Unfiltered & naturally conditioned

As Michael made his way through the latest Beverage Master publication, an article caught his eye. The article turned out to be more of an advert for a particular provider of beer filtration systems and how carefully selecting the proper filtration method can make or break the end result. But it was only the opening paragraph that piqued his interest. The author very basically stated that correct process + time + gravity = great beer. But he went on to say, “When a brewer speeds up that process, corners get cut, and compensation has to occur. Proper filtration methods are one way to do this…” 

Invariably in these modern times, patience is not so much a virtue as it is a relic of the past. Time is just another obstacle to overcome using technology and creativity. This is definitely true in the beer world, where getting from wort to mug quickly and efficiently is paramount. Filtration is sometimes utilized by breweries in order to “cut corners” as it were. 

At Stockholm’s, we’re fast approaching 19 years of craft brewing in the Old World Tradition. Our beers are made in small batches right in our front window; naturally conditioned and unfiltered in order to produce the kind of beer you’d find in a German hofbrau around 1900. Choosing not to filter our beers helps us achieve a broader flavor profile, as filtering by its very nature removes subtle flavors and nuances. After all, the Old World process + time + gravity = Stockholm’s Handcrafted Beer.

In with the new

The vaccine is here. New treatments have been discovered and restrictions are loosening. But it seems that some of the new trends we’ve seen over the past year will continue to be the norm for the foreseeable future.

Carry out is king. Dining inside is once again an option, but many people are still choosing carry out. Perhaps this is because they’re worried about the virus; or maybe a quiet night at home wearing sweatpants just trumps a table at a restaurant. And it doesn’t look like the spike in carry out dining will be going away anytime soon. According to Upserve, 60% of consumers are choosing carry out at least once per week. At Stockholm’s, we’ve continued to offer our full menu along with new monthly specials for both dine in and carry out. 

Drinks to go. Dovetailing right along with carry out meals are carry out adult beverages. Many states, like Illinois, relaxed statutes regarding mixed drinks to go at the start of the pandemic. While the change in statute may be temporary, a Zagat survey found that 59% of consumers will continue to order non-traditional items like alcoholic beverages for carry out even after the pandemic ends. Unfortunately, since Stockholm’s is categorized as a brewpub, thanks to special interest lobbying we are unable to package mixed drinks for carry out. But, as always, all of our handcrafted beers, as well as our seasonal selections and even barrel aged brews, are available in liter growlers to go.

Outdoor dining. We Midwest folk are pretty hardy. We’re used to the relentless snow and the brutal cold of the Illinois winter. But over the past year, outdoor patios have been in use during months when they’d usually be shuttered. Restaurants in every climate are creatively using outdoor space like alley ways, parking lots, and sidewalks to offer safe and comfortable dining choices for their Guests. Our open-air heated patio is a great option for those not ready to dine indoors or for those who just want some fresh air while they enjoy their Stockholm’s favorites.  

While we’ve never been the restaurant to go along with what’s “trendy”, we’re always willing to do whatever it takes for our Guests and to serve great food and drinks in a safe and comfortable environment. At this, the one-year anniversary of a rollercoaster ride of a year, we’d like to once again say Thank You for your unwavering support! We’re grateful we’re still here doing what we love. Cheers!

Escape to Stockholm’s

Picture it: hot sunshine, a gentle breeze, palm trees swaying, the sounds of ocean waves and exotic birds singing their songs. Sounds amazing right about now, doesn’t it? Well, Stockholm’s doesn’t have any of that. But what we do have is a heck of a lot less expensive and doesn’t require air travel. Your local brewpub. A cozy, warm place to escape to in the middle of a bitter cold winter. You’ll always find a familiar face ready with a greeting and a smile (behind a mask, of course), and there’s always good food and drink to be had. Have your favorite dish, the one you come back for time and time again, or try something new. Pair it with one of our handcrafted beers, or a selection from our diverse wine and spirits list. If you’re ready, take a break and get out of the house for a bit. We have been working hard to keep Guests and staff healthy and safe. If you feel safer at home, our entire menu is available for carryout, along with liter growlers of our handcrafted beer and half gallons of our small batch root beer. We’ll see you soon, no tickets required.

Have it your way

It’s 2021! A new year, a new start, and for many that means a change in habits. Maybe you’ve resolved to watch less TV, meditate more, or get more steps in daily. While we’re rooting for you, we can’t really help you with those. BUT we may be able to help with all food related resolutions. If you haven’t noticed, our menu runs the gamut – there’s not much that we don’t offer at Stockholm’s. And modification is the name of the game! Additions, subtractions, substitutions, you name it. If eating less meat is on your radar, we offer several delicious meatless options. Any of our salads can be made meatless, we have a Veggie Wrap, a Portabella Mushroom Sandwich, Vegetable Primavera, and the Beyond Burger®. Planning to cut out gluten? Dozens of menu items are marked with either GF or GFA, meaning Gluten Free or Gluten Free Available. 

If you’re participating in Dry January, we’ve come up with a few fun Mocktails crafted with our specialty syrups. All the taste and zero alcohol! And for those of you still imbibing yet wanting to watch your calorie consumption, we have Loki’s Pils on draft, a light yet fully balanced Pilsner. 

Whatever your 2021 is shaping up to be, we hope to be a part of it. Cheers to an amazing year!

Different ways to holiday


​The holiday season is upon us again. For many, celebrations will be much different than years past. But different doesn’t have to mean boring! Here are some creative ways to make your holidays special in 2020.

A new spin on old traditions: While many of our favorite holiday extravaganzas are cancelled this year, communities are getting inventive in how they reimagine them. For example, Christkindlmarket is virtual this year and Morton Arboretum’s famous Illumination light show will be a drive through spectacle. Our favorite holiday event, the Geneva Christmas Walk, is now Christmas Walk Weekends; each weekend packed with festivities for the entire family. Check out the complete schedule here.

Got crafty kids? Get into the holiday spirit while raising someone’s spirits! Use that artistic talent to make holiday cards and decorations for nursing homes in your area. (Call first to ensure they can accept them.) Many of these care facilities have had to drastically limit visitors this year, so the residents (and health care workers) could use a festive holiday boost!

Give if you can: More folks than ever will need help this year putting a holiday meal on the table or gifts under the tree. Partner with The Salvation Army or Batavia United Way to help local families. Or donate to The Northern Illinois Food Bank or to the food pantry in your community. These days, every little bit helps. 

Support local: Local businesses need your support now more than ever. Many offer online shopping and curbside pickup options. Gift cards always make a great gift as well. And you just might introduce a family member or friend to a new boutique or restaurant they’ve never tried before!

Small but mighty

It’s no secret that huge retailers like Amazon, Walmart, and Home Depot are booming in the COVID fallout while small businesses continue to suffer. Consumers are looking for convenient and safe alternatives to meet their needs. We are lucky enough to live in a country where you can spend your money how and where you see fit, but here are a few good reasons to support local whenever possible.

According to the Census Bureau’s Annual Survey of Entrepreneurs, small businesses make up a whopping 99.7% of U.S. businesses and 64% of the new jobs created annually. In fact, 74% of small business employees report job satisfaction. While smaller companies may not have the HR resources of their mega-counterparts, flexibility, individually tailored benefits, and more human connection sets a solid foundation for these high marks.

When money is spent on locally owned business, a much larger percentage of that amount is spent locally as well. As much as 64% stays right in that community, versus only about 32% spent at a chain, and 0% spent online.
Local businesses sponsor kid’s sports teams, events we love so much (and missed this year), as well as the nonprofit groups working hard to give back to the community. Without the support of small business, many would not have the revenue stream to survive.

And finally, unique small businesses drive traffic to small town Main Street from all over, creating tourism and tax revenue that is used to enhance local infrastructure and services.

While the passage of time has reduced our alert level when it comes to all things COVID, small business and small town Main Street still need your help to make it through. We are thankful to live in a community which supports its local business. Together, we will not only survive, we will thrive! 

Beer festivals around the world

Beer Festival Season is upon us! We rounded up a few of these noteworthy events around the world…and none of them take place in Germany!

Belgian Beer Weekend: Generally held in Brussels during the first weekend of September, breweries big and small come together to celebrate their suds. Enjoy beers of every kind while taking in the gorgeous Gothic architecture of La Grande Place, central square of Belgium’s capital city. 

Slunce ve Skle: This annual festival usually takes place the third weekend of September in Pilsen (Plzen), a picturesque city about 50 miles west of Prague in the Czech Republic. The name of the event translates to “sun in a glass”. Attendees can expect to only find microbreweries pouring here (no big guys allowed!) as the focus is more on artistry and quality rather than quantity.

Oktoberfest of Blumenau: Second only to Munich’s, this epic Brazilian celebration lasts over two weeks in October. Imagine all the kitsch and energy of Carnaval meets beer, lederhosen, and knockwurst. Blumenau is a city built by a handful of German immigrants in the mid-1800s. And though you’re merely miles from Sao Paolo, the architecture and spirit of the town is German through and through.

Let there be light

Picture ​Can you believe that light beer as we know it has only been produced in the United States since the mid 1970s? That’s barely a blink of an eye in beer history. The story goes that George Weissman, chairman of Phillip Morris, had his first low sugar lager (called a diat Pilsner in German) in Munich, West Germany. He enjoyed it and had a sneaking suspicion many Americans would, too. And boy was he right. In fact, according to Statistica, 6 of the 7 top selling beers in the United States in 2017 were light beers. Generally speaking, these beers have lower calories, less alcohol, and a lighter body than their full-calorie counterparts. They are also very refreshing and usually highly carbonated. For these reasons, they obviously appeal to a very wide market.   But what makes a beer light? Basically, in order to make a less caloric version of beer, you must decrease the amount of fermentable sugars. When brewing, malt is the sugar source that yeast consumes to produce alcohol. More malt = more alcohol = more calories. Yet it’s not as simple as just cutting down the malt and calling it a day. Light beer still needs to be tasty. In order to achieve a good tasting final product, bitterness from hops is essential to offset the sweetness of the malt. These contrasting flavor combinations produce delicious and exciting taste sensations, for example sweet and sour, or spicy and sweet.  After 18 years of brewing full-bodied craft beer in the Old World Tradition, Stockholm’s owner and brewer Michael Olesen is lightening things up. Loki, Stockholm’s first every light beer, is new on tap this week. When asked about brewing beer that is light in calories but still big in flavor, Olesen says that the key is balance. “While less malt produces less alcohol and therefore less calories, you still want a well-balanced, good tasting beer. To help achieve this balance, we’ve used Cascade hops added to the brew at two different times for their light bitterness and aromatic qualities.” The result is a smooth and refreshing brew that is the perfect accompaniment to a hot summer’s day. ​ An interesting bit of beer trivia: the light beer first brewed in the United States for commercial consumption has a local origin story. The Peter Hand Brewing Co. on North Avenue in Chicago, founded in 1891 by a Prussian immigrant, was purchased by investors in the 1960s. The brand never quite got the traction they hoped for and the recipes were eventually sold to Milwaukee’s Miller brand in the 70s. The recipe for Peter Hand’s Meister Brau Lite seemed to have stood the test of time, as you might have heard of it even all these years later. Does Miller Lite ring a bell?

Grill & Chill: A Guide to Summer Beer Pairing

​Here we are smack dab in the middle of summer 2020. While so much makes this different from summers in the past, a few important things remain the same. Enjoying the sunshine, enjoying time with family and friends (from a safe distance), and enjoying good food. And nothing says summer quite like firing up the grill!

At Stockholm’s, we are passionate about good food; and we think the perfect accompaniment to a delicious meal is a great beer. No matter what is on your grill this weekend, we have a craft beer that will pair perfectly.

Burgers and Third Street Ale: The rich malt flavor of this Belgian style brown ale complements this savory backyard classic.

Sausage and Doc’s Porter: The creamy, lightly sweet notes of oats and coffee contrast nicely with the unctuous and salty flavors of the sausage. 

Shrimp Skewers and Aegir’s Ale: This English Pale Ale’s faint floral notes and gentle bitter finish will not overpower the delicate flavors of the shrimp.

Chicken Drumsticks and Viking Red Ale: No matter the marinade you use on the chicken, the creamy sweet malt and gentle hop finish of this amber ale will be a tasty pairing. 

Grilled Romaine Salad and State Street Pilsner: Grilling romaine lettuce turns it into something different entirely, tender on the inside, hot and crisp on the outside. Dress it simply with lemon and olive oil and serve this easy drinking German style Pilsner along with it for a light yet flavorful summer meal.

Salmon and Older But Weisser: Salmon is a rare type of seafood that can stand up to a wide range of flavors, bold like barbeque to delicate like citrus. The coriander notes and refreshing mouthfeel of this Belgian White Wit beer is a great contrast to the richness and fattiness of this fish. 

All 14 of our handcrafted brews are available to go in one-liter growlers. And thanks to our Brewery Direct Pricing, the value can’t be beat! Pick up a beer or two for this weekend’s backyard BBQ. Join us on Facebook or Instagram and share a photo of your pairing. Skoal!

Carbonation Consternation

Picture The ramifications of the Coronavirus outbreak are proving to be far-reaching and at times, surprising. Chances are we will be feeling the effects of this pandemic for months, if not years, to come. While the food, beverage, and hospitality industries have been hit in devastating and very obvious ways, other consequences are starting to emerge in the ripple effect created by the shutdown. 

For example, according to a report by the Independent Commodity Intelligence Services, falling production at refineries and ethanol plants in the United States has caused a shortage of Carbon Dioxide (CO2). CO2 is used in a multitude of ways including food processing, water treatment, dry ice production, and of course making beverages like BEER! Beer is often force carbonated to give it the fizz, flavors, and aromas we know and love. Force carbonation takes place as a final step of production and is the process of directly injecting carbon dioxide into cold beer. This method works to reduce product loss due to foaming, as the beer moving from place to place during processing is not carbonated yet so unable to foam. It also reduces the time it takes to make beer from start to finish. That is, from initial brewing to your frosty mug.

Here at Stockholm’s, we’re not overly worried about this particular issue. We’ve been brewing in the Old World Tradition since our doors opened in May 2002. That means allowing the beer to condition naturally in the cask, eliminating the need for injecting Carbon Dioxide. Sure, it may take a bit longer from beginning to end; but smooth, complex, and full-flavored beer is most certainly worth the wait. Check out our current beer list here. Pair one with your meal on our patio, or liter growlers are also available for carryout. Skoal!