I couldn’t have picked a better week to review Firestone Walker‘s Double Jack: at the Chicago Beer Society‘s Night of the Living Ales on March 5, it won the Golden Tut, awarded by the cellar staff and the professional brewers in attendance to the beer that “best exemplifies the overall cask ale experience.” Firestone Walker is a new entrant to the Chicago beer market: in January the brewery began distributing a handful of its beers here, all from its high-end Proprietors Reserve Series. I’ve seen bottles of Double Jack and Walker’s Reserve Robust Porter on shelves, and I was lucky enough to catch the Firestone 14 Anniversary Ale on tap at the Map Room. According to marketing manager Jamie Smith, their Abacus barleywine is coming in March, and the Parabola Russian imperial stout is due in June.
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.More by Philip Montoro