After a big breakfast and a much-needed walk through downtown Chicago (albeit through a major thundershower), I then headed southeast and knocked Indiana off my list of states visited. 3 Floyds Brewing was surprisingly close to where I was, perhaps a 30- to 40-minute drive from downtown Chicago if there's little to no traffic.
Munster is a wonderful small town, a stark contrast to the skyscrapers that downtown Chicago boasts. 3 Floyds is tucked away just off the main road. They also have an adjacent building for a distillery they plan to open this fall.
On Saturdays, 3 Floyds opens at 11 AM. I got there at 10:55 - and there were at least 20 people waiting in line to get in. I knew the place was popular, but even I didn't expect that. The crew staggered groups of people getting in at the start, as not to overwhelm the guys behind the bar.
Once inside, I nabbed an ideal seat at the bar, next to the taplist.
The inside has that typical local neighborhood bar feel. Really loving that.
I then went to town on a few of 3 Floyds' beers:
- ALPHA KING: I learned that this is actually 3 Floyds' flagship beer. At 6.66% ABV and 68 IBU, As advertised, it has that caramel malt sweetness, but it's not too malty. A darker olden appearance with white to off-white head.
- ZOMBIE DUST: Another very popular American Pale Ale at 6.2% and 50 IBU. This is the one that I've seen get crazy high ratings on all the beer review sites. The only time I otherwise could have had this beer was during Portland CBC Week a few years ago. This was a fantastic pale ale, golden color. Certainly hop-forward, but balanced with tropical and still on the medium-light body side.
- CHEERTEAM: A hazy tropical IPA clocking in at 7.2% ABV and 62 IBU. Given my increased bias for tropical hazy IPAs, this was my favorite. A citrus-forward beer from start to finish. I mainly detected tangerine and grapefruit. Very juicy. Likely more a hazy IPA hybrid between the bitter West Coast and the juicier East Coast varieties.
- ALPHA KLAUS: Alpha King's Christmas cousin, a Christmas porter at 6% ABV and 38 IBU. Nice chocolaty and mint flavors, with some hoppy notes. Great festive choice.
Still a bit stuffed from breakfast, I went with a side of the Floyd Fries ($5): fries tossed in herb butter, Parmesan, parsley, and Alpha King ketchup. Alpha King, of course, is one of their flagship beers. The fries came in a cone that had been placed in a beer mug. Great fries, with a slight crispness on the outside. The ketchup reminded me of an herbaceous tomato soup.
I saw people around me enjoying other menu items like the tostada, Midwest cheese ball (made with five different cheeses), cheese curds, and pizzas. I had seriously contemplated getting a pizza - until the staff mentioned it was a large 16" pizza meant for sharing. I figured I didn't want to completely KO myself on food just yet, as I had yet to find my hotel.
There may be little reason (to me) to otherwise visit Munster, but if you're in Chicago for any reason, Munster (and 3 Floyds Brewing) is a fairly short drive away. 8.5/10