Is there is anything better than the combination of great friends and local beer?
Clearly no, there is nothing better. This weekend I Mega-bussed myself up to Chicago to visit dear friends Cat and Seth who (whom?) I’ve been meaning to visit for ages. I’ve been to Chicago several times now since hubby and I have lots of family and friends there, and every time I go, I fall deeper in love with the place. I really am a city girl at heart.
After my five hour bus ride I wanted nothing more than a beer in hand and giant burger in my face. My friends and I exchanged big hugs and hellos, and hopped in the car. “So, what’re we doing tonight?” I asked, as they drove us straight to the Revolution Brewing pub in Logan Square. Luckily my friends have exceptional taste. Revolution Brewing has only been around since 2010 but they have already shown their staying power in the Midwest craft beer scene. They have a wide variety of beers, in fact according to their site the brewpub makes 50 different varieties a year, which is both ballsy and awesome. Down in Cincinnati we can get their “Anti-Hero” IPA, a mighty fine, super-hopped IPA in a can. Canning is the new cool thing to do, which is great because it is more sustainable and better for the beer (since light can’t get through). Fresher beer and better for the environment is a no-brainer.
To start off the evening, I ordered an intriguing sounding beer, a well-hopped Belgian pale ale called A Little Crazy. Very fitting for the start of what would be a very fun, slightly crazy weekend, and please have you met me? Most Belgian beers aren’t particularly hoppy so I was excited to try this mash-up style. I was pleasantly surprised at how well the Belgian yeast and hop trio blended to make a truly different beer experience. It had the funk of a good Belgian with the malt of a pale ale, and some very present, citrusy hops. It had the potential to be really awkward. but I found it incredibly refreshing and drinkable. In other words, it did not take long to take that puppy down.
Next, I moved onto something with a bit more oomph: the Double Fist, an aptly named double pale ale with a big hop punch. At 8% ABV and 90 IBUs, I’m not really sure why this isn’t just considered a double IPA, but I’m not going to question it, ’cause it’s too good to care about a little thing like semantics when a beer is this tasty. I also ordered what turned out to be a gigantic burger, cooked to a perfect medium rare, quite tasty french fries, and they even remembered my side of mayo (to dip my fries in). Sometimes I think it is a miracle I don’t weigh like 500 lbs. I really do eat lots of veggies. I swear.
Other highlights of this weekend included a viewing of my cousin Jessica’s (among other great artist’s) exhibit at Gallery 400. Pictured above is the whimsical windows of the gallery. Out of respect for the gallery and artists, I refrained from taking pictures inside the exhibit. The show was beautiful, conceptual and incredibly unique, as is typical of her work. If you’re up in the Chicago area you should definitely check it out. The weekend also featured a gigglefest of a trek up to the burbs to hear some great music via our fabulous bass playing friend Seth. Even the cheesy blues bar 40 minutes north of Chicago managed to have some crazy good craft beer. I opted for an old favorite, a Lagunitas Lil Sumpin’ Sumpin, which is another a-typical mash-up style of beer, a very drinkable and delicious wheat IPA.
This weekend I didn’t even scratch the surface of all that Chicago has to offer. There is no doubt that I’ll be back soon. In the meantime I’ll be happy to snuggle up with hubby, the pups, and drink a delicious homebrew. A happy Valentines day indeed! Cheers!