4 % ABV): A beer we are describing as a ‘Bavarian IPA’. Brewed and dry-hopped with a variety of Hallertau ‘hopfen’ hops, instead of the usual and more citric hop varieties of most American IPA’s, gives this beer a decidedly German twist.

Erlkönig (8.3% ABV): This Maifest special (a dry hopped, pale double wheat bock) is sweet, soothing and a deceptive delight. So much so that it may deceive thy sight. Should you start to see visions of Elf King fame, heed the warnings from where this beer gets its name. Spelled out clearly in the Goethe poem…Hold on tight to a loved one, and head for home.

4 Hands

Contact High (5% ABV): Not just another boring wheat ale. We made Contact High, our spring and summer seasonal, exciting by adding copious amounts of pacific northwest hops and dry hopping with fresh orange zest. Contact High pours a bright orange hue with a big citrus aroma. *New to Chicago

Bona Fide Imperial Stout (9% ABV): Bona Fide is a collaborative effort with Goshen Coffee, a local fair trade coffee roaster. This beer is big, bold, and in your face. Bona Fide pours black as night with a smooth mouth feel. Aromas of espresso, dark chocolate, roasted malt, with nuances of vanilla.

Single Speed Session (5% ABV): Our American blonde ale is a soft and delicate ale brewed with pilsner malt and jasmine flower. The addition of jasmine adds a floral and slightly fruity layer. Single speed pours a crisp golden hue with floral undertones.

Passion Fruit Prussia (~ 3.5% ABV): The name Prussia originates from Frederick the Great. Frederick was trained to brew this very delicate style of beer and later became the King of Prussia. Our interpretation of the Berliner Weisse style is very traditional. *New Release


Dirty Hippy (3.9% ABV): This English brown ale features a complex toasty, malty aroma with hints of toffee and dark fruit. The smooth malt flavor features more of the same and finishes sweet with a touch of roast bitterness for balance. *Won a Silver Medal at the World Beer Cup

Seven Saints (7.2% ABV): Brewed with seven malts, seven hops, formulated to be 70 IBUs and 7% alcohol in strength, this brown ale was brewed for a draft account’s seventh anniversary. With an aroma dominated with notes of pine and faint impressions of tropical fruit, the flavor is full of toasty, malty notes that are swiftly washed away by a firm mix of resinous bitterness and roasted malt.

Bourbon-Barrel Barleywine (10.4% ABV): A portion of our English Barleywine spent its winter hibernating in Heaven Hill bourbon barrels. This viscous, vinous strong ale combines notes of caramel, toffee, and stone fruit, with barrel provided impressions of vanilla, oak, and bourbon.

If you have had beers from these guys before, you’re gonna want to see what they’re sending up. If you haven’t had the beers from these guys, wait til’ you see what they can do.

In the coming weeks, we’ll release the beers that’ll be on tap along with brief looks at each brewery to bring you up to speed. When you bring all your friends on May 20th, they’re going to ask, “What is the deal with these breweries that are all from South of I-80,” and you’re going to want to be able to answer, right?

The Green Lady opened in 2011 under the direction of Melani Domingues, former manager of one of New York City’s best craft beer bars, the Ginger Man. Inspired by the Scottish spirit that’s both protector and demon (depending on your perspective), TGL’s draft list is always among the best in the city featuring unique beers from around the Midwest and beyond. started in 2010 as a way for three friends to write about the beer they loved drinking, and since then has become a noted source for beer reviews, brewery news and advocacy for the issues in Chicago’s craft beer scene that they believe in. Since its start Guys Drinking Beer has earned praise from Chicago Magazine, the Huffington Post, and was recently recognized (for the second consecutive year) by Saveur Magazine as one of the country’s best beer or wine blogs.

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