Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Review: Revolution Brewing Cross of Gold

Brewery:  Revolution Brewing
Locale:  Logan Square, IL (Chicago)
Craft Circa:  2010
Style:  English-Style Summer Ale / Golden Ale
ABV:  5%
Notables:  2012 Gold Medal Winner at the World Beer Cup (Category 66)

Label:  Get used to seeing these fists breaking through a grocer aisle near you.  Love the reference to the speech delivered by William Jennings Bryan referencing bimetallism in place in England that stirred up politics and propelled his place for the Democratic nomination for presidency in the  (refer below for your beyond tidbit of the day).

Overall:   In case you missed it, there was a recent post about a revolution a brewing here in Chicago a couple weeks back.    Fitting that we’ve been covering the evolution of Revolution, and the word “gastropub” is being added into the Merriam-Webster dictionary for its yearly update.  The Logan Square Revolution Brewing Brewpub is the epitome of gastropubs here in Chicago, with high end quality food, to go with in my opinion even better beer. 

Ok, I’m blowing smoke up their asses, but that’s due to the fanatic status B&B has for Rev Brew…  hey, what can we say, they make quality brews.  In addition, the start of this review may be sugar coated to maybe mask the subpar feelings for Cross of Gold.  This just didn’t do it for me. An English Style Summer Ale can be compared to an American Blonde, at least portions of it.  Still though, there just wasn’t much to it.  You anticipate, you hope something more happens with this brew, but doesn’t.  You wait for a flavor note to make its way to a taste bud, strike a nerve, do something, but instead it fizzles out.  It’s a tad bitter off the bat, but nothing to steer you clear of this. 

I mean don’t get me wrong, the beer could be phenomenal for this style of beer; it won gold for Pete’s sake.   The beer is full bodied, goes down extremely smooth, pours great, I just have little experience with this type of ale, and didn’t thoroughly enjoy it.  I would be curious to taste others that have no WBC award assigned to them.  There is no sign of hops, and maybe that’s appropriate. 

Either way, when it’s all said or done, there are so many other viable options Rev Brew pours out… those are what I am sticking with. 

Acquisition:  22 ouncer - $5

Windfall (Wiki Collaboration):  Cross of Gold was a speech delivered by William Jennings Bryan, a former US congressman at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago in 1896.  The speech was promoting the “free silver” policy that he believed would bring the nation prosperity.  He decried the gold standard, concluding the speech, "you shall not crucify mankind upon a cross of gold". Bryan's address helped catapult him to the Democratic Party's presidential nomination; it is considered one of the greatest political speeches in American history.  "The gold standard has slain tens of thousands." He referred to "a struggle between 'the idle holders of idle capital’ and 'the struggling masses, who produce the wealth and pay the taxes of the country;’ and, my friends, the question we are to decide is: Upon which side will the Democratic party fight?"  The idea was that minting silver coins would flood the economy with cash and end the depression.

Although Bryan lost the election in a landslide, he did win the hearts and minds of a majority of Democrats, as shown by his re-nomination in 1900 and 1908; as late as 1924, the Democrats put his brother on their national ticket.  The victory of the Republican Party in the election of 1896 marked the start of the "Progressive Era," from 1896 to 1932, in which the Republican Party usually was dominant.


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