Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Longman & Eagle - Pumpkin Carving and Cider, October 26 (1-6pm)

Longman & Eagle, 1-6 PM, Sunday, October 26th.
Let out your inner ghoul with the help of some L&E donuts, smores, and some offerings from Vander Mill (also, some hot cider + whiskey).

From Vander Mill:
Totally Roasted firkin - Vander Mill's hard cider infused with cinnamon-candied pecans, the firkin will have just the lightest carbonation from the yeast that made this cider.

Chapman's Oaked Cider - this is Vander Mill's Chapman's Blend (Johnny Appleseed's real name?) of all heirloom apples aged in first use American White Oak barrels. They use various levels of toasting to bring out oak and vanilla flavors, plus the cider finishes drier, with a fuller tannic structure.

Pumpkins and carving tools provided!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Women Working in Mixed Media Presents: She's Crafty - Women in Craft Beer (at Chop Shop), 10/22

Women Working in Mixed Media presents an interactive panel of beer industry-related women and a networking event with beers to taste! This is a great opportunity to meet some of the women pushing the corners of the beer industry in new directions, and hear first hand about working in this rather frenetic and growing industry.

Click on the Women Working in Mixed Media link to go over to and learn about this networking and event organization.

All guests also get a swag bag - contents to remain mysterious til tomorrow!

Claudia Jendron - Brewer, Temperance Beer Company
Kate Bernot - Nightlife Reporter, RedEye
Kim Leshinski - Design Consultant and Event Curator, Hail To The Ale
Monica Mooney - Field Sales Representative, Bell's Brewery, Inc. (Official)
Jennifer Faulk - Director of Marketing at Louis Glunz Beer, Inc.

Beer from:
Bell's Brewery
Temperance Beer Company
Great Lakes Brewing Company
O'so Brewing Company - Tap House

 $30 for 1, $50 for 2, $100 for 5!

Bonus: get 10% off dinner at Chop Shop that night by purchasing a ticket and booking your reservation by emailing
Doors open at 6pm, panel starts at 6:30pm.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Bitters class again. Learning a ton about what works and what doesn't. - Boozy Beggar Pic of the Day. #boozybeggarPOTD #chicagolandbooze #boozypics

via Instagram

Fountainhead Harvest Dinner with Metropolitan Brewing & Angel's Envy - 10/15

Say hello to fall, and goodbye to patio season, with Fountainhead's Harvest Dinner, tomorrow night!

There's still some tickets left for this fall-focused pairing meal, blending wine, whiskey, and fall beers, into a family-style celebration.

If I get information on the exact pairings, I'll post them here!
There's going to be at least one special cask from Metropolitan Brewing, and a sneak peek at the hand-picked Fountainhead Angel's Envy blend.

If you breathe Chicago air, you know Metropolitan. They keep us saturated in locally made, well crafted lagers, and if you follow me on Facebook, you know I try to warn you about everything from special casks of Dynamo, to being up on the Doppelbock release every winter (and there's Heliostat, their ultra-fresh, unfiltered zwickel lager coming this week).

Angel's Envy is the fruition of years of training and distilling and blending and tasting by bourbon/american whiskey legend Lincoln Henderson. This changes the way we perceive bourbon, finishing products in special casks that held other liquors, like Rye finished in a Rum cask, Bourbon finished in Sherry or Port, or both, etc. These experiments (arguably borrowed from the Scotch world) add another layer of complexity. My experience with Angel's Envy is that this is the kind of stuff you don't make cocktails with, but rather, you zip, and enjoy, and savor.

$65, tickets here.

Roasted bone marrow, pickled vegetables, fruit mostarda, toast points

Hearty green salad, butter roasted turnips, toasted sunflower seeds, onion frizzles, apple cider vinaigrette

Brussel sprout & delicata squash hash w/quinoa

Sliced herbed roast beef, horseradish cream, sliced baguette

Caramel Apple Bread Pudding

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Skål: A Celebration of Beer - Swedish American Museum - October 16th, 7-9 PM

The Swedish American Museum in Andersonville (5211 N. Clark St) is hosting an awesome fundraiser for the Water Tower Fund, featuring Swedish brewing history, and beer samples from the up and coming Swedish craft beer scene. Also, a short presentation by Jenny Pfafflin, on Swedish brewing history and their own craft beer explosion. As some of you know, the Water Tower had to come down this year, and many consider it a symbol of both the Swedish heritage of Andersonville, and a symbol of the neighborhood's energy.

 Tickets are here:

Here's an excerpt from an interview Jenny did that captures the essence of what's going on in Swedish beer right now:

"What's happening in the Swedish beer scene is very similar to what is happening in the US—much like in the States, the beer market 25 years ago was generally pale lagers (Your Buds, Coors, and Millers here, and your Carlsberg over there). But there was a homebrew movement brewing (pardon my pun!) in both countries...
Swedish beer drinkers were also taking notice of the beer scene in the US. According to the Brewers Association...after Canada, more American beer is exported to Sweden than any other country in the world. And the influence of American craft beer in Sweden has inspired a craft movement of its own—the past few years have produced exciting, young upstarts like Brekeriet, Modernist Brewing, and Omnipollo; brand-new beer bars from Mikkeller, BrewDog, Katarina Ölkafé have arrived in Stockholm (although, one of the world’s great beer bars, Akkurat, has been been around for nearly 20 years); and just this spring, American-based craft beer giant Brooklyn Brewery opened the doors to Nya Carnegie, a Stockholm-based brewery collaboration with Carlsberg Sweden.

Now in Sweden, much like the US, every time you turn your head, you'll hear of a new brewery opening. To keep tabs on Swedish beer, a couple of beer writers to follow is Joel Linderoth at Expressen's Mitt Kök and Tobias Göth at Allt om Mat."

There will be samples of beer from:
Nils Oscar - a barleywine (these guys are like the grandfathers' of Swedish brewing, akin to Sam Adams here)
Omnipollo - fantastic label art, no word yet on which style we'll get to try
Evil Twin Berliner Weisse - technically Danish/Nordic brewery, that brews all over the world
Ölvisholt Brugghús - Icelandic stout
Andersonville Brewing/Metropolitan Brewing collab - Vattentorn Baltic Porter (brewed especially for the Water Tower Fund)0
Brooklyn brewery - Hammarby Syndrome (swedish-inspired strong ale with spelt and hand-foraged spruce fronds made to celebrate opening of sister brewery in Stockholm, Nya Carnegie)


Friday, September 26, 2014

Two Brothers Beer Brunch at Range, tomorrow!

$30 per seat, RSVP
11:00 AM start time.

Welcome: Beer Cocktail

Ebel's Weiss
Banana Split bread pudding french toast-
Bitter end caramel, sea salt, bacon dust, caramelized bananas and peanut butter creme anglaise.

Cane & Ebel
Walnut+ Bacon and fig Omelet-
Walnut-parsley pesto, pepper bacon, figs, brie and breakfast lemon herb potatoes

Side Kick
Pain d' mie, duck egg, rosemary shallot creme sauce, aged sheep cheese and served with blackberry water cress-cantaloupe salad

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Publican/Goose Island, Barrel Aged Beer Dinner, 9/30

Quite the opportunity, some laid down 2013 bottles of Goose Island's finest and rarest, paired with 5 courses of the amazing food of The Publican. This is the kind of countryside, beer paired meal you might actually find in Belgium or Northern France, and not your typical beer dinner. Combine that with the impeccable but friendly service from the Publican, and this is a real treat. If you're going to pay for a beer dinner in this range, this is where you want to do it.

$150 per person, plus tax and gratuity
For reservations, contact Omowale Amoin at or call 312-733-9555

Menu below.
Exciting to see Lilith as the opener, plus a flight of Matilda paired with pork collar. Real treat to see how the Matildas each meld with different elements of the pork dish. To top it all off, some 2013 Proprietor's Reserve BCS. 

My beer for Lincoln Square Lanes bowling. - Boozy Beggar Pic of the Day. #boozybeggarPOTD #chicagolandbooze #boozypics

via Instagram

Monday, September 15, 2014

Wolves in the Farmhouse! (Farmhouse Chicago, w/3 Floyds, Surly, and Solemn Oath), 9/22

6 course dinner at Farmhouse Chicago, featuring
3 Amazing Midwestern Breweries + Farmhouse's farm-to-table fare!

75 seats total, so get your tickets ASAP. Not a dinner to be missed, and it isn't often you get to have this high level of food, amazing music, all paired with great beer (plus the dudes and dudettes of these three fine breweries will be present, for all your questions, high fives, and joint headbanging).

Tickets ($100):

Course 1:
Aged Goat Cheese
Caramelized Cashews, Buttermilk Cracker, Nectarine Butter, Nasturtium
Happy Fun Beer, Solemn Oath

Course 2:
Heirloom Beets, Tomato, Pink Peppercorn, Hibiscus
Fest Beer, Surly

Course 3:
Indiana Shrimp Fry
Charred Long Beans, Grilled Corn, Black Onion Vinaigrette, Shrimp Shell Aioli, Tarragon
Patron Saint of Quality Footwear, Solemn Oath

Course 4:
Tenderloin of Pork
Rose Finn Potatoes, Spent Grains, Lobster Mushrooms, Peppers, Beer Reduction, Citrus Marigold
Permanent Funeral, 3 Floyds

Course 5:
Lamb T-Bone
Cauliflower, Crispy Quinoa & Puffed Wild Rice, Grapes,
Lamb Jus, Mountain Mint
Pentagram, Surly

Course 6:
Coffee Cake, Carmel Corn, Espresso, Anise Hyssop
Zombie Dust, 3 Floyd's

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Swedish Covenant Women's Health Initiative Fundraiser/Charity Beer and Spirits Event - The Bar on Buena, 9/11, 7PM

$40 dollars for drinks and appetizers. Guaranteed a delicious time! I'll be there pouring beer for you as well.

The Bar On Buena -  910 W Buena Ave, Chicago, IL 60613


Read about the Women's Health Initiative/new Health Center

The Beer ridiculous!

Allagash - White, Saison
Lagunitas - IPA, Little Sumpin, Sumpin, Pils
Left Hand - Milk Stout Nitro, Oktoberfest, Polestar Pils
Stone - IPA, Matt's Burning Roses, RuinTen
Two Brothers - Atom Smasher Oktoberfest, Cain & Ebel, Ebel's Weiss
Vandermill - Blue Gold, Hard Apple, Nunica Pine Dry Hopped
Ale Syndicate - Levee Belgian Blonde, Municipal IPA, Sunday Session Pale
Weihenstephaner - Hefe-Weizen, Oktoberfest
Greene King Abbot English Nitro
Saison Dupont
Aspall Imperial Cider
Iron Maiden's TROOPER
La Trappe Quadrupel
St. Feuillien Grand Cru
Evil Twin Falco IPA
Stillwater Brontide Black Saison
Begyle - Blond, Schwarzbier, Euchred IPA, Free Bird American Pale, Zeus Double IPA
New Holland - Black Hatter, Mad Hatter, Oak Aged Hatter, Rye Hatter

Plus beers from...
Local Option

5 Rabbit
Great Lakes
Samuel Smith

And Spirits...
Bulleit Bourbon
Bulliet 10 year
New Holland Gin and Straight Malt Whiskey

Monday, September 8, 2014

Good Beer Hunting, Forbidden Root, final stop on the Beer Cocktail Tour at The Bad Apple

I think the picture below and the menu do all the work for me on this blogpost. Good Beer Hunting (aka Michael Kiser) put together this amazing summer beer cocktail tour, and it wraps up tomorrow night at The Bad Apple with the cocktails below. To quote Good Beer Hunting, Forbidden Root's "botanic beers are entirely unique" and present an interesting challenge to cocktail development (not that you need to worry, the recipes put together over the past few months are amazing, and quite a few if not all can be replicated at home if we just ask nice enough).

You can order a Trio and get a sample of the cocktail, the beer, and the dish. OR, go with an appetite and a deep thirst, and do it all. DO it all, for science, I say...

Redemption rye whiskey, Shady Character beer, house-made Shady Character spiced beer syrup served neat with a walnut rim.
Food pairing: 
Suppli - Roman Risotto Balls filled with smoked pork & fennel

Forbidden Root with 8-year cask aged El Dorado rum and Amargo Angostura Vallet served up with a house macerated cherry
Food pairing:
Short Rib braised with Forbidden Root beer & root vegetables

Ocho Cientos Sotol in a grapefruit beer jam and then topped off with Sublime Ginger and freshly squeezed Ruby grapefruit juice in a salt rimmed glass
Food pairing: 
Lemongrass & Ginger Crème Brûlée

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Small Bar Division's Brewer's Bill of Fare September + Pop Up Tap Room - Featuring Metropolitan Brewing

My pals at Metropolitan Brewing invade Smallbar Division tonight to celebrate all things lager-y with a Pop Up Tap Room, release some special edition beers, while also introducing this month's Brewer's Bill of Fare at Smallbar. Each month Smallbar launches a new Brewer's Bill of Fare, usually with a Pop Up Tap Room celebration featuring the brewers and/or their representatives, plus some rare beers, pairings, what have you.

The Flywheel Firkin - infused with apricots and ground cherries
Oktoberfest 2014 - I had this last week -- yum, friends, yum.
Heliostat - Zwickel lager, fresher than the tears of Pee Kay himself.
plus Dynamo and Krankshaft, for your vienna-style and pilsner-ish bright lager needs.

Here's the Bill of Fare for this month (updated/working when Facebook returns):

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Cystic Fibrosis Foundation's FestivAle - September 12th

Please allow me to quote myself from last year, post-Festivale: "Festivale is the best of what Chicago festivals can be for two reasons: 1) It's a charity event, which means we're not just being a bunch of geeks and boozers, we're giving back, our passion gets a boost of external meaning 2) It's a well-done event that brings you an assortment of national craft beer from the likes of Stone, Lagunitas, Deschutes, plus our local loves, big (Half Acre and Revolution) and tiny (Forbidden Root, Ale Syndicate), and everywhere in between (rising, busy brewers Solemn Oath, the eccentric and extremely well-made Off-Color, for example)."

Who: Cystic Fibrosis Foundation
What: BEER FEST + AMAZING FOOD, plus raffles, silent auctions, more

When: September 12th, Friday. 6pm start for VIP session, 7 pm for the rest.
How:$65 for regular entry and $100 for the VIP reception.
Why: Did you not read the opening paragraph of this post? Charity! Beer! High Fives!

Participating Breweries below!
On top of all that beer (and Cider):

Collaborations and Releases
Chef Matt Troost from Three Aces + Greenbush Brewery - Collaboration and a release of a double black ale from Greenbrush and a special dish from Chef Matt
Temperance Beer Co will release their barrel aged porter and pair it with food from Popcorn Asylum.

Other Collaborations
• Bottle Fork + Begyle (I've had this beer, it's quite delicious!)
• The Radler + Flesk
• Haymarket beer + food pairing

51st Ward Brewing will release Dave's Dunkelweizen in honor of the brewmaster's brother-in-law who lived with cystic fibrosis.

And finally, check out this video of last year's FestivAle. Amazingly, no appearances by yours truly.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Two brunches two weeks in a row. Egg salad on rye, garden cucumbers, niman ranch breakfast sausage, turnip greens with garlic, plus vermouth caramelized figs and red onion. - Boozy Beggar Pic of the Day. #boozybeggarPOTD #chicagolandbooze #boozypics

via Instagram

Ale Syndicate Beer Dinner @ Bar Pastoral, 8/27

Bar Pastoral and Chef Brooks Hart host Sam Evans of Ale Syndicate for a beer dinner...

6-7 Cash Bar featuring Ale Syndicate Beers
4-course dinner starts at 7.
$50 per person includes tax and gratuity

Thai Style Ceviche with coconut milk and Thai Chili and Crispy Tortilla
Paired with Sunday Session Hopped up Ale

Braised Bacon with Spring Brooke Raclette Flatbread and Butter Roasted Mushrooms
Paired with Petrillo Pale Ale

Pretzel Croissant with Marinated Vegetables and 1655 Gruyere
Paired with Municipal IPA

Omega Midnight Stout Gelato with Olive Oil cake.
Paired with Omega Midnight Stout


Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Vera, octopus and sherry pairing!

Two very special friends, who's 13th anniversary is today, once confirmed for me, what I suspected to be true: this spot Vera in a building I once visited for a sports bar experience, is a legit booze and food experience. Vera is a place that simultaneously makes you feel at home and neighborly (I will claim this hood as one of mine until I've live away from it the 7 years I lived around the corner from it). You actually KNOW a comfortable yet elegant dining experience is awaiting you just from the energy of the place.

Sherry, for me, is new, very new. I started learning about it about nine months ago, while making cocktails for a social media and advertising company's event, paired up with a much more experienced bartender. They made a sherry aperitif cocktail that though delicious, didn't really sink in with our crowd (in hindsight, people should have picked cocktails by name, given the point of the event). I went home with a bottle of amontillado sherry, and then along the way, while playing with a different sherry cocktail for another event, ended up with an oloroso bottle. Both were from the Lustau house, which from what I understand, makes very good sherry, but is also one of the larger sherry houses (someone correct me if I get this wrong, please). Anyway, point being, I knew a few cocktails with sherry, and knew a little bit about the characteristics of a small part of the range that is sherry. I'm not going to jump into sherry as a whole here, for that, you should read this:

So my plan for Vera was really simple. Say hi, and ask if they could pair one of their dishes with anything on the beverage list. I didn't actually specify sherry, or wine, as far as I recall.

What I got though, was an amazing amontillado sherry: Valdespino Tio Diego Amontillado, with an earthy/nutty and briny quality that paired beautifully with their grilled octopus with pimenton and olive oil dish. The interplay between the smokiness of the pimenton, the octopus, and the nutty and raisin brine of the sherry made for a lot of overlap in each bite. Some pairings end up being about how each piece stands out while enlightening its partner, where here, the two elements were like a Venn Diagram of flavors, with the center part being "awesome" and the other non-overlapping parts being "other reasons this is awesome." Guess what...that made it...awesome.

Summer isn't over fools! Corn n oil recipe on the blog tomorrow, plus a falernum recipe too. And if anyone can tell me who carries a blackstrap rum, free cocktail for them. - Boozy Beggar Pic of the Day. #boozybeggarPOTD #chicagolandbooze #boozypics

via Instagram

The Final Four Craft Beer Boat Events this week!

The final four Craft Beer Boat Ticket giveaways.
Here's a link to the original post, with all the ways to get a ticket: buying the below beers, sticking around for the raffles, and the twitter/instagram competition as well (not sure if those were picked online after each night, or the day after, etc).

See ya on the boat!

Monk's Pub - 8/20, 5-8 PM

This is my favorite Loop spot for a beer, as noted in my first ever Recommended! post about the Loop.

  • De Proef Fifth Star Raspberry Rye Saison - made with Windy City (who distributes all three companies)
  • La Trappe Trappist Tripel (first time ever on tap in the US!)
  • Seefbier (summer is here friends, it's going to be over 80 again)
  • Allagash White 
  • Allagash Confluence (can't believe how awesomely this is drinking right now)
  • Allagash Curieux
  • Allagash Odyssey (oak aged dark wheat, 10.4% ABV, yum)
  • Surly Mild
  • Surly Furious
  • Surly Bitter Brewer
  • Surly Pentagram (6.66% ABV, obviously, and a WILD ale)

Rockwell's Neighborhood - 8/21, 6-10 PM

I haven't posted my Recommended! Lincoln Square/Ravenswood one yet, but this on the list. Great neighborhood spot doing its part to elevate craft beer and cocktails in a classy, comfortable bar and restaurant environment.

  • Urthel Hop-It
  • St Feuillien Saison (believe it or not, I've never had this beer on tap!)
  • Tripel Karmeliet
  • De Proef Fifth Star Raspberry Rye Saison
  • Seefbier
  • Allagash White 
  • Allagash Confluence
  • Allagash Odyssey
  • Allagash Bourbon Black
  • Surly Furious
  • Surly Bender
  • Surly Hell
  • Surly Schadenfreude (munich dunkel lagers aren't dead)
  • Surly 2012 Darkness (don't be dumb guys, get this one)

Rock Island Public House - 8/22, Blue Island, 7-10 PM

  • Allagash White
  • Allagash Golden Brett (mildly tart and fruity, dark golden in color, AND DRAFT ONLY)
  • Allagash Confluence
  • Allagash Odyssey
  • Allagash Bourbon Black 
  • De Proef Sour Barrel #1
  • La Trappe Trappist Tripel (probably only the 2nd ever keg of this stuff in the US)
  • Seefbier
  • BOM Triporteur Wild & Funky #2 (I don't even know what this is and I work for Artisanal Imports!)
  • St Feuillien Belgian Coast IPA (special stuff, rarely on tap)
  • Surly 2012 Darkness (see what I wrote above, put it in your facehole)
  • Surly Pentagram
  • Surly Furious
  • Surly Overrated
  • Surly 2011 Smoke
Bigby's Pour House, Addison, 7-10 PM
  • De Proef/Surly Long Of Tooth - Had this at the Fountainhead event, and there's a WHOLE lot of awesome going on in here. Mega-complex, holds its own from start to finish.
  • Aspall Dry - fantastic cider, so easy drinking and dry, you can wrack up your tickets with this guy in between all this amazing beer
  • Tripel Karmeliet
  • La Trappe Trappist Tripel
  • St Feuillien Belgian Coast IPA
  • Iron Maiden TROOPER - this beer is so metal, they're actually going to fuel the Beer Boat with it
  • Surly Furious
  • Surly Coffee Bender - the rare coffee bender, I've asked they rename this The Beggar Bender for all the coffee I drink
  • Surly Cynic - one of my favorite beers of all time, actually
  • Surly Schadenfreude
  • Surly Bitter Brewer
  • Surly Asator - something to do with Vikings and hops.
  • Allagash White
  • Allagash Saison - is this the best beer released this year?
  • Allagash Fluxus '14
  • Allagash Odyssey
  • Allagash Confluence
  • Allagash James Bean - I think you can figure this one out on your own...

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

We got a little silly with some of the test bottles of the first round of hot sauce. - Boozy Beggar Pic of the Day. #boozybeggarPOTD #chicagolandbooze #boozypics

via Instagram

Fermented #28 - more beers (for our weird summer)

Orval, Belgian Pale Ale, 6.2 (6.9%?) ABV - a classic, one of the original Trappist beers. Some say the recipe dates back to the 1100s, though the current recipe, says their website, comes from the 30s. Triple fermented beer, they should make a video satirizing Miller Lite. They basically ferment the wort, then add a 2nd yeast (something funky) and hops for dry-hopping, then they run that through a centrifuge to remove any material, add a 3rd yeast for re-fermentation in the bottle. Only thing they make, but it is so damn good. This is one of the world's best beers, and one of my all-time favorites. It's a wonder I've never talked about it before (though I always planned to do a Trappist article on the old blog, and never did, etc).

Ale Asylum Unshadowed, Hefeweizen, 5.5% ABV - delicious, like banana cream pie with a hint of spice. Great creamy body, sweet fruity finish, and very thirst-quenching. Hard to believe this beer does all those things and stands out as a Hefeweizen (especially after having 5 of the originals just a month or so ago, plus other great American versions). Got so into it, I picked up a six pack yesterday for future summer hefeweizening.

Two dark beers for our unusually cool summer nights (and days apparently):

Sierra Nevada Maillard's Odyssey, American Porter, 8.5 % ABV - Maillard is a tribute/reference to the name of the reaction that occurs that darkens sugars and amino acids, causing caramelization and other such delicious things to occur. This beer really deserves the name with a delicious molasses-driven bready body that is balanced with some bracing hop additions. Enough carbonation and zip to drink like a porter, while being 8.5 % ABV.

Left Hand Brewing Black Jack Porter, 6.8% ABV - Another porter that drinks like a porter. If you've heard/read me complain about porters built like stouts, you know this is a big issue for me. Porters are what got me into the nuances of dark malts, and also, I burn out on hopcentric, bitter bombs very quickly these days. A proper porter, lighter in body than a stout, balanced but often with some hop character and bitterness, and a little more effervescent (the American version - the British should be softer, creamier but still not heavy as heavy in body and residual sugar). There's less ROAST in a porter, more hints of chocolate and dessert notes (some roast and coffee is good but in balance). Black Jack is an old favorite, a porter that occupied
my fridge often years ago, and that should find its way back in there as summer wraps up or we keep getting these 70 degree highs...