If you’ve been following my beer writing for the Reader over the years, you already know about my special feelings for Pipeworks Brewing, the nanobrewery founded by Beejay Oslon and Gerrit Lewis. I wrote about their Kickstarter campaign (which eventually succeeded) at the end of 2010, and I’ve declared them winners in the paper’s Best of Chicago issue two years running: Best Craft Brewery That Doesn’t Exist Yet in 2011 and Best New Bottled Beer (for the Ninja vs. Unicorn double IPA) in 2012.

The beer that began this infatuation was Pipeworks’ Abduction Imperial Stout, which I sampled at Goose Island’s Stout Fest in March 2010. At the time, I wrote that Abduction “has a long, complex profile that covers an amazing range of the flavors that a stout can have: hoppy and sweet up front, toasty and molasses-rich in the finish, with a tangle of notes in between that remind me of honey roasted peanuts, burnt toffee, and Kansas City barbecue.”

Pipeworks has been bottling beer since early 2012, and last week—more than two and a half years after my only encounter with it—Abduction finally reached store shelves. On Thursday I picked up a couple 22-ounce bottles of the first batch at the Binny’s in River North, which got ten cases.

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.