As a kid, I never visited Chicago, despite living just four hours away. Other than an airport layover, I don’t remember going to Chicago until a job interview after college. Even still, it wasn’t until the last few years I have learned how to truly partake the town. So for the second straight summer, a group of friends made the trip north, enjoying good food, great beer and for the first time in my life, some baseball at Wrigley.
Of course, before we got to the brewery hopping and fine dining, we had to start with Chicago’s favorite hot dog chain, Portillos. Sarah can’t resist the lemon cake.
Sarah enjoys the lemon cake, but she loves Hubbards Cave/Une Annee Brewery. It is her happy place, even if it doesn’t look like much on the outside.
Seriously, it just says Brewery, in the middle of a strip mall. They are building a new location, hopefully to be open this fall. Seriously, her happy place. Look at that face.
Drank some beer, made friends, shared some of our own beer. Hubbards does really good stouts, IPAs and sours. Hard to go wrong.
Hubbard’s was our first Chicago brewery love. But our newest has been Hop Butcher. Only, they don’t have a brewery. They guest brew out of Miskatonic, so we stopped there, hoping to catch the guys on a guest brew day. No luck, but still had a good time. Anyone familiar with the name Miskatonic knows it comes from the world of HP Lovecraft. Their beer names come from the scifi-iest of sci-fi, along with some Dungeons and Dragons references–Catchpenny, Shield Maiden, The Craven, etc. And yeah, I asked. They have a weekly campaign night. Also got in some shuffleboard, which is the far superior bar game to pool and darts.
The next stop was Noon Whistle for a quick refuel.
There couldn’t possibly be more on the first day, right? Well, there was More. More Brewing. That Strawberry Marbles second from the right–outstanding version of a milkshake IPA.
With all that beer in us, it was time to add some more food, which meant a stop at Wildfire and a horseradish crusted filet.
And with that, day one was done.
Picking up where we left off, Sunday started with the best breakfast chain in Chicago, Walker Brothers, a Chicago tradition of more than five decades. Their pancakes are ridiculously good, but I went with the omelet this time.
After breakfast, it was off to more breweries, including one that has become my favorite taproom in Chicago, Mikerphone. The beer is solid, but the decor is great, including the Blue Room taproom. Microphones for tap handles, clever music-related beer names like Check 1-2, Smells Like Bean Spirit, Shimmy Shimmy Ya, Money For Nothing Hops For Free, etc. With plenty of vinyl on the wall and a laid back crowd, it is just fun to hang here.
Up next was Maplewood, a brewery we wound up spending quite a bit of time at, but I didn’t get very many photos. Lot’s of six-ounce pours, a few beer cocktails, a little Cards Against Humanity…
Monday was game day, but we still had time for more beer, starting with a place that had been on my to-do list for a few years now. Back early in 2011, I subscribed to a beer review podcast hosted by Chris Quinn. He eventually started a bottle shop and taproom, call The Craft Beer Temple, relocating and expanding a couple years ago. We were there at practically open on Monday, catching Chris working alone, but we got to talk beer for a little bit. Sarah accused me of going fanboy a bit. Maybe. I thought I played it cool.
Lunch Monday was at another brewery, as we hit the Corridor Brewery. Okay beer, really good food.
We barhopped a little before the game, hitting old-school pubs Vaughan Pub House and G-Man Tavern before making our way to Lucky Dorr, just outside the leftfield fence at Wrigley. I’m pretty certain my next visit to Wrigley, I would just go straight to the Lucky Dorr. It is a small place, but even right before game time was not crowded. Several local beers, many with baseball-themed names.
As for the game, we sat in the right field bleachers, about four rows from the wall. The Cubs took an early lead, Oakland came back and made it interesting in the ninth, and left a game-winning home run just a few feet shy of the wall to end the game. Still, had a great time, even if a wafflecanoe in a Santo jersey was annoying. I had some Old Style, I pissed in the trough, you know, Wrigleyed it up.
There was one disappointing part of the trip. After reading our local politician’s Facebook pages and comments, I was convinced all our downstate tax dollars were just being passed out on the corners of Chicago. I never did see any of that. Weird.
Overall beers added to the Untappd pokedex:
5.0s–More Strawberry Marbles
4.5s–Hubbards El Zacaton 2019-1, Hubbards Hazelnut Pot De Dreme 2019-1, Side Project Pulling Nails #9 (shared at Hubbards), Noon Whistle Twisted Reality Hazy Double IPA, Mikerphone Alternative Tracks, Mikerphone Imperial Smells Like Bean Spirit Special Roast, Mikerphone Do You Remember The Time?, Maplewood Mr. Shakey Peach, Maplewood Cuppa Neapolitan,
4.25s–Hubbards Fresh IIPA One Hop Mosaic, Une Annee Kriek, Une Annee Brewery Le Grand Monde 2018-12, White Rooster Infusion Maroon (shared at Hubbards), Miskatonic Storm Shake, Noon Whistle Gummypocalypse, Noon Whistle Sticky Gummy, Maplewood Doombuggy, Maplewood Oil on the Coil, Saint Errant White Bouquet, Transient Full Turbo 2, Hop Butcher Smoke Filled Room, Alarmist Three Hops You’re Out
4.0s–Miskatonic Dungeon Master Madness: Mexican Hot Chocolate, More DDH Loose Candies, More Hopparatus, Moore DDH Dusty, Mikerphone Slim Hazy, Brouwerij De Dolle Dulle Teve, Corrido Midwest Fancy, Noon Whistle Cubbie Gummy
3.75s–Miskatonic West Coast Wizard, Miskatonic Gelatinous Cube, Noon Whistle Bernie, More Brewing Burst of Sunshine, More Duo Function, Maplewood Brunch Punch Bramble Berry, Corridor Van Hazen: World Vacation, Corridor Rapunzel
3.5s–Half Acre Bodem
3.25s–Mikerphone Ging and Juice, Alarmist Pantsless
3.0s–Maplewood Grahammie Cakes
2.25s–Une Annee Le Seul XV Watermelon
Holy crap, putting it on paper, that is a lot of beers.
All in all, though, brought back a decent haul as well.