Today starts #CKTdrinkweek. We are kicking off with a behind-the-scenes tour at Penrose Brewing Company. Deanna and I hit the road (1 hour west of the city)–I took notes, she took pictures, and we drank beer on a Friday afternoon.
Geneva, IL is the place to be if you like food and drinks and Penrose Brewing Company is at the center of it all. Penrose is all over (you’ve seen it at The Publican, Longman & Eagle, and Old Town Social), but have you visited the taproom? If you find yourself in Geneva, go a little off the beaten path to Penrose and you’ll find the beers people are buzzing about.
Penrose has only been open since March (hard to believe), but this crew is already making waves with their Belgian-inspired ales. Everything they do is intentional, thoughtful, and creative. Even their name cues this…the tile logo represents the intersection of art & science.
Penrose has both a production and a pilot brew system. Production = large-scale brewing that goes out to market (80 keg system) and Pilot = small scale, creative brewing that stays in-house (2 keg system). So, when you get to the taproom, of course you can enjoy a P2 or Proto Gradus (their bread and butter), but you can also try things that they are working on…like the Honey Ale made with honey from Heritage Prairie Farm (just down the street), or the Strong Dark a beer with notes of a tootsie roll. Stay tuned for their Sour Wild ales in the works.
One thing that I love is that their beers have a relatively low alcohol content (ABV). It’s not totally common that a small craft brewery would have such light, well-thought out beers, but they do. It is all about balance and approachability for them. And they say, when they drink, they want to have a few, so something with a 4% ABV works. (thank you!)
Their taproom is strictly a taproom–no chef in the house here, but they welcome you to B.Y.O.F–I think your best bet would be tacos from Bien Trucha while sipping the P2. Or, I hear that Nobel House would be a good next stop if you’re ready to hit the town (naturally, Penrose is on tap).
These people know their craft–even the bartenders are part of the Cicerone program–think Sommelier but for beer. They are a serious about the brews, but they still know how to have fun (we saw the skateboard). Thanks for the behind the scenes tour; we will be back soon, no question!
all photography & design work by Deanna!