2. Emmett’s – Victory Pale Ale

Chicago, Illinois.  Everybody calls it the Windy City, and after this week, I understand why.

I had been out here a bunch of times to visit, but it never really lived up to the Windy City moniker.  I mean, it was breezy at times, but I never would have called it windy.  We moved to an area of the city called Lakeview.  It’s a bit north of the downtown area and about half a block from the lake.  In spring and summer, I’m imagining this area to be incredible.  A nice breeze off the water, sunny days on the beach, sailboats in the harbor.  So picturesque.

There is a downside to this whole living-by-the-lake idea.  Apparently a strong wind tends to blow off the lake and inland.  Well, since we’re about half a block from said lake, guess where the wind hits first.

image: jeffsweather.com

Every morning I walk toward the lake to pick up the bus to go to work.  It’s a very easy commute… most days.  The past couple of mornings, however, have been like trying to walk into one of those crazy wind tunnels that they use to test the aerodynamics of fighter jets while someone is spraying you in the face with a garden hose.  My tiny umbrella is useless in these situations, so I arrive at work a bit less dry than I had initially hoped.

There is an upside to all this though.  When I get dropped off on my way home from work, my walk back to the apartment is awesome!  I just kinda pushed my arms out to my sides a bit and turn myself into a big sail and get thrown back to my doorstep.  It’s pretty fun.

My next step into Chicago-area beers came from Emmett’s out in Palatine.  Word on the street (or ratebeer.com to be more accurate) was that their Victory pale ale was pretty good.  So, I gave it a try.

Sight:  A nice bright copper color.  Looked very good for a pale, maybe a bit maltier than others.

Smell:  Very hoppy on the nose (did that statement sound pretentious?).  A bit like cut grass (that’s more like it).  It reminded me of the fresh hops my friend would get from his parents’ garden.

Taste:  A light malty sweetness to start out.  Not too overpowering, just the right amount to hold the beer together.  It slowly transitions into that grassiness and then finishes with a very gentle bitterness, which was very surprising considering how strong the hop aroma was.

My overall grade:  B+

A very tasty beer.  Not a knock-your-socks-off kinda beer, but definitely one that you can enjoy on multiple occasions, or even multiple times on one occasion.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to fabricate myself a plastic bubble to shield me from the wind outside.

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