The World Series is currently knotted at 1-1 in what looks to be the most thrilling Fall Classic in years. The Indians haven’t won a title since 1948, the Cubs since 1908, and this one feels certain to go seven game, dragging both teams’ fans to the brink of heart failure due to all the excitement. But you know what can always make something more exciting? The addition of beer.
Both Chicago and Cleveland are stupendous drinking towns, cities where bellying up to your neighborhood bar is a basic part of life. Both middle American locales have been integral parts of the craft beer revolution as well, each home to a pioneer of the industry—Cleveland’s Great Lakes Brewing Co. (opened in 1986) and Chicago’s Goose Island Brewery (1988)—and countless great beer bars. Thus, we wondered who would win a World Series of beer, if the Kris Bryants and Mike Napolis were replaced by, say, Bourbon County Brand Stout and Head Hunter IPA.
Chicago is the land of big, bold stouts—it’s where, literally, the world’s first bourbon barrel-aged imperial stout emerged from—while Cleveland has tons of award-winning IPAs. If we craft a line-up of nine top beers for each city, and pit them against each other, who would win?
We aimed to find out.