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Chicagoist's Beer of the Week: 5Rabbit's "5Lizard"

By Karl Klockars in Food on Jun 10, 2011 7:20PM

2011_06_09fiverabbit.jpg When we look back at the events of the most recent Craft Beer Week, we'll probably remember it as "the year where they introduced 5Rabbit." In fact, it was during the 2010 Craft Beer Week that 5Rabbit Brewery (or cervezeria artisinal) was finally put into motion, when founders Isaac Showaki and Andres Araya met beer writer Randy Mosher, according to their story. Mosher came up with the recipes, Showaki and Araya put together the business plan, they picked Chicago as the place to dive in head first, and off they went. Now, we're drinking their beer.

They're being heralded as introducing Latin heritage into the American craft beer scene, and according to the Tribune they're contract brewing through Argus but hope to have their own brewery open in the next couple years. (Should you currently be shrugging at their contract-brewing origin story, allow us to combat those perceptions with two words: Half. Acre.)

So how about the beer? Banish all preconceived notions about Mexican beer, because Corona or Dos Equis this is not. The 5Lizard, their take on a Belgian witbier is described as spicy with passion fruit hints, but this beer is sweet, sharp lemony citrus with a nice wheaty spine. Pouring cloudy and headless, the 5Lizard is all lemon upfront with a slight hop presence, more a suggestion than a bitter demand. Let it open and tart pear flavors develop and the crispness backs off, allowing the unfiltered qualities of the beer to peek through. It's got us very excited to find their 5Vulture, which promises amber caramel and ancho chile flavors. Fingers are crossed that we can find a local replacement to a personal favorite, Rogue's Chipotle Ale.

On draft at Bad Apple for $5 a pint, you probably won't be surprised to find that I think it'd pair well with Mexican food, but in addition it also would sit beside Thai and Vietnamese pretty well.

Between Finch's Golden Wing and the 5Lizard, Chicago has a couple really great local summer brews to hunt down, in case we ever get more than 2 days in a row of the season. 5Rabbit's 5Lizard is Chicagoist's Beer of the Week.