Chicagoist's Beer Of The Week: Metropolitan's Flywheel
By Jason Baldacci in Food on May 31, 2015 6:00PM
This week, I’m shedding the collective “we” I usually write with to express some of my own opinions. It is, after all, my final “Beer of the Week” post for Chicagoist after a solid run here at the site.
I’ve held various positions in the Craft Beer Industry since 2008, and a lot of people tend to ask me what my favorite beer is. I usually tell them that it depends on what the weather is like, what I may or may not be eating, how much I’ve had to drink already, etc. Sometimes I tell them that asking me such a question is like asking a parent who their favorite child is, to which I give them my own mother’s response: I love all my kids equally, just not at the same time. When I actually decide to be specific though, it usually tends to break people’s hearts a touch. They expect me to regale them with some tale about touring an obscure brewery in Belgium to describe some incredibly rare, limited, special bottling that they would never be able find because you have to know a guy who knows a guy to obtain a bottle.
While I certainly have more than a few great stories about brewery tours and beers you can’t find anywhere, people are usually surprised when I break this to them: Every year I’ve worked in craft beer, I drink more pilsners and other light lagers than anything else. Yes, I still want a spicy saison if I’m going out for Thai food or a brown ale with my BBQ, but at the end of the day, I prefer to drink something that I can just enjoy without analyzing it.
Which brings me to Flywheel, a bright lager from the good, Chicago-loving people of Metropolitan Brewing Co. It pours a pale-golden color in the glass, with bready malt aromas and an essence of spicy hops. That bready malt profile translates beautifully on the palate, with a lip-smacking freshness that hits right up front. The spicy hops we picked up on the nose turn a little floral when they kick in on the mid-palate, and ride strong though the finish. It’s clean, crisp, incredibly refreshing and always appropriate.
At 5% alcohol content, Flywheel is probably my favorite local beer. No, it’s not complex, but it’s not supposed to be. If there was anything wrong with this beer though, any off-flavor whatsoever, even a novice taster would be able to notice. As the Matron of Metropolitan, Tracy Hurst, will say: "Lagers tell on you if you f#$% them up."
I can find Flywheel on draft and in 12 oz. bottles all over town, which to me, is what makes it so special. Check beermenus.com to see where you can find some in your neighborhood.