Forbidden Root

Forbidden Root's debut beers will be available in Chicago in early June 2014. (DON CIESIELSKI / April 21, 2014)

New breweries need to stand out if they are going to make an impact in Chicago's busy craft beer scene.

Forbidden Root, a new Chicago brewery set to hit taps in early June, is poised to do it. Calling itself a 'botanical brewery,' Forbidden Root uses roots, herbs and spices in its beers, harkening back to a somewhat forgotten American brewing tradition. The result is a lineup of beers that are unique, complex and probably unlike any other craft beer you've recently tried.

News about the brewery recently has focused on its efforts to open a West Town taproom, but as zoning concerns were sorted out, Forbidden Root has quietly been developing the recipes for its three debut beers. Beginning in early June, that trioSublime Ginger wheat, Shady Character porter and the namesake Forbidden Root root beerwill be available on draft in Chicago at bars and restaurants including SmallBar Division, Bad Dog Tavern and Little Goat Diner.

Having sampled the beers at an event in May, I was most struck by their food-friendly characteristics. I imagined pairing the Sublime Ginger with a spicy pad Thai, or the Forbidden Root root beer with a nutty dessert.

After Forbidden Root hits draft lines, the brewery plans to roll out bottles in July. That's also about when they will break ground on their West Town taproom at 1746 W. Chicago Ave., anticipating an early 2015 opening.


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