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Chicagoist's "Beer of the Week:" Haymarket's "The Defender" Double American Stout

By Chuck Sudo in Food on Mar 30, 2012 8:40PM

Chicagoist/Chuck Sudo
We knew that Pete Crowley was going to be successful when he left Rock Bottom to open Haymarket Pub & Brewing. What we didn't expect was for Crowley to reinvigorate the local craft beer scene by doubling down on heavy weight beers. Goose Island has gone sour. Half Acre is where to find limited edition ales and collaborations. Three Floyds, which used to be the area's big beer champion, can't make enough Zombie Dust to keep its fans happy.

Crowley's beer menu at Haymarket is loaded with dubbels, trippels, imperial ales and this week's "Beer of the Week" selection, one of our favorite local stouts. "The Defender" is a double American stout brewed with oat, chocolate and roasted barley malts, then hopped and dry-hopped with Chinook and Amarillo hops.

the sugars from the malts easily cut through the mix to tickle the taste buds. But the selling point for us with "The Defender" is the flavor and aroma imparted by the hops. You'll pick up hints of pine on the nose and citrus on the palate which, combined with the chocolate malt, is like drinking a Cadbury chocolate Easter egg. This is a serious stout that demands your attention, and we haven't even mentioned the nine percent ABV content.

Another thing we love about Haymarket is the ability to order Crowley's beers in different volumes. If 16 ounces is too much, have "The Defender" in a tulip glass, which is our preference.