Thursday, January 21, 2010
Take a Hop Around Town This Weekend
Chicago's finally getting the props it deserves when it comes to hops, as told in a 2009 New York Times story about the city's new wave of microbrews scattered throughout the trendiest neighborhoods.
So it's no surprise that you'll find beer-oriented bashes going down on the regular like Friday's Meet the Brewers event at Jake Melnick's Corner Tap.
They're bringing in the team behind Ravenswood's Metropolitan Brewery, who will deftly showcase a number of signature microbrew drafts, including Dynamo, Generator, Krankshaft and Flywheel. Beer enthusiasts should love this as they'll get unlimited pours paired with snacks.
That happens 6:30-9:30pm, and cover's $25.
There's so many more beer events happening this weekend, so bounce around . . .
At In Fine Spirits' fifth-anniversary party, it'll be mostly wines that local distributors will be pouring, but also expect a few local craft brew gems. We're hoping the guys from Two Brothers, Metropolitan Brewing and Arcadia make a cameo. 6-8pm. $20 (advance purchase required).
If you're on a budget, one of the best bets of the night is at new River North hang The Fifth. The Thursday night special is the $5 Kobe burger and $1 off craft beer drafts.
Speaking of burgers, Hawaiian-themed Sola does a Burgers, Bacon and Beer night every Thursday. Pair the award-winning Wagyu Kobe burger with Two Brothers' Ebel Weiss beer.
Warm up to Blue 13's hearty new winter menu that they've so thoughtfully paired with a number of full-bodied brews. Chef Chris Curren's take on the classic chicken 'n' waffles dish (Buffalo waffle, Pointes Reyes blue cheese, Great Lakes beer foam) goes well with the Great Lakes Eliot Ness. The decadent Rabbit Struedel (horseradish potato foam, glazed carrots, cipollini onions, Dijon vinaigrette) just makes sense with a Lagunitas Czech Pilsner. And the Drunken Wagyu Shortrib (glazed carrots, caramelized Brussels sprouts, egg noodles, wild mushroom stout sauce) gets the weekend off to a good start when complemented with a Murphy's Irish Stout.
SmallBar owner Phil McFarland says "people freak out" when he gets Bell's seasonal HopSlam—which is currently on draft at both locations in Wicker Park and Logan Square. He warns that this beer is not for the weak at 10 percent alcohol by volume, in comparison to Miller Lite's squirrely three percent ABV. Also new is Bell's Java Stout, a chocolaty sensation; 3Floyds Dreadnaught, another high alcohol, hoppy beer; and Allagash Brewing's Burnham Road, a smoked Belgian-style blonde that McFarland says is a rare draught to find in Chicago.
With provocative names like Full Frontal Pale Ale and Dark-n-Curvy Dunkelweizen, how could you resist?! Piece's award-winning American-style pale and German-style wheat ales respectively go well with their New England-style pizzas. Plus, after a few of those you'll have the courage you need to get on stage for live-band karaoke. Band performs 11pm-2am every Saturday.
Quirky James Hotel resto Primehouse is putting a new spin to the traditional Japanese Bento box by offering a number of funky-themed options during its newly tweaked brunch service. We're loving the idea behind the Hangover (which comes with mini Burkers,…fried quail eggs, fries, mac 'n' cheese, a Monti Cristo, sunglasses and aspirin), Little Bull (207L beef tips, grilled steak, shortrib dumplings) and a Mystery Box, where Executive Chef Rick Gresh gets "creative." Of course, you cannot go wrong if you pair any of these with a carafe of Bloody Mary amped up with Guinness. 11am-2pm Saturday, Sunday.
Go Down Under for a day as Sixteen pays homage to its executive chef's hometown. Frank Brunacci has gathered Australia's most famous brands for a walk-around tasting event, including Cooper's beer, wine, food, cheeses and more. 1-5pm. $35.
Sunday nights are laid back at Le Bar, now that they're serving up moules and frites. You'll get a full portion of black mussels steamed with Stella Artois. It comes with fries and aioli for $9.50, and for an additional $5 you can indulge in a Fat Tire, Guinness, Alpha King, Shiner Black or Goose Island.
Wisconsin's Tyranena Brewery, new to the Chicago scene, hosts an event at Bluebird for fans to sip through their selection of suds. You'll enjoy such mainstays as the Headless Man, Rocky's Revenge and Bitter Woman IPA, but they'll also sample a little Shaggin' on the Wood, a scotch ale aged in bourbon barrels. Snacks included. 7:30-9:30pm. $20.
And look forward to free Tuesday tastings at Smoke Daddy, which highlights new, rare and small-production brews across the country. You'll also get pints of the featured beers for $6 and $10 for beer flights. On Jan. 26, look forward to selections from Samuel Adams Imperial Series. It's also $6 pulled meat nachos and live-music night! 7-9pm for tastings; live music at 9pm.