I’ve been a fan of Metropolitan Brewing for almost five years. When I was first getting into craft beer (and still intimidated by the terra incognita of traditional German styles), “lager” to me meant the watery 30-pack swill I drank in grad school when I wanted to nerve myself up to light my arm on fire with grain alcohol for a laugh. Metropolitan, who make nothing but lagers, changed all that for me.

The brewery’s core lineup was established so early and has changed so little, though, that in the nine months I’ve been doing this column I haven’t been able to find a good opportunity to write about it. (“Check out this beer that’s been all over Chicago for four years!” is a tough sell.) I got my chance this weekend with the first full-scale release of the tap-only zwickelbier version of Metropolitan‘s Flywheel Bright Lager.

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. You can also follow him on Twitter.