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May Monthly Brew

May 2, 2017

Batch 2 of Five Too Many Launches at Tangled Roots

By: Mike Billy, brewer

Another year, another collaboration with our local brewing brothers at Radium City.

If you’re at all familiar with last year’s iteration of Five Too Many, you’ll remember it was a hoppy wheat beer with quite a bit of haze. Since then, hazey IPAs have become a bit of a craze. The style is often called a “New England IPA,” a nod to the area of the country where these beers are said to have originated.

Heady Topper from Vermont brewery The Alchemist is often named as one of the first examples of the style.

These New England IPAs are signified by an intense fruit-forward hop flavor. However, the bitterness from the hops is lower than most traditional IPAs. This creates a citrus or tropical fruit flavor that often leads to the beer being described as “juicy.”

They also have a murky turbidity that is a divisive topic among both craft beer drinkers and people within the brewing industry.

The first batch of Five Too Many was brewed in the summer of 2016, well before this style of beer became popular in the Midwest. And we think it’s one of the earliest examples of the style to make it to debut in Chicagoland.

For Batch No. 2, we changed up the recipe a bit. This year we upped the hop dosage to over 3 pounds per barrel and dumped more than 60 pounds of honey into the boil.

The result is an in-your-face citrus fruit flavor from the insane amount of hops with hints of sweetness and honey to round it out.

The beer comes out with a little more bitterness than a traditional New England style IPA (is that even a thing?) but the absurd level of mouth-watering haziness is still there.

Stop by the Tap Room or The Lone Buffalo restaurant in downtown Ottawa to give it a try. You won’t be disappointed.

“Who is our Customer?”

By: Scott Struchen, founder and Chief Commercial Officer

We are “Going to Market”, or as I like to say, “coming soon to your favorite restaurant, neighborhood bar, grocery store, or watering hole.” For any brewery, this is really the pinnacle of what we do: getting our product into our customer’s hands outside the four walls of the brewery.  For us as a brewery to get to this stage we really had to ask ourselves a few important questions. At Tangled Roots Brewing Company we ask ourselves thousands of questions every day, but I will select one very important question that you might like.
1. Who is our customer?
Now this might seem like an easy question to answer, but in all reality, it’s not. The marketplace is an ever-changing landscape where people have more information at their fingertips than ever before, making quick experts of people who might not have payed attention to the detail of craft beer.
So who is our customer? Some old-school sales people might say “everyone!” but that really isn’t the case. We would like to think so but it really isn’t. We need to really look at the marketplace and break it down into the segments of beer drinkers and this is how we did it. There are three main types of beer drinkers: 1. Mainstream Loyalists, 2. Beer Explorers, and 3. Craft Beer Aficionados.

Most beer drinkers start out as mainstream loyalists but what exactly does that mean? Most of us started drinking beer that was easily accessible to us. In the beer world that is the mainstream domestic beer brands. The big boy like AB INBEV and MillerCoors. Between both of those companies they own the largest percentage of beer consumed in the United States.  In the local demographic those beers are Miller Lite, Bud Light, Busch Light and Coors Light. Did you notice one common thread? The word Lite and Light were on the end of all those products.

The next group of beer drinkers are the Beer Explorers. I find myself in this group most often. This is the group that is going out and will try different types of beers but usually in the same beer style. The explorer will find a Pale Ale they like so they will be willing to try Pale Ales from different breweries, usually by the suggestion of a Craft Beer Aficionado. The Beer Explorers are willing to go outside of their comfort zone and try new brands and breweries but usually by the suggestion of another Explorer or Aficionado.  The reason I find myself in this category is usually when I feel like I know something about craft beer, I am proved that I am still an Explorer by a real beer expert.

That brings me to the real experts: the Craft Beer Aficionado. To find a real Aficionado is truly to find a rare person that knows what they want and will go seek it out no matter the cost or rarity. Most but not all Aficionados are into the rare, less often drank varieties of craft beer. For example, the Aficionado will seek out rare barrel-aged beers and even wait years until they can get their hands on a certain vintage, like a fine wine. These people are the extremely craft beer educated that know every ingredient like the bacteria strain of a sour, the hop varietals, lupulin levels, and all kinds of fun scientific facts.

So, the simple fact is we cannot be everything to everyone. But we will sure try to win over the mainstream loyalist by offering very sessionable (easy drinking) introductory craft beer brands. For example, our Sieur De La Salle Lager is a very easy to drink full-flavored beer that has that traditional lighter color and body.  For the craft beer Explorers, we have sessionable beers like the Weiss, Kit Kupfer, Devil’s Paint Box IPA, and the Pale Ale. We do think we can satisfy even the craftiest Aficionado by offering our experimental beers through our tap room and our farm to foam series using our very own locally grown ingredients which is extremely rare.  I hope this really help answer the question “Who is our Customer” Cheers!


Employee of the Month:

By: Jyl Johnson, HR

Congratulations to the TRBC Employee of the Month, Jake Haar! Jake joined the team just before we opened the doors to the community and area visitors last February. Since then, he has moved into the Lead Bartender position. One of his favorite parts of working at The Lone Buffalo is displaying creativity when innovating new craft cocktails. He also has been involved in creating the seasonal cocktail menu. Jake enjoys sharing his knowledge of whisky which is sold at the craft bourbon and whisky bar on the second floor of The Lone Buffalo.

Jake grew up in Streator, Illinois. After living in Chicago, he moved back to the area and currently lives in Ottawa. In his free time, Jake enjoys reading to brush up on his investing knowledge and keeps up with the stock market regularly. He’d like to one day own an online business to challenge that knowledge. Jake enjoys golfing and traveling to satisfy his guilty pleasure; attending live wrestling shows! His menu recommendations include the beet salad, veggie bowl, and a glass of Weissbier.

Congratulations, Jake!


Kit Kupfer…

By: Mark Robison, Sales Manager

Tangled Roots has launched its beer into Starved Rock Country. The first couple of weeks have been overwhelming, exciting, and sometimes stressful. Tangled Roots can now be enjoyed in bars and restaurants alike. Rips Tavern in Ladd, Illinois, best known for their tavern fried chicken, has taken a liking to our Kit Kupfer and it seems to be leading the charge as a fan favorite.

Enjoying beers at the Starved Rock Lodge Launch Party

The Kit Kupfer was brewed as a blonde ale, but the Kit had its own ideas. It took on a golden, light red hue, almost a copper color. What beer style does the Kit Kupfer actually fall into? We asked ourselves this question over and over. It was brewed as a blonde and turned out a red head. We did not want to call it a blonde ale as that would confuse our customers. Its copper color, earned its nickname of “The Kupfer” in our tasting room, which translates to copper in German. We landed on categorizing it as an Amber Ale. Minimal hop flavor, and a well-rounded, balanced malt profile, our Kit Kupfer is just that, with a subtle hint of peach on the finish.

The Kit Kupfer, which translates to Copper Baby Fox, named for its distinct color and the Kit (which is a baby fox) is a nod to the Fox River and the many foxes that can spotted while enjoying our local state parks, Starved Rock and Matthiessen. Order Kit Kupfer by Tangled Roots Brewing Company next time you are looking to trot down a new trail. The Kit Kupfer pairs well with a wide range of meals: chicken, seafood, and spicy foods. And, just like real kits, when you see one, there’s usually a few more around. Enjoy responsibly.



By: Amanda Hart, Marketing

What is Elote? Very literally Elote means corn in Spanish. An Elote is a Mexican street corn that is often found at festivals. The corn is often fried, topped with a creamy sauce, and rolled in spices and cheeses. At The Lone Buffalo, we are in the middle of an area that is plentiful with sweet corn. According to the USDA in 2015, LaSalle County produced 56.9 million bushels of corn. And although not all of the corn that is produced in LaSalle County is the sweet variety that you want to eat, it’s clear that we are in the middle of the corn belt here.

At The Lone Buffalo we have our own version of Elote: the Elote Flatbread. This is a dish you are going to want to eat over and over again. This is the dish that you will crave. This flatbread consists of grilled and shaved corn with peppers and onions topped with crumbled cotija cheese, creamy avocado vinaigrette and chili salt. The elements of this dish complement each other very well. The flavors will explode in your mouth! Paired with one of our craft beers you’ll find the Elote Flatbread satisfying but light.




By: Katie DiVirgilio, Events Coordinator

Check us out at these upcoming festivals!

Morel Fest – This weekend we will be pouring Devil’s Paint Box IPA, Sieur de Lasalle Lager, Kit Kupfer and our collaboration with Radium City 5 Too Many. You can find us under the Home Brew Tent all day!

The Lone Buffalo Block Party – Enjoy a cold beer after the Starved Rock Country Marathon! Whether you’re a runner or cheering on those that are participating, we’ll have a craft beer waiting for you at the finish line!

Starved Rock Country Brew Fest – Tangled Roots Brewing company will be amongst 30 other breweries pouring your favorites AND specialty brews! Come support local beer and try something new! Click here for tickets!


Amanda Hart is the Marketing Director at Tangled Roots Brewing Company.

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