Love them or hate them, it seems most dismiss Leinie’s as sudo-craft and don’t pay much attention to the beer coming out of Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin. That all changed when the released the Big Eddy series a couple years back. Initially tap only, they offered a great Imperial IPA followed by a wonderful Russian Imperial Stout. Later on they did bottle it for a small run but soon in early 2008, discontinued the Big Eddy series sighting the expense of specialty ingredients to create such beers (you mean the expense all other craft brewers work with every day?).
In October 2010, the series was returned again and Big Eddy Russian Imperial Stout returned in bottles and on tap. A big Russian imperial stout, Big Eddy drinks easily for a beer of this size. It ages wonderfully and drinks great fresh too. I hope it’s back for good.
This winter, I was up north with a friend snowmobiling. His grandma leads the way as she knows the hundreds of miles of trail (I’m willing to bet she put more miles on her snowmobile last year than any of you guys) and we ended up at a tiny bar in Lawler, MN. Wandering in, they have a Big Eddy tap handle. Thinking it couldn’t possibly be Big Eddy on tap in the middl of nowhere, I asked the bartender about it. Turns out it was Big Eddy so I ordered up a glass. They serve it up in a 32oz mug. The price for 32oz of 9.5% ABV Russian imperial stout? $3. We were about 1/2 way through our glasses when grandma ordered us another round (she goes through her beer a bit faster considering she drinks Michelob Ultra Light with ice). We would have returned at a later time for more but another group of snowmobilers came in and one of them blew the keg. I sure hope they have it there again next year.