Craft Beers And Boats: A Perfect Combination

By Lorna Juett in Food on Sep 4, 2012 6:00PM

While any beer on a boat tastes better than a beer on dry land, our experience on The Craft Beer Boat this past Wednesday vastly exceeded the typical cooler-full of Old Style in a rowboat that we’re used to.

We boarded the Valara at Burnham Harbor on a picture-perfect night and were greeted with the promise of Navy Pier fireworks, spicy nuts from Bee's Knees, and six delicious drafts provided by Sixpoint Brewery and Artisanal Imports.

We sampled all six drafts, and settled on two favorites: St. Feuillien Saison and Sixpoints Spice of Life Amarillo. Perhaps it was the perfect Chicago summer evening, but we felt these lighter brews hit the spot. The St. Feullien Saison offered a herbal, yeast, and hay-filled nose, followed by flavors of citrus, grasses, and clove. The Spice Of Life Amarillo had similar saison-style characteristics, but with a hoppy nose, due to the liberal use of Amarillo hops, and a subtly bitter finish. Both were easy drinking and a perfect companion to the evening.

Also joining us on the boat was the innovative Footbooth: a photo booth controlled by the user’s foot, which captured some candid moments and plenty of drinking and mugging.

The guests were lucky winners of tickets given away at 10 different bars in Chicago. Guests were also selected randomly from a Twitter contest.

With great beer, good company, and perfect weather, the craft beer boat’s inaugural trip was a success. Organizers Jake Williams and Adam Schulte plan to make this an annual event, so you can look forward to your chance to win a spot on the cruise next summer.