WBEZ | Greg Hall http://www.wbez.org/tags/greg-hall Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en New cider house rules: Virtue Cider Lapinette debuts http://www.wbez.org/blogs/louisa-chu/2012-12/new-cider-house-rules-virtue-cider-lapinette-debuts-104333 <p><p style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/louisachu/8265345291/"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/virtuelapinetteglass.jpg" style="height: 415px; width: 620px;" title="Virtue Lapinette cider debut at Lula Cafe in Chicago (WBEZ/Louisa Chu)" /></a></p><p>While the beer world buzzes Wednesday about the sale of <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2012/12/12/166987378/a-sign-from-above-needing-new-roof-monks-sell-rare-beer-in-u-s">Westvleteren 12 at $84.99 for six bottles</a>, one local craft ciderist quietly releases a cider that&#39;s not available in bottles at all &mdash; yet.</p><p>In case you&#39;re wondering, &quot;Westy&quot; &mdash; the beer made by Belgian monks normally sold only at the abbey, save this first exception to raise money for renovations &mdash; <a href="http://121212xii.wordpress.com/2012/12/03/hello-world/">will be available</a> at Binny&#39;s in Lincoln Park and Downers Grove.</p><p><a href="http://virtuecider.com/">Virtue Cider</a>, founded by former Goose Island brewmaster Greg Hall, celebrated the release of Lapinette last night at Lula Cafe. Only their second cider, it&#39;s an unfiltered dry French Norman style <em>cidre brut</em>, fermented with saison ale yeast and aged for months in French Cabernet Franc oak wine barrels. Like their first cider, RedStreak, Lapinette is <a href="http://www.beermenus.com/breweries/virtue-cider">only available on draft</a> around the Chicagoland area.</p><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/louisachu/8265350565/"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/virtuelapinettehandle.jpg" style="height: 413px; width: 620px;" title="Virtue Lapinette cider draft tap handle takeover at Lula Cafe in Chicago (WBEZ/Louisa Chu)" /></a></div><div class="image-insert-image ">It&#39;s somewhat maddening, in this age of instant, in-home gratification, that Virtue&#39;s ciders are not available in bottles, and if Hall had his way, they&#39;d always only be available on draft.</div><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/louisachu/8266436384/"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/lulaappletart.jpg" style="height: 413px; width: 620px;" title="Caramel apple tart, pickled dates, blue cheese at Virtue Lapinette cider release, Lula Cafe in Chicago (WBEZ/Louisa Chu)" /></a></div><div class="image-insert-image ">At the Lapinette <em>fĂȘte</em>, Hall said bottles were still a year or two off, but then revealed a secret: they may be available as soon as after this coming new year. But there&#39;s a catch: &quot;I want it to be part of the experience of visiting the cider house,&quot; he said.</div><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/louisachu/8265358175/"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/virtuelapinettechalkboard.jpg" style="height: 413px; width: 620px;" title="Virtue Lapinette cider chalkboard at Lula Cafe in Chicago (WBEZ/Louisa Chu)" /></a></div><div class="image-insert-image ">The new Virtue cider house in Fennville, Mich., is scheduled to open for visits any day now, possibly in time for the release of their next and third cider, The Mitten. This winter cider is blended with fresh-pressed apple juice and currently aging in 12 year-old <a href="http://www.heavenhill.com/age-gate.php">Heaven Hill</a> bourbon whiskey barrels. The name is an ode to the shape of our neighboring state to the north.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">Cider house or abbey, some drinks are worth the pilgrimage.</div><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=394349767307768&amp;set=a.154662687943145.38835.129071210502293&amp;type=1&amp;theater"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/virtueciderhouse.jpg" style="height: 465px; width: 620px;" title="Virtue Cider Cider House 1 in Fennville, Michigan (Virtue Cider)" /></a></div></div></div></div><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Wed, 12 Dec 2012 11:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/louisa-chu/2012-12/new-cider-house-rules-virtue-cider-lapinette-debuts-104333 Goose Island Brewery's acquisition: the exit interview (podcast) http://www.wbez.org/blog/steve-dolinsky/2011-04-13/goose-island-brewerys-acquisition-exit-interview-podcast-84987 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/photo/2011-April/2011-04-12/Greg Hall.jpg" alt="" /><p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-April/2011-04-09/Greg Hall.jpg" style="width: 336px; height: 223px;" title="Goose Island Brewmaster Greg Hall (not for too much longer) (photo: Steven E. Gross)"><br> &nbsp;</p><p><audio class="mejs mediaelement-formatter-identified-1332483433-1" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/sites/default/files/Greg Hall.mp3">&nbsp;</audio></p><p>Everyone in Chicago may have been shocked by the news recently that <a href="http://www.gooseisland.com/">Goose Island</a> had been bought by <a href="http://www.anheuser-busch.com/">Anheuser-Busch InBev</a> for a cool $39 million, but the deal - according to the family who started the local craft brewer - makes a lot of sense. While local beer drinkers were writing the epitaph for yet another local brand, the company's current (and soon to be former) Brewmaster says if they wanted to continue to meet demand for their specialty brands like Matilda and Pere Jacques, they had to either take on a huge amount of debt, or let A-B help them do it. The Hall family will retain ownership of their two local brewpubs, and while the purchase means the end of an already successful career for Greg Hall, it just might lead to something exciting in the future as well. I spoke with Hall last week at length about what the purchase means for the company and for its legions of loyal beer drinkers.</p></p> Wed, 13 Apr 2011 11:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blog/steve-dolinsky/2011-04-13/goose-island-brewerys-acquisition-exit-interview-podcast-84987