NEW PINBALL-THEMED BEER

Two Brothers Pinball pale ale

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.

Pinball machine graphics on the can
Pinball machine graphics on the can

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 new Pinball Juicy Hop Pale Ale
The new Pinball Juicy Hop Pale Ale

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.

Time to get lit
Time to get lit

Fans of pinball machines and hoppy, sweet craft beers should give this new beer a taste.


UPDATE

Chris Giles wrote to tell us about another pinball beer. This is from Clifford Brewing in Hamilton, Ontario in Canada.

Pinball Wizard beer from Clifford Brewing
Pinball Wizard beer from Clifford Brewing

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.

CHICAGO PINBALL SITES 2016

Chicago pinball sites

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.

Chicago Street Pinball Arcade in Joilet, IL
Chicago Street Pinball Arcade in Joilet, IL

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.

1. 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.

Logan Arcade
Logan Arcade

 

2. Headquarters Beercade (Lakeview) – Chicago
See previous report

Headquarters Beercade (Lakeview)
Headquarters Beercade (Lakeview)

 

3. Emporium Arcade Bar (Wicker Park) – Chicago
See previous report
Update: Williams’ Big Guns and Diner were rotated into their line-up this year.

Emporium Arcade Bar (Wicker Park)
Emporium Arcade Bar (Wicker Park)

 

4. Lemming’s Tavern – Chicago
See previous report
Update: Game of Thrones Premium on tournament and Attack From Mars are now featured here.

Lemming's Tavern
Lemming’s Tavern

 

5. 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.

Brixie's
Brixie’s

 

6. Galloping Ghost Arcade – Brookfield
See previous report

Galloping Ghost Arcade
Galloping Ghost Arcade

 

7. Game Works – Schaumburg
See previous report
Update: They now have a five pins with Mustang the redemption machine, alongside Iron Man, The Sopranos, 24 and Family Guy.

Game Works
Game Works

 

8. Level 257 – Schaumburg
See previous report

Level 257
Level 257

 

9. Chicago Street Pinball Arcade – Joliet
See previous report

Chicago Street Pinball Arcade
Chicago Street Pinball Arcade

 

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.

10. Bottom Lounge – Chicago
Website: bottomlounge.com
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.

 

11. Blind Robin – Chicago
Website: theblindrobin.com
Ghostbusters Pro on tournament, Metallica Pro and Scared Stiff are the current pins.

Blind Robin's pinballs
Blind Robin’s pinballs

 

12. Headquarters Beercade (River North) – Chicago
Website: hqbeercade.com/rivernorth
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.

Headquarters Beercade (River North)
Headquarters Beercade (River North)

 

13. Emporium Arcade Bar (Logan Square) – Chicago
Website: emporiumchicago.com/logan-square
Second Emporium location with a few pins.

Emporium Logan Square
Emporium Logan Square

 

14. Brauer House – Lombard
Website: www.brauerhouse.com
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.

Brauer House games
Brauer House games

 

15. Five & Dime – Evanston
See previous report.

Five & Dime
Five & Dime

 

16. Uptown Arcade – Chicago
Website: facebook.com/The-Uptown-Arcade-Bar-698291033601954/
A few classic pins.

 

17. FTW – Chicago
Website: ftwchicago.com
Medieval Madness and The Walking Dead Pro.

 

18. Replay – Lakeview
Website: replaylakeview.com
Junkyard, Kiss (Stern) and The Sopranos.

 

19. Replay – Andersonville
Website: http://www.replayandersonville.com
Metallica Pro, Tales from the Crypt and The Wizard of Oz.

PINBALL ARTWORK EXHIBITION OPENS

The Skillshot, The Collaborative Art of Pinball exhibition

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.

Entrance to the Glass Curtain Gallery
The entrance to the Glass Curtain Gallery
Graphics for the exhibition
Graphics for the exhibition

The exhibition’s main focus is on the artwork created for pinball machines. Various playfield and backglass artworks are on display at the gallery.

A row of various playfields
A row of various playfields
A collection of backbox art
A collection of backbox art

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.

Lots of Kevin O’Connor’s Kiss artwork is on display
Lots of Kevin O’Connor’s Kiss artwork is on display
Pinball artwork from Dirty Donny
Pinball artwork from Dirty Donny
A close up Dirty Donny’s Beatniks backglass
A close-up Dirty Donny’s Beatniks backglass
Artwork development for Ghostbusters
Artwork development for Ghostbusters
Add-on interior cabinet art and body armor on Ghostbusters
Add-on interior cabinet art and body armor on Ghostbusters
A drawing from George Gomez for the Monster Bash game
A drawing from George Gomez for the Monster Bash game
Prototype sculptures for some newer Stern pinballs
Prototype sculptures for some newer Stern pinballs

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.

Artwork from Doug Watson for Barracuda before it became Barracora
Artwork from Doug Watson for Barracuda before it became Barracora

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.

Game list:

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)

 

A row of recent Stern pinballs to play
A row of recent Stern pinballs to play: Spider-Man, The Walking Dead, Ghostbusters, Game of Thrones & Metallica
More of the pinballs in the exhibit
More of the pinballs in the exhibition: Kiss, Kiss, Sorcerer and Dolly Parton

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.

A wall with pinball machine diagrams and a video from the movie Tommy
A wall with pinball machine diagrams and a video from the movie ‘Tommy’

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.

Medieval Madness playfield drawings from Greg Freres
Medieval Madness playfield drawings from Greg Freres

I was very happy to see that the home of pinball machines has such a nice exhibition showcasing the art of pinball.