Beyond the Bottle

“The brewery is kind of blending my two passions in life — beer and music.”

So says Mike Pallen, founder of one of the hottest breweries in the Chicagoland area. Walk into the taproom at Mikerphone, and you’ll immediately understand how much Pallen’s previous career — marketing and licensing in the music industry — has influenced his foray into the world of craft beer.

Every wall of the industrial-chic taproom is adorned with guitars, records, and music memorabilia. On any given night, you’ll also find crowds of craft beer fans swarming the bar in search of Mike’s brews.

Which, of course, also pay tribute to music. 

There’s Smells Like Bean Spirit Coffee Stout for the Nirvana fans, Slim Hazy Pale Ale for hip hop aficionados, and The Get Fresh Flow IPA — a nod to alternative rocker Beck.

It’s a far cry from the brewery’s beginnings, when Mike was homebrewing in his basement. Slowly, word of his creations grew, and people started actively seeking out his beers. When Craft Beer & Brewing AND BeerAdvocate both named them one of the Best New Breweries in the Country in 2015, things really took off.

These days Mikerphone is known for a plethora of styles, all painstakingly crafted with the finest ingredients available — often in extremely small batches. The brewery’s adjunct heavy Stouts and Hazy IPAs always sell out fast, with fans lining up around the block on release days. Lately, folks are also clamouring for fruited styles, like the crushcrushcrush series of Milkshake IPAs, and the In a Blender Fruited Berliner Weisse beers. 

Still, Dark Beers are among the brewery’s most beloved offerings. In fact, Mikerphone earned Gold Medals for their Barrel-aged Sir Blends A-Lot Stout at the highly competitive Festival of Wood and Barrel Aged Beer in 2020, and again at the 2021 U.S. Open Beer Championships. They even took Silver in the same category for She Blends A-Lot — another Stout in the same series. 

To create these decadent dark beers, the Mikerphone team sampled from numerous barrels aging in their cellar and hand selected the most complimentary flavors to blend into a single Stout. 

Pallen might have given up his career in the music industry, but the future sure does look bright for this craft beer rockstar!


Mike Pallen is just one of the creative, independent brewery owners you can support by getting beer delivery through Tavour. When you snag one of Mikerphone’s unique, small-batch brews off the app, you can take it easy, skip the trip to Illinois, and know you’re sipping top-quality suds. Plus, every sip you enjoy (or share with your buddies) supports small, American-grown businesses that provide good jobs and great beer within their communities.