Hop Butcher for the World, A Beer Company

Hop Butcher for the World, Chicago, IL.

Carl Sandburg refers to the City of Big Shoulders as “Hog Butcher For The World” in his famous poem “Chicago.” While Chicago’s identity as the center of the nation’s meat packing industry ended when the Union Stock Yards closed in 1971, its history continues to inspire the Chicago brewery Hop Butcher For The World. Co-founder Jeremiah Zimmer asks what comes to mind when you hear the word ‘butcher?’ Skilled, hardworking, knowledgeable, dependable — the same traits you’d want in a brewer.

“Ultimately, we want you to know, trust and like us and the beers we brew just as you would your neighborhood butcher. After all, the more you know about what’s in your glass, the more you’ll appreciate drinking it,” Jeremiah and co-founder Jude La Rose write on Hop Butcher’s web site.

Jeremiah says when he needs to transcend the world of typical brewing ingredients (hops, grains, adjuncts, yeast and water) to elevate and complement a beer’s color, flavor and aroma — fruit purées are ideal. “Fruit is such a perfect ingredient in the brewing process and The Perfect Purée of Napa Valley purées are so fresh and clean that there’s a beer style out there for all of your offerings,” Jeremiah says.

Hop Butcher so far has used The Perfect Purée Papaya in “Smoke Filled Room,” a New England-style Double IPA, and Coconut in “Watch For Falling Coconuts,” an American Pale Ale. The tropical notes in both beers have immense seasonal appeal, Jeremiah says. “People freak out over ‘Watch For Falling Coconuts.’ As one might guess from the name, it’s a wonderful warm weather beer and the cans, once they hit shelves, move in a hurry,” he says.

Jeremiah adds purée to the boil kettle on brewing day or, more often, through the top port of a fermenting vessel filled with beer that’s already a few days into active fermentation. “As for those [flavors] we hope to use at some point, all of them. Seriously,” he says. “If I had to pick a few that rose to the top, though: Blueberry, Green Apple and Pear (together), Mango and Pink Guava.

Jeremiah and Jude founded Hop Butcher For The World in 2014. With a shared obsession over home brewing, they had been making “some pretty decent brew,” Jeremiah says, and one evening over a couple bottles of Gumballhead at 3 Floyd Brewing Co. in Munster, IN, “We got this crazy idea that we could start our own company and make beer that people loved for a living. We’ve spent every day since then honing that craft and building Hop Butcher For The World.”

Hop Butcher’s aesthetic is defined by Chicago screen-printing artist Dan Grzeca’s idiosyncratic style. Jeremiah says the company’s beers are one part Chicago, one part lifestyle and one part ingredients-driven. “We love that Dan is able to channel that appropriately and perfectly every single time. In fact, the brightly-colored cans with restrained layout and ‘open space’ have always been intentional. We want people to see Dan’s work and the color of the can and know without even seeing our logo (which you have to turn the can around to see) that it’s a Hop Butcher For The World beer.” Jeremiah says.