BJ Pichman is the head brewer at Forbidden Root brewpub, Chicago’s “botanic beer” producer. As a homebrewer, he found a niche brewing pilot batches for recipe development consultants, and that eventually that got him a gig brewing the earliest batches of Forbidden Root’s first trials for their namesake root beer-inspired concoction designed by Randy Mosher and Robert Finkel.
Eventually that concept would develop into a full-fledged craft beer brand and brewpub, and while botanics are still at the heart of the operation, BJ has also developed a strong portfolio of hoppy beers, most recently of the New England variety. And they’re really good.
This week, he also launched his collaboration with Fernet-Branca, a bitter, herbal liquor that posed a perfect challenge for the team. The result, called Frenetic, might be the beer that finally puts this crew on the national map.