Argus Brewery - Ironhorse

Argus Brewery - Ironhorse

Beer Club featured in U.S. Microbrewed Beer Club


Chicago Common


United States

Alcohol by Volume:


Argus Brewery - Ironhorse

  • ABV:

  • Int’l Bittering Units (IBUs):

  • Serving Temperature:

    45-50º F
  • Suggested Glassware:

    Pint Glass, Pilsner Glass
  • Malts:

    Canada Pale, Canada Wheat, Briess 80L, Briess Roasted Barley
  • Hops:

    Magnum, Cascade, Northern Brewer

Ironhorse is brewed in what is, despite the name, a fairly uncommon style known as a California Common, or perhaps in this case, a Chicago Common as Argus states on the label. Better known by Anchor Brewing Co.'s trademark, "Steam Beer," it's a bit of a hybrid between a lager and an ale as it's fermented with lager yeast but at temperatures more akin to ale. Argus' version, sporting a steam locomotive on the label, pours a brownish-amber color capped by plenty of off-white foam. We found the hop-driven aroma on this brew quite engaging: prominent spicy notes, sawn wood, some hay, hints of mint, and a wisp of incense – all overlaying lightly toasted biscuits. Look for the aromas to largely carry forward to the taste. We found it very, very well balanced, with plenty of caramel and a clean and richly toasty grain expression, complemented by a well-constructed spicy, herbal, mildly fruity, and lightly citric hop profile. Enjoy Argus' Chicago Common with charcoal grilled burgers topped with sharp cheddar, bacon, and BBQ sauce, or a smoked sausage with spicy brown mustard. Cheers!

Argus Brewery was founded in 2009 by long-time homebrewers – and father-son duo – Bob and Patrick Jensen. Located in Chicago's Pullman District, the historical home of the Pullman train car manufacturing company, the brewery is situated inside a building that at one time served as a stable for the delivery horses and carriages of the Schlitz Brewing Company. With Terra Cotta horse heads still adorning the building, the horse head logo is a natural fit for the brewery, as is the ongoing horse theme in the names of their beers, like Clyde's Ale, Holsteiner, Pegasus, and Ironhorse (they got the train theme in there too!).

Argus is committed to environmentally sustainable business practices, including buying electricity from a local wind power producer. Additionally, one of the biggest sources of brewing waste is spent grain, something that many rural brewers donate to farmers for animal feed. For a Chicago brewery like Argus, the solution was a bit different – make pizza! They've recently introduced a line of gourmet frozen pizzas with dough made from brewer's yeast and used mash.

Heading up the Argus brewing staff is Grant Johnston, who brings to the business over two decades of brewmaster experience, including 17 medal wins at the Great American Beer Festival. In addition to making their own line of great beer, Argus makes several private label beers for local bars and restaurants, as well as a signature brand for Jarrett Payton, son of Chicago football legend Walter Payton. For more info on the brewery, including brewery tours, call (773) 941-4050 or visit

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