It opens it up to the community.
Lake Bluff Brewing Company recently asked homebrewers to submit their best Black IPAs for its 2nd homebrew competition.
“Black IPA is a really weird style of beer to begin with,” LBBC Bar Manager Pato Thornycroft joked.
“It’s a really cool style, very contemporary, and something that came up in recent years. We don’t have something like this on the menu, so we thought it’d be a good complement,”
On Saturday, Sept. 21, the Chicagoland brewery invites the public to its taproom from 2:00 - 4:00 p.m. to sample the homebrewed Black IPAs. The call for entries ended Sept. 1 and secured 13 entries.
A BJCP (Beer Judge Certification Program) judge will be on site, and will have tasted and scored all entries prior to the 2:00 event start time.
The Sept. 21 homebrew competition will be in a tent outside of the taproom, featuring live music. The LBBC staff anticipates a much larger turnout than at its first competition, as “we had people begging at the end of the last competition [we held], ‘You have to do this again!’ ” Burns said.
LBBC was founded on this demand for beer.
In 2009, Burns and co-owner Rodd Specketer had been homebrewing for years, and even held their own “competitions”
Patrick Lueth’s “Better Wit Than Wisdom” Witbier won the competition, granting him access to the brewery’s equipment to cook up 5 kegs’ worth of his original recipe. It has been available at the taproom since the last week of August.
This is just one of many ways the young brewery interacts with its supporters. Its mantra of “BAM: Beer. Art. Music.” sets the 30-seat taproom apart from similar businesses. The looping vinyl record player and prominently displayed local art lead some customers to describe it as a slice of the city in the heart of the suburbs.
As for its staff, LBBC isn’t quite a “Cheers” bar, but it is a place where everybody learns your name.
“The key to having good customer service is to hire smart people,” Specketer divulged.
The brewery, located at 16 East Scranton Avenue in Lake Bluff, is steps from the Lake Bluff Metra UP North Station. Its proximity to Sheridan Road and I-94 also make it easily accessible for bikers and drivers, respectively.
For more information, please visit www.lbbrew.com or call (224)544-5179.