Locations: Skokie and Evanston, IL
Last visited: June 2022
The Sketchbook Skokie taproom is massive and the adjoining patio has lots of elbow room. There is a wide range of tables, chairs, sofas; something for everyone. The decor features funky lighting and offbeat wall paintings. There were 15 beers on tap when we visited. Our bartender was pretty knowledgeable.
Level Par Helles (3.50) – Crisp, easy drinking lager. Hint of sweetness on first gulp. Beer is lightly hopped.
Pinky Sweater Pilsner (3.25) – Refreshing lager, somewhat dry. Light-bodied, not at all adventurous. Beer is lightly hopped, needs more to be a great beer.
Amistosa Mexican Lager (2.75) – Very light-bodied lager. Somewhat hoppy finish, hints of citrus. Beer is too bitter for this low level of maltiness.
Pravda Pilsner (4.00) – Medium-bodied pilsner. Appropriate level of hop bitterness for style. A pilsner that lives up to the classic characteristics.
Cumulus Hefeweizen (2.00) – Flavor profile resembles a fruited wheat ale, rather than a Hefeweizen. Puckering reaction after several sips. Sadly misses the mark.
Freedomish Saison (3.75) – A flavor explosion on first sip. Combination of strawberry, lime, and orange peel a real winner. Highly drinkable.
Catharina Berliner Weisse (3.75) – Good example of style, pucker up! Light and refreshing.
Bud’s Corvus Dry Stout (3.50) – Big, roasted character. Coffee notes abound. Malt bill needs to be increased to launch this beer to greatness.
Beer for the Soul Belgian Pale Ale (3.00) – Traditional fruity aspects front and center. Slightly smoky character detracts from overall impression. Addition of BBQ sauce from local Soul and Smoke restaurant does not help this beer.