Out beyond O’Hare lies a brewery called Church Street, even though it’s actually located on Industrial Drive. Until I stumbled upon its bottles in a Binny’s I had never heard of the brewery. It doesn’t quite have the clout of the bigger Chicago players yet. Probably because it’s not run by former Goose Island brewers or pumping out crazy beers in limited amounts of bottles. But what it does have going for it is the number one lager in Chicago according to Chicago Magazine. I didn’t know this before picking up a bottle of Heavenly Helles Lager but after tasting it I can definitely see why.
The slightly hazy straw colored beer is a quintessential lawnmower beer. Its nose of sweet biscuit malt contains a significant proportion of floral and herbal aromas that lend an almost pilsner-like smell to the beer. The flavor is malt forward but well balanced by the same floral hops on the back end. It’s clean and easy-drinking, a session beer if there ever was one. And with distribution limited to Chicago, it’s almost always guaranteed to be fresh. Next time you find yourself in Chicago, take a break from hop bombs and sticky sweet stouts for some of the best lager you’ll ever enjoy.