The scene at Urban Chestnut’s Midtown biergarten is straight out of Oktoberfest. Long wooden tables and boisterous patrons enjoying their brews in the shadow of an old stone building—you’d be forgiven for thinking you’re stepped through a wormhole straight to Munich. Or you could go to the brewery’s Grove bier hall and imbibe in what could be mistaken for a trendy loft. Polished concrete, metal ductwork and exposed brick create a cool, modern aesthetic. This mix of traditional and contemporary is not merely about décor, however. It’s also a representation of Urban Chestnut’s approach to beer. Brewmaster Florian Kuplent calls the philosophy “beer divergency,” an “old world-new world” approach to brewing that combines respect for traditional brewing methods while pushing new boundaries in craft beer. The result is a line of beers that include everything from a traditional pilsner to bright American IPAs. It’s a little bit of Munich in the modern Midwest. Photo by Robert Rohe.