By John Dodge
CHICAGO (CBS) — Should you serve a nice sharp Wisconsin cheddar with your IPA or does that go better with a simple pale ale instead?READ MORE: Chicago Sky Win First WNBA Championship As They Top Phoenix Mercury
The area has seen an explosive growth in microbreweries in the past six years. As of 2012, there were 423 breweries in Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana and Illinois.READ MORE: Jubilant And Inspired Fans, Booming Businesses Near Wintrust Arena As Chicago Sky Win WNBA Championship
That includes 83 in Illinois, which is more than double the number from eight years ago.
We are the beer belly of America!
According to the Brewers Association there are more small, craft breweries now than ever in the United States.
For many of us, a mere beer and cheese party just might not be enough.MORE NEWS: Chicago Weather: Slow Warm-Up Beginning
Here at CBS Chicago, we also have some beer pairings for your BBQ this summer, including a beer that goes great with burgers and another with potato salad.