Two Brothers Brewing Company - Quad Radical
Serving Temperature:52–58° F
Suggested Glassware:Chalice, Snifter, Tulip, or Pinot Glass
Our featured beer from Two Brothers this month is their Quad Radical, an oak-aged, Belgian-style quadrupel that features fruit soaked in Two Brothers Rum. Quad Radical was brewed in collaboration with 10 Barrel Brewing Co.’s Tonya Cornett, who works as their Bend R&D Brewmaster and does a ton of recipe formulation for the brewery. Cornett has been in the brewing industries for decades now, educated at the World Brewing Academy in Germany and most recently serving as brewmaster at Bend Brewing Company for a decade before joining 10 Barrel—bringing in that wealth of technical brewing experience to make this collaboration beer quite exceptional.
A few key details: Quad Radical uses both dark candi sugar and Thai palm sugar in this beer (which the brewery also uses in their highly regarded Cane and Ebel rye beer). The brewery soaked dried apricots, currants, figs, and cherries in Two Brothers Rum—did we mention they also do artisan spirits…—and these fruits then get added to the tank for around three months. A portion of this beer gets aged in Two Brothers House Bourbon barrels for about six months, while the remainder was aged on fresh oak chips. This beer was originally made for a special event and will get very limited distribution, and isn’t expected to make it outside of Illinois. Maybe a handful of cases to Wisconsin and Colorado, but that’d be it.
Quad Radical pours a deep, densely colored amber-brown capped by tan foam. Stone-fruit aromatics lead the initial charge, with loads of figs and darker fruit character like raisins and dates. This is supported well by sweeter aromatics from that base quad: notes like molasses, dark caramel, cocoa, and brown sugar. The dark rum character is potent but nicely integrated alongside the generous fruit presence and quad framework. Allowing this to warm, we found elements of vanilla bean and chocolate, emergent cherry, and a hint of toasted marshmallow.
This fruited, oak-aged quad delivers on those initial aromatics, with loads of stone fruits and darker fruit characteristics leading the initial charge. Impacts of molasses, caramel, and dark rum provide layers of rich sweetness that are nicely tempered by this beer’s hint of warming alcohol. Rum-laden fruits and that deep Belgian-style quadrupel at the core form the basis of everything that Quad Radical’s bringing to the table, with abundant spice and earthiness also in play to add further dimensions to this release. Huge degrees of dark caramel, toffee, and a lightly sweet vanilla presence throughout. A lasting, slightly warming, rum-like finish lingers.
The brewery expects this to age well in one’s cellar over the next couple years, though we’d encourage folks to pop a bottle while this is fresh for maximum effect from the special adds. That combination of rum and dark fruits has us looking to pair Quad Radical with a spiced (and/or rum) cake, decadent brownies, or brisket.
Two Brothers Brewing Company is a family-owned brewery located in Warrenville, Illinois, just outside of Chicago. Prior to starting the brewery, founders Jim Ebel and his brother Jason opened up The Brewer’s Coop, a homebrewing and home winemaking shop. Between the two of them, they were seasoned homebrewers, and for years, they talked about starting a brewery. Jason moved out west to hone his brewing skills at the Tabernash Brewery in Denver, Colorado, and also gained some experience at Mickey Finn’s in Libertyville, IL. But the two still talked about starting their own brewery. Eventually, they drove their families just a little bit nuts with all the talk and finally decided to go for it and start a brewpub. But with no real financing and no experience in restaurant management, they decided a brewery would be a better bet. While planning, and working the shop, Jim earned his law degree and Jason earned his brewing degree at the famed Siebel Institute in Chicago. Not a bad combo when setting out on a business venture like starting a brewery. In 1996 they officially opened the brewery. Their goal was to bring fresh, high-quality brews to the Chicagoland area.
The core ethos of Two Brothers’ operation is Craft With A Conscience, which is informed by their family’s farming history, and their desire to contribute positively to the community and environment around them. Jim and Jason’s grandfather was a dairy farmer, and his bulk milk tanks were passed down to the brothers for the brewery’s original fermenters. Whether donating spent grain to local farms to feed cattle, using local ingredients as much as possible, sourcing American-made products as much as possible, or prioritizing exceptional customer service and high-quality brewing ingredients, Two Brothers is mindful of the many ways that the brewery can positively interact with its surrounding communities. The brewery’s organic and sustainability practices are also evident throughout: their packaging includes recycled and recyclable materials, the Two Brothers Roundhouse (in Aurora) is powered by 100% green renewable electricity, and water-conservation and energy-efficiency measures are employed throughout the Two Brothers’ brewing process.
Over the past 24-plus years, Two Brothers has grown in leaps and bounds, now inhabiting a 40,000-sf brewing facility with a 50-barrel system and 3,000 barrels of fermentor space, with distribution of its higher-volume products extending to over a dozen states. Should you be visiting the Chicago area during less-pandemic times, you can check out the Two Brothers wares in greater detail at Two Brothers Tap House in Warrenville, the Two Brothers Barrel House in Naperville, or the Two Brothers Roundhouse in Aurora—all within 25 minutes of one another. For their latest news, hours of operation, and tour availability, head over to the Two Brothers website at twobrothersbrewing.com.
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