In terms of new releases, brewing schedules, and reviews, there's only so much we can keep track of, and a theory behind what we follow. One, we're Chicago-based. The beers of Chicago stay front and center here, because fresh beer is better beer. Two, Indiana and Wisconsin, Chicago's immediate neighbors, also have some very fantastic breweries that sell to our market. Three Floyd's, Barley Island, Crown Point in Indiana, and Capital Brewing, Tyranena, and a few others from Wisconsin. There's also three breweries from Wisconsin you can't get in Illinois yet, that are worth the hour drive to the border: Furthermore, New Glarus, and Ale Asylum.
Then we've got the whole Great Lakes thing, and the beers from the region that make it to Chicago from Ohio, Michigan, and Minnesota. There's the Midwest thing too, so you have to think about Iowa (if you want, I can only think of Millstream distributing here), Missouri (Schlafly is a favorite and makes it to southern Illinois, O'Fallon as well, while Boulevard gets left out, for now), and maybe a few others.
The final category we really care about here at OMG Beer! is nationally distributed and imported craft beer (think Dogfish Head, Stone, Lost Abbey, New Belgium, etc, plus all the delicious belgians we're inundated with every year). In this category, I kind of also include those breweries I can only pick up while visiting Florida 2-3 times a year.
That's all folks. I wish I could write about some of Portland's best breweries, but beyond an OMG Beer! field trip, I just can't tease my tastebuds with all that beer I won't be tasting. Not when there's so much close to home. On the other hand, I'll make a homebrew clone and send it to a reader afar if they want to do a comparison.