UPDATE on June 25th: This was written in March, when the beer was NOT available in Quincy. It is now available in Quincy. I've seen it at all HyVee locations, and Wine on Broadway.

As the great state of Illinois starts kicking the Bicentennial festivities into high gear, it was just a matter of time before one of our almost 250 craft brewers provided us with an official Bicentennial Beer. The lucky brewery is Hand of Fate Brewery out of Petersburg, just a short 94.5 mile drive away (quickest route on Google Maps). And the beer? 1818 Prairie State Farmhouse Ale! It's a wheat ale. And it sounds good. Let me just go to the store to get some! Oh what's that? It's not on sale in Quincy? What the H?!

That's right, the beer from hand of Fate, distributed by Breakthru Beverage Group, and made specifically to commemorate the state of Illinois, isn't available in a historically significant Illinois town.

Mind you this beer is available in HyVee stores across the state, you can see a full list of locations here. We technically have three of those, including the HyVee liquor store at 20th and Broadway. There's literally no reason for us to not have this. But when I went to HyVee and Wine on Broadway to inquire about this, nobody knew what I was talking about. Like I had just made it up.

If you check that list, there's an awful lot of Chicago/Chicagoland area. I get it, the beer just came out last week. But shouldn't they have done a full court press on this? A beer in every cooler type thing? Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know, liquor distribution is a tricky business. But there's no reason why we should be excluded from trying this beer. We want to celebrate Illinois, too!

And I don't care what it takes, whether I have to e-mail Breakthru Beverage, contact Hand of Fate, get HyVee on the phone, even send Wine on Broadway a Facebook message, I'm going to try this beer. I may have to go all the way to the Bicentennial Commission on this one.

Hell, it's all over Springfield, I might as well get on the highway for a quick eastbound and down roadtrip. I may need to borrow a semi for this trip. And a Trans Am. And Sally Field.

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