More than 20 women from a dozen Chicagoland microbreweries were brought together earlier this month in recognition of International Women’s Day to brew a collaboration beer. Omega Yeast Labs’ yeast propagation technician, Demi Grounds, was in on the action providing Omega’s Jovaru Lithuanian Farmhouse strain for the base batch. The resulting, Hold My Crown,” is hitting taps at 10 breweries and one local bottle shop this week.

Each participating brewery is releasing its own variant of the beer during the first week in April, culminating in a tap takeover with all nine variants and the base beer at Iron & Glass bottle shop in Romeoville on Friday, April 5 at 5pm. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Pink Boots Society (PBS), a professional organization that assists, inspires and encourages women beer industry professionals to advance their careers through education.

The base beer, dubbed a Lithuanian Pale Ale, is most reminiscent of a Belgian IPA or hoppy saison. It is a refreshingly dry, citrusy pale ale with fruity saison character and pleasantly prominent bitterness (6.7% ABV / 45 IBU). Chicago’s Omega Yeast Labs donated a pitch of its Jovaru Lithuanian Farmhouse yeast for the project, a strain that has been nurtured for decades by Aldona Udriene, the queen of Lithuanian farmhouse beer,” at her brewery in Jovarai, Lithuania. The grain bill, which consists of 2‑row, Idaho Pilsner, flaked rye, and honey malt was donated by Country Malt Group, Great Western Malting, and Canada Malting. A blend of Loral, Glacier, Sabro, Mosaic, and Simcoe hops from Yakima Chief was selected by PBS for the annual collaborative brew day, lending a tropical dankness to the brew.

The base beer will be available on tap at Skeleton Key Brewery in Woodridge, IL (8102 Lemont Rd., #300), with small-batch variants on tap at the following breweries:

● BuckleDown Brewing (Lyons): blood orange

● Church Street Brewing Company (Itasca): lemongrass

● Dry City Brew Works (Wheaton): hibiscus

● Elmhurst Brewing Company (Elmhurst): strawberry

● Metal Monkey Brewing (Romeoville): lemon + rosemary

● More Brewing (Villa Park): honey-tangerine + ginger

● Scallywag Brewing (Westmont): pomegranate

● Skeleton Key Brewery (Woodridge): base beer, no adjunct

● Werk Force Brewing (Plainfield): kombucha

● Wolfden Brewing (Bloomingdale): passionfruit

Hold My Crown

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