Credit: Courtesy Alarmist Brewing

Alarmist Brewing

When Gary Gulley launched Alarmist Brewing this spring—after four years of preparation, uncountable revisions of his business plan, and several rounds of investors’ meetings—he had only one beer, Pantsless Pale Ale. It was a gutsy choice, not least because pale ales and IPAs are by far the most crowded and competitive subcategories in craft beer. But any brewery would do well to have Pantsless as its flagship: extravagantly juicy and beautifully harmonious, it braids fruity, floral hops with silky caramel malts for an easygoing sipper you never want to stop drinking. (Alarmist has since released a sessionable Belgian-style table beer called Phobophobia, but I haven’t tried it yet.) In April, Alderman Margaret Laurino introduced an ordinance to lift the moratorium on liquor sales in Alarmist’s neighborhood, near Peterson and Pulaski, and by early next year Gulley hopes to open an on-site tap room. The brewery recently started distributing to bars through Chicago Beverage Systems, so keep an eye out for its tap handles—they look like bundles of dynamite.

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 he’s also split two national awards from the Association of Alternative Newsmedia: one for multimedia in 2019 for his work on the TRiiBE collaboration the Block Beat, and one in in 2020 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.