After going over my last few posts, it seems like I am not showing enough love to the Chicago craft beer scene. Maybe I’m still in shock over Goose Island going to the dark side, or maybe it is just that I was traveling a lot right at the start of the blog. But anyway, Chicago, you know I love you and your beer. And I especially love Revolution Brewing, a brewery that opened up in February 2010 in the Logan Square neighborhood of Chicago. It has now succeeded Target as being my favorite place on earth. Sorry, Target. You had a nice run and I still love you. But you don’t serve beer brewed by Jim Cibak.
This past weekend (June 25th) I was fortunate enough to attend The Long March, an event put on by Revolution that involved a brunch buffet and beers at Rev; a 4 mile walk to Haymarket Pub and Brewery; beer and snacks at Haymarket; another 4 mile walk to U.S. Cellular Field (or Cominsky Park for you old-schoolers); and a ticket to the 3pm White Sox game. Beer, food, moderate physical activity, and the White Sox? Yes, please.
The hubby and I (and my mother-in-law; what a trooper!) arrived at Rev at 10am sharp, and the brunch buffet was already laid out in all it’s glory. If you’ve only been to Revolution for beers or dinner, you have to give their brunch a try, especially their made-from-scratch biscuits with homemade jam. Not only did they have a whole tray of them (I only had one, I swear!) they also had French toast, eggs, an assortment of breakfast meats, and potatoes. This isn’t a food blog so I won’t elaborate. But it was AWESOME. While the hubby and MIL had coffee, I started with the Rosa (formerly Rosie), an hibiscus wheat ale. This was a refreshing beer with hints of tea-like flavor.
I moved on to the Anti-Hero IPA, arguably my favorite IPA right now. It just has a clean, hoppy taste that I can drink over and over again. If you haven’t had it and you are a hop head, this is a must try.
Right as I was finishing my second beer, Josh Deth (founder of Rev and “Chairman of the Party”) recruited everyone to collect their Revolution Brewing hat (also included in the price of the festivities) and head outside for the four mile walk to Haymarket. This provided a great opportunity to get to know some of the other participants in this trek. It always amazes me what an intellectual, intuitive group craft beer lovers are. I met a mathematician, a community activist, and a web designer, to name a few.
The walk to Haymarket took an hour-and-a-half but due to the good company and the occasional revolutionary cheers (and a bit of a beer buzz), it didn’t seem that long at all. When we arrived there, we were ushered into the back room that was reserved for us (and another group, but that’s ok… I don’t mind sharing). The biggest surprise was that Pete Crowley himself was behind the bar. I’m not going to lie. I was a little awestruck. I was a huge fan of his when he was at Rockbottom Chicago and the quality of the beers at Haymarket are comparable to those at Rockbottom during his tenure.
I started with the A.R. Double IPA, a strong American Pale Ale using ample amounts of Amarillo hops. Yum!
My second beer was the Speakerswagon Pilsner, which was refreshing and really hit the spot after the 4 mile trek. We weren’t really hungry but, darn it, we were going to get our money’s worth so we got the cheese plate and soft pretzels, both of which went perfectly with the beers.
After about 45 minutes, Josh Deth rounded everyone up and we began our journey to the Sox game. The walk was pretty uneventful until we were walking through Pilsen and just happened to pass a beer tasting housed in an art gallery. Mr. Deth began negotiating with the cashier and got those of us who were interested drink tickets. The event turned out to be the Brew Ha Ha, a tasting of local home brewers and, as a home brewer myself, I was super excited to taste their offerings. I went to the table occupied by Low Dive Brewing, a home brew collaborative that consists of four friends. I tried their Rye Saison, a style that I am not too fond of, but let me tell you: it was fantastic. Crisp, refreshing, and just a little sour (in a good way). I enjoyed talking with this group of guys and I know Chicago (and beyond) will be enjoying their beers in bars or at home in the near future.
The offerings from the other home brewers were quite good, too, especially a wheat IPA brewed with grapefruit. I would have liked to to stay here longer but we realized that the rest of our group was no longer there. So, back on the road towards the Cell.
We made it to the game during the second inning and had a blast. The Beers of the World kiosk at US Cellular Field is now called Beers of the Midwest and offers Great Lakes, Barley Island, Goose Island (boo!) and, of course, they still have Bell’s Oberon. I purchased the hubby and myself two Oberons and we took our seats in the bleachers. All in all, a unique, beery way to spend a Saturday. Michelle from Revolution indicated that they a planning to do this event next year, so be sure to follow Revolution on Facebook and Twitter to get updates on upcoming events.