Sunday, July 29, 2007
Anyway, we grabbed a table for the two of us just outside the front door. Little did we know, but this table seemed to attract all the patrons that wanted to step outside for a smoke. They come out, grab our chairs, light up, and set their drinks on our table. Normally this would irritate the hell out of me, but I was a bit cheerful from the beer. So, rather than ignoring them or telling them to buzz off, we invited them to join us. All in all, this lead to some interesting conversations with a number of folks who live near Buster's and have done so for many years. One fellow was even kind enough to point out the local "crackhead" as she stomped and danced her way past us on the sidewalk. You don't get this kind of local color without chatting up the locals.
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
And as a side note- THE GREAT TASTE OF THE MIDWEST IS LESS THAN 3 WEEKS AWAY…YAHOO!
Sunday, July 22, 2007
...and yet another masterpiece.
I don't know that we'll get an A, but we'll at least go down with style.
Thursday, July 19, 2007
Our local Cellars continues to do a great job in carrying interesting craft beers. The other day I picked up three six packs from a joint I'd never heard of before, nor seen in MN - Barley Island in Noblesville, Indiana. The brews I bought were Dirty Helen Brown, Blind Tiger Pale, and Bar Fly IPA. I had the Helen and the Tiger on Saturday, but frankly I was a bit toasted by then and don't really recall if I enjoyed them. I'll have to rectify that. The IPA is pretty damn good. It's got tons of bitter hop flavor and sufficient aroma to not disappoint. It's a bit on the bitter side in the after taste though (duh, no sh!t sherlock).
And oh yeah, New Belgium is now available in MN once again. Yippie! I don't care much for Fat Tire, but I do enjoy several of their other beers.
Finally, I did try the new Miller product, Chill or Chelada or whatever the hell it's called. It was pretty good. I'd certainly drink one of these green beasts before any other Miller beers. Anyway, it's worth checking out - especially since it isn't being rammed down our throats by Miller's marketing thugs...at least not yet anyway.
Monday, July 9, 2007
Sunday, July 8, 2007
- Emmett's Ale House: All-around great place for a beer and a meal. Friendly staff and nice joint. The brewmaster, I think his name was Ryan, actually did some of his novice work at Town Hall. We also hit Emmett's in Downer's Grove, but I recommend going to the West Dundee location as I think it was the first.
- Piece: The service was a little slow (I guess the place WAS hopping) and the beer was very flavorful and pretty good. I didn't find any session beers, though, and they were out of some of the beers I thought I'd enjoy most. The 'za was pretty damn good too. Worth the visit.
- Taylor Brewing: Meh. They charged $10 for a f%#king pint class and seemed their brewing focus seemed designed to please your Miller crowd. Overall, if you're driving by, hungry and thirsty, and you happen to be driving down the right side of the street...well, you decide for yourself.
- Two Brothers: This was a brewery in a light industrial building. We couldn't get a tour and they didn't do any tastings. By and large, they seemed put out by our visit. They sent us to a local bar, John's (great place, by the way), to taste some of their beers. We all enjoyed most of the Two Brothers that we had at John's and other places. They definitely do a great job making interesting and tasty beers. That being said, unless you need a souveniour, don't bother stopping in. Find a nice bar to knuckle-down at.
- Lunar Brewing: This may have been the highlight of the trip. The place probably falls into the dive bar category, which adds to the allure. The bartender was very friendly and helpful and there wasn't one beer there that we didn't enjoy. Lunar is worth going out of your way to visit.
- Goose Island: I had my expectations set low and I was proved very wrong. We visited the brewpub on Clybourn. All in all, great beers, great food, friendly staff, and nice atmosphere. Unfortunately, this was the last place we hit on 7/5, so we were a bit beered out and didn't sample the full offering, but we had enough... A must see.
- Mickey Finn's: When we first got here, we let out a collective groan due to the service, but our server ended up doing a fine job and we were surprised by the quality of the beer and food. Worth visiting.
- Flatlanders: We got a tour of the brewpub from Art, the friendly brewmaster who went out of his way to make us feel welcome. Flatlanders was surprisingly large and looked to be a newer establishment. Art does a pretty good job with the beer and had a well-rounded selection (from grand cru to dunkel to stout).
- Moosejaw: We decided to hit Moosejaw on our way back from Chi-town although we were all a bit leery given that it's located smack-dab in the heart of breeder country in Wisconsin Dells. Needless to say, we set our expectations low. We were wrong. They carried a large and varied selection of beers, most of which were pretty damn good. We also learned that the brewmaster is a woman. This is the first place we've been to where the brewmaster was female. We were also informed that this is the only such brewery/brewpub in WI where this is the case. Right on. Well worth the stop.
As an aside, The Map Room, Clark Street Ale House, and Firkin are all great beer bars, both in terms of selection/quality and atmosphere and worth checking out, although Firkin is the only place with a menu.
All in all, the trip was a lot of fun. Kris and I got our first taste of Tiki. I was happy to find that the Tiki crowd is just as geeky and friendly as the beer crowd with which I'm already familiar. Good folk. Anywho...this is too much already.
Tuesday, July 3, 2007
With an amazing amount of restraint we did manage to be spend a couple of hours getting some needed things done although in the back of our minds we were already thinking about returning to the joy of sitting outside having a few more beers. We must have been putting off some pretty good “let’s drink” vibes because within 10 minutes of concluding our productiveness for the day the phone rang and another set of friends called, inviting us to join them at Town Hall. Without hesitation we agreed, quickly fed the dog her dinner and hopped in the car. I had to start off with their cask Centennial IPA as the last time we were there that was the next beer that was going to be released. I’m glad I was able to have some before it was gone as this is one good beer! Our server was wearing one of the special shirts they had printed to coincide with the release and I nearly bought one. Still might have to check out their website to see if I can order one as they are quite cute and appear to have been ordered in women’s sizes as well so I won’t be swimming in even the smallest men’s size. Dinner for me ended up being the hummus pizza from their appetizer menu. I’ve had this before and it was as good or better than I remembered. I’m sure they make their own hummus and it’s a wonderfully garlicky version. Along with that I had their other IPA on cask. It seems to me this is one of their standard beers on tap and equally as good as the Centennial although the two are noticeably different. All in all it was a great end to the week and a nice primer for the upcoming trip to Chicago on Wednesday that will no doubt involve plenty of beer.