Yesterday, Big Star previewed the Zephyr, a specialty beer it and the Publican helped develop with the Lagunitas Brewing Company. Unlike many house brews, this one is getting a lot of attention because it is both the first restaurant collaboration for the influential California brewery and also a relatively massive project. It will actually be distributed to other Lagunitas accounts around the city, and also around California. It will be available officially starting on Monday, but we came back from the tasting yesterday with five things that you need to know about the Zephyr.
1. The beer is named after the California Zephyr, a train that connects Chicago to the San Francisco area. Get it?
2. The beer was first conceived in Chicago by the beer director at the Publican (Michael McAvena) and the managers and beer directors at Big Star (Ben Fasman and Laurent Lebec). The home brewers fine-tuned the beer here, and then took the brew to California where it was “tweaked” and then finally brewed.
3. It is pretty strong at 7.66% abv.
4. 200 kegs will be sent out now. It will available at both Big Star and The Publican, along with other Lagunitas accounts around the city.
5. The label was designed by Hannah Aitchison of LA Ink.
Brewed and Tattooed: New Lagunitas Chicago Collaboration “Zephyr Ale” [Bay Area Craft Beer]