Two Brothers Artisan Brewing in Warrenville, Illinois, just launched their new pinball-themed craft beer called Pinball Juicy Hop Pale Ale.
Of course, everyone knows drinking beer goes great with playing pinball, so I am reporting on what may be the first official pinball machine themed beer. The graphics on the can feature flippers, pop bumpers and pinballs.
The beer is light-bodied and highly-hopped. It has a tropical and citrus fruit flavor, hoppy and sweet. The alcohol content is 5.4% by volume.
The Pinball Pale Ale is available at the Two Brothers’ three locations in the Western suburbs of Chicago and at their location in Arizona. The beer is also sold in cans in stores in about a dozen states. Check their website at twobrothersbrewing.com to find out where it is available.
Fans of pinball machines and hoppy, sweet craft beers should give this new beer a taste.
Chris Giles wrote to tell us about another pinball beer. This is from Clifford Brewing in Hamilton, Ontario in Canada.
The 5.7% American Pale Ale is described by the brewers as having, “dominant aromas of citrus, pine, and tropical fruits, paired with a smooth bitterness, and balanced with a slightly bready malt body“.
Pinball Wizard doesn’t seem to be generally available outside Ontario, but if you find it in your local craft beer outlet please let us know.
The once dismal pinball on location scene in the Chicago area is a distant memory. There is now an immense variety of quality pins available to play in Chicagoland.
Visiting some of the sites I was able to enjoy playing old favorites, such as Taxi, Big Guns and Banzai Run, and the latest pins Game of Thrones and Ghostbusters. The Pinball Rebel website and PinballMap.com both have additional locations with pins in the Chicago area.
Logan Arcade – Chicago See report Update: Ghostbusters Premium, Metallica Premium and the incredible Hercules pin have been rotated in. The Batman 66 is going to be added soon.
Emporium Arcade Bar (Wicker Park) – Chicago See previous report
Update: Williams’ Big Guns and Diner were rotated into their line-up this year.
Lemming’s Tavern – Chicago See previous report
Update: Game of Thrones Premium on tournament and Attack From Mars are now featured here.
Brixie’s – Brookfield See previous report
Update: The always well-kept pin count has increased to five. Ghostbusters Pro, Metallica LE, Medieval Madness, Game of Thrones Premium and Batman, The Dark Knight are the current pins. The Big Lebowski is going to be rotated in soon.
Here is the list of pin locations that I have not yet reported on. I have listed their websites and some additional information about them.
Bottom Lounge – Chicago
Pinball list courtesy of Gavin Miller: Bobby Orr Power Play x 2, Seawitch, The Addams Family, Creature from the Black Lagoon, Funhouse, Gilligan’s Island, The Champion Pub, Metallica and Bugs Bunny’s Birthday Ball.
Blind Robin – Chicago
Website: theblindrobin.com Ghostbusters Pro on tournament, Metallica Pro and Scared Stiff are the current pins.
Headquarters Beercade (River North) – Chicago
Headquarters’ second location features over twenty top pins which are listed on their website. Ghostbusters Pro and Game of Thrones Premium have been into their collection.
Brauer House – Lombard
Pin collector, Gavin Miller, loaded up the Brauer House with six of his pins: Bally Kiss, Metallica, The Walking Dead, Monster Bash (with a ColorDMD), Stern Rolling Stones and Dracula.
A new pinball exhibition, Skillshot, The Collaborative Art of Pinball opened in downtown Chicago on September 6th and runs through November 5th.
The exhibition is at the Glass Curtain Gallery inside the Columbia College building at 1104 S. Wabash. It is open daily and admission is free. Check their website for hours of operation.
The exhibition’s main focus is on the artwork created for pinball machines. Various playfield and backglass artworks are on display at the gallery.
The development of the artwork for some recent Stern Pinball titles is featured. Quite a bit of the artwork on display is by the venerable artists and designers Stern Pinball employs, such as Greg Freres, Kevin O’Connor, Dirty Donny, Jeremy Packer and George Gomez.
The exhibit curator Mark Porter and his wife Kate are both big pinball fans. Mark told me that the idea for a pinball-themed exhibition came from his personal enthusiasm for pinball machines.
Since this an interactive art exhibition, there are nine pinball machine exhibits available on free play. Six are recent Stern titles and three are Bally/Williams classics.
Spider-Man Vault Edition (Stern) The Walking Dead (Stern) Ghostbusters (Stern) Game of Thrones LE (Stern) Metallica (Stern)
Kiss (Stern) Kiss (Bally) Sorcerer (Williams) Dolly Parton (Bally)
I have seen interviews with Gary Stern in which he states that the pinball industry will eventually die unless the machines are out where people can play them. It is very clever of Stern Pinball to support a pinball exhibition in a college building. There’s a large number of young people that will be exposed to the exhibits and hopefully they will see how much fun they are, and then will play pins in the future.
The highlight of the exhibition for me was seeing the playfield development drawings of Medieval Madness by Greg Freres. It was fascinating to see the details progress in the multiple drawings.
I was very happy to see that the home of pinball machines has such a nice exhibition showcasing the art of pinball.