Thursday, June 24, 2010

Brewpub Review: Two Brothers Taphouse & Brewery - Warrenville, IL

Two Brothers Brewery and Brewpub is in my hometown of Warrenville, Illinois. They have been growing at an astounding rate in the past few years and are becoming nationally recognized for their outstanding line of beers. 

When they say they are off the beaten path they really do mean it. The building is located in I guess I would say an office park area of the town and not clearly marked at all. The first time I went there the only thing that told me that this must be it is the grain silo near the back of the building. If you are going there for the first time and not familiar with Warrenville, as I am, you may want to print out the directions and keep their phone number handy so you can call if you cannot find it.

 So you have found the building, now you have to find the entrance, luckily they have a straight and to the point sign on the door telling you where to enter.

Another nice feature is their sign showing the tap house business hours, complete with bar and food service times.

All joking aside, when you walk in this place you feel the great atmosphere. It is very clean and usually packed with people. It's one of the things I like about it, they don't need any fancy advertising or location to get people to come there, people go there because of the service, food, beer, and all around good vibe you get from the place. Word of mouth is the only advertisement that they need, and if you find it I am pretty sure you'll be wanting to go back. 

I have to say, they did a great job hiring a chef when they opened the tap house. The food, although mostly common pub fair, is perfectly prepared and some of the best quality I have ever had at a brew pub. We started out with the crab and artichoke dip. You wouldn't think the crab would be that good while sitting in the middle of the country, but they must have a great supplier cause it was fresh and went really well with the artichokes in the dip. 

Main courses were the pulled pork and the mac and cheese. The pulled pork was amazing. I can't tell you if they have a smoker on site but it sure did taste like it. Along with it I got some sweet potato fries, I am not really a huge yam fan but when deep fried you really can't stop eating them. The mac and cheese was just like your grandmother would make, add will not regret it. They only thing I have herd negatively about the menu is that the reuben is not your typical may like it or you may hate it.  

I apologize that the next pictures are going to be of lower quality. Camera ran out of batteries and had to change to the trusty cell phone cam for the rest of the documentation.  

With the quality of food they are putting on your plate you wouldn't think that the brewery operations are run out of the same building if it weren't for the window looking in.

"The fab five" as they call it listed above are always available on tap. They always have seasonal offerings and cask conditioned ales as well. The few times I have been there they have had a different IPA on draft. 

This time around I tried the Resistance IPA, conditioned in the "French oak foudres" that imparts a vanilla and oak flavor. Great IPA only wish I could have it on draft here in Denver.

The Long Haul Session Ale was another hit, and another offering that is aged with the French 4.2% you can definitely put a few back. 

Ebel's Weiss is a great German hefeweizen. Ranks up there with my favorite domestic hefeweizens along with Sierra Nevada's Kellerweiss.

If you have had your fill of the Two Brother's offerings they have a huge list of guest beers on draft and in bottle that you can try. Beer geeks will walk away very happy with their selection. 

After a great dinner we were offered a tour of the back brewing facilities. Of course I had to jump on it and check it out. They are under incredible growth right now and you can see that some of the huge conical fermenters had been just bought from Goose Island brewing as they still have the line "Chicago's Craft Brewer" on them.

Pictured to the left are the French oak foudres that the Resistance IPA and Long haul session had been aged in. As explained to me, Two Brothers is the only brewery to be aging in virgin oak rather than reused oak barrels from distilleries. They had these shipped over from France and their beer was the first thing to touch it other than the hands that constructed them. I was also told that oak chips could not impart the flavors as these vats do. The vanilla and fresh oak that these impart are not like anything else any other brewery is doing.     

So not only do they have a brewpub and brewery in the same building, guess what else?? An actual distributor warehouse, Windy City Distribution. Now let me tell you, I have never seen anything as glorious as this in my life. And just to note, there is no swill in this warehouse just heavenly, magnificent craft beer. Check out the website listed above for everything that they distribute. 

So in conclusion, Two Brothers Brewpub/Brewery/Distributor warehouse is a thing to behold. If you are a beer geek and in the area you must check it out.

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