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Big Star, Publican Debut Collaboration Beer with New Belgium

 Big Star and Publican debut two brews this week in collaboration with New Belgium Brewing.
Big Star and Publican debut two brews this week in collaboration with New Belgium Brewing.
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WICKER PARK — Lime shortage or not, the new small-batch brewing collaboration from Big Star and New Belgium Brewing includes a dose of the citrus fruit. 

Teams from Wicker Park's Big Star and West Loop's The Publican went out to New Belgium in Colorado last month to come up with two new creations, Big Star's Juvenilia and Publican's Boomhut, according to a statement from New Belgium.

The brews were made to go with Big Star's Mexican dishes and Publican's farmhouse menu.

Juvenilia is a white wheat beer brewed with lime zest, coriander, Nelson Sauvin Hops and topped off with New Belgium's lacto, resulting in a tart and sweet taste, according to New Belgium. It has a 4.9 percent alcohol content.

Boomhut, inspired by New Belgium's dry-hopped Le Terroir, also plays with sour flavors. It includes two kinds of hops and "earthy and citrus" aromas. Boomhut packs a punch with a 7.5 percent alcohol content.

According to New Belgium spokesman John Clarke, 12 half barrels of Juvenilia were produced along with 20 half barrels of Boomhut, and both will have limited-time runs at the restaurants.

Clarke said the lime crisis, which led Big Star to raise margarita prices in April, had little effect on the process because of the low-scale production and scant use of the fruit. Though the shortage seems to be abating, prices haven't returned to normal everywhere just yet.

The beers are part of New Belgium's "garage series," in which the company invites restaurateurs and others to use the brewery to collaborate on small batches. 

The Juvenilia release party starts at 6 p.m. Thursday at Big Star, 1531 N. Damen Ave. Then, Publican will host a brunch pairing with Boomhut from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday at 837 W. Fulton Market.

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