three cans of beer and a poured glass of beer
Metropolitan's Dynamo Copper Lager and Goldfinger’s Vienna Lager Credit: Philip Montoro

The Reader has been loving on Metropolitan Brewing since July 2008, when cofounder Doug Hurst was still using a six-gallon pilot system. They’d already settled on Dynamo Copper Lager as a flagship beer, and for a decade it was my favorite daily drinker. I’d buy it whenever I succumbed to option paralysis in a liquor store—I knew I’d never regret it. So when Metropolitan retired Dynamo as a year-round beer in spring 2021, my heart broke a little. It’s now a winter seasonal, released in January.

In a city as rich in beer as Chicago, though, I’m not doomed to pine after Dynamo for nine months each year. Last winter I discovered Goldfinger’s Vienna Lager, a year-round part of the lineup at the Downers Grove brewery since it opened in July 2020. Goldfinger has been shipping it in cans since early 2021, and it actually competes with my longtime beloved.

Both beers are Vienna lagers, though Goldfinger’s recipe is simpler: just Vienna malt and Czech Saaz hops. They’re both nutty and toasty, as you’d expect, with a hint of toffee. Dynamo looks a shade darker, thanks to some Munich malt, but it tastes brighter—yeast from venerable Munich brewery Augustiner-Bräu gives it a floral nose, like violet custard, and it has a touch of clover honey sweetness. The Goldfinger Vienna Lager feels silkier, with lingering flavors of caramel and baked dates—a complexity that brewer-owner Tom Beckmann attributes to double-decoction mashing. Goldfinger’s naturally carbonated beer has finer bubbles than Dynamo, and both finish dry, with a cleanly earthy bitterness.

I’ll always pick Dynamo first when I can, for old times’ sake. But the Goldfinger Vienna Lager will be around all year—and it proves that Chicago can produce two perfect versions of this beer, each with its own charms.

Goldfinger Brewing Company
Tap room open Tue-Thu 4-10 PM, Fri-Sat noon-10:30 PM, Sun noon-7 PM
513 Rogers, Downers Grove, 630-541-9728
Order online and find local distribution sites at

Best of Chicago 2022 is presented by


Philip Montoro

Philip Montoro has been an editorial employee of the Reader since 1996 and its music editor since 2004. Pieces he has edited have appeared in Da Capo’s annual Best Music Writing anthologies in 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, and 2011. He shared two Lisagor Awards in 2019 for a story on gospel pioneer Lou Della Evans-Reid and another in 2021 for Leor Galil's history of Neo, and he’s also split three national awards from the Association of Alternative Newsmedia: one for multimedia in 2019 for his work on the TRiiBE collaboration the Block Beat, and two (in 2020 and 2022) for editing the music writing of Reader staffer Leor Galil. Philip has played scrap metal in Lozenge, drummed with the Disasters, the Afflictions, and Brilliant Pebbles, and sung for the White Outs. He wrote the column Beer and Metal from 2012 till 2015, and hopes to do so again one day. You can also follow him on Twitter.