About the brewery
Two Brothers is a great, not-so-little-anymore brewery near my hometown in west suburban Chicago. As you might surmise, brothers Jim and Jason Ebel started the business together 15 years ago. Now their beers of witty name — including Domaine DuPage and Cane and Ebel — are widely available in the Midwest (and New York). If you’re in suburban Chicago, a stop at the Two Brothers Tap House is worth your time: The food is excellent (try the fish tacos), and you can sit next to a big window to the brewery itself. Inspired imbibers can pick up anything they need to brew their own beer in the gift shop.
About the beer
Circus Penguin Brewer’s Choice was created top to bottom by the Two Brothers brewers — they even chose the off-kilter label art. The limited-release beer hit the market at the end of February in 22-ounce bottles. It’s brewed with organic beets and blood oranges, which appealed to the fruit and veggie lover in me. The beer didn’t disappoint: In the nose and mouth, Circus Penguin is sweet, earthy, pleasantly bitter and hoppy and rich with citrus. There’s a lot going on in there, but the beer stays balanced, much like its pals under the big top. Circus Penguin pours the color of late afternoon — slightly hazy, appropriately the color of roasted golden beets — and has a thin, creamy head that dissipates into something akin to beach froth.
This would be nice with some of those fish tacos at the Tap Room or, barring a 380-mile trip, alongside any firm, mild white fish and young, sweet spring vegetables.