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A Taste of Two Brothers Brewing Co.

A Taste of Two Brothers Brewing Co.

During a recent trip to Milwaukee, I had the opportunity to attend the 3rd Annual World Beverage Retailer Showcase, which was co-hosted by Beechwood Distributors Inc. and at the Harley Davidson Museum. While at the trade show, I visited the Two Brothers Brewing Co. table and Christian was kind enough to tell me a bit about the company as well as taste me on four of their beers.


Two Brothers Brewing Company is a family owned and operated microbrewery and brewpub located in the western suburbs of Chicago. It was founded in late 1996 by Jim and Jason Ebel — two brothers who turned their passion for homebrewing into a successful business.


The Ebel brothers started their venture in an authentic German 3-vessel style brewhouse that was produced in Vancouver. Initially, Two Brothers began as a draft only, 15 barrel production brewery — but by 1998 they were able to secure their first bottling line. They have been rapidly expanding ever since and, as of 2007, they have are at a 30,000 barrel capacity.


Two Brothers beers are currently available in Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Minnesota, and Massachusetts.

Now, let’s talk about the Two Brothers beers I tasted:



FACTS = Biere de Garde: 16.9 plato. 24 IBU. 5.9% alcohol. 5 types of malt. Bronze medal winner at the 2007 GABF. Brewed year round.

  • Appearance: Slightly hazy amber color, medium carbonation
  • Aroma: Caramel, toasted malt, fruity esters, earthy hop aroma
  • Taste: Sweet, toasted caramel malt, brown sugar, nutty
  • Mouthfeel: Smooth, slightly syrupy, viscous, dry bitter finish
  • Overall Impression: I’m not particularly familiar with the Biere de Garde style, however, from what I can tell Domaine DuPage is pretty close to style. It is extremely drinkable. Would pair very well with French food — something fatty and creamy — perhaps a steak with bernaise sauce.



FACTS = American Pale Ale: 13.5 plato. 36 IBU. 5.2% ABV. 3 malts. 3 hops (Mountainhood, Centennial, Cascade). Available year round.

  • Appearance: Bright, orange-gold color
  • Aroma: Biscuit malts, pine, grapefruit
  • Taste: Bread, biscuit malts, clean hops, grapefruit, pine finish
  • Mouthfeel: Light to medium bodied, well carbonated
  • Overall Impression: In my opinion, this is a great session beer. It is very drinkable and has a great balance of hop to malt ratio. I really like the hop varietal combination of Cascade, Centennial and Mountainhood. The pine and citrus really come through nicely. This beer would pair very well with a sharp cheddar cheese.



FACTS = American IPA: 100% wet-hopped — brewed to celebrate the hops harvest every year. 65 IBUs. 6.7% ABV. Fresh hops were overnighted from Washington and added to the wort 16 hours after being picked. The lot number on the bottle coincides with the varietal of wet hops that were used. Only available September though December.

  • Appearance: Dark golden amber color. Lots of head with large bubbles. After the head dissipates, there is a noticeable oil film on the top (from the fresh hops, no doubt).
  • Aroma: Smack you in the face fresh Pacific Northwest hops — pine, citrus, grass, resin
  • Taste: Hops completely dominate the palate. This beer tastes like licking the sap off of a pine tree — or sucking on a pine cone. Lots of pine and resin.
  • Mouthfeel: Oily, thick, very carbonated
  • Overall Impression: Pacific Northwest hops are definitely an acquired taste. The use of fresh hops made this IPA extremely bitter. And having said all this, I can officially say that I’m in love with this beer. What can I say? I adore the citrus/pine hop varietals. And the more the better. This beer would go really well with spicy food (cajun) as well as pungent and sharp cheeses.



FACTS = Hopped Up Red Rye Ale: Brewed with 70 pounds of Thai palm sugar. Rye malts. Summit hops (new varietal – 18% alpha hops). 68 IBUs.

  • Appearance: Hazy, reddish brown. Mild carbonation.
  • Aroma: Mango, papaya, fruity esters, exotic spices
  • Taste: Spicy, dry, the caramel/brown sugar sweetness of the malt is well-balanced by a dry, bitter finish
  • Mouthfeel: Light bodied, silky, decent carbonation, bitter finish that dries the tongue out
  • Overall Impression: Despite the use of Thai palm sugar, this beer is actually not very sweet. The aroma is extremely exotic and intoxicating. This beer really surprised me. I like it very much and would recommend it to anyone. It would pair very well with Thai cuisine and curries.



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4 Responses to “A Taste of Two Brothers Brewing Co.”

  • Nate October 15th, 2009 at 10:14 am

    I think two brothers is a VERY overlooked brewery in the craft beer scene. I know their distribution is not wide, but there quality SHOULD encourage word of mouth recommendation.

    You should try and get your hand on their “Bare Tree…” it’s fantastic.

  • Coty October 15th, 2009 at 8:03 pm

    Damn, another craft beer that I’d love to taste but can’t get a hold of in Hawaii! I’d love to try the cane and ebel.

  • Christian Wicklund November 2nd, 2009 at 2:34 pm

    Hey Beer Wench- Thank you for the great post. It was great seeing you in Milwaukee, Racine and Denver. Any time you’re in Chicago let me know and you can come out to the brewery. We have 6 – 100bbl french oak foudres up and filled now. Thanks again- Cheers! Christian

  • admin November 3rd, 2009 at 3:36 pm

    Christian –

    It was great “stalking” you around the country :) Love your beers! Hope to make it back to Chi-town soon. Will keep you updated!!!

    – Wench

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