What do you think about when you hear the phrase “guest room”? Perhaps you still have flashbacks because your mom inadvertently turned your old room into a combo quilting/craft sanctuary to help her deal with her empty nesting? Or was your childhood bedroom referred to as the “guest room” because you were always expected to bunk with grandma during Christmas vacation? Either way, you probably don’t think of a “guest room” as having 14 beers on tap, do you? But that is exactly what Marilee and Karl Rutherford’s “guest room” contains; the bed is constructed out of a top bunk so the taps are conveniently located directly underneath, which is sure to instill some pleasant dreams to whomever is invited for an overnight stay. The Rutherfords have been on the Chicago craft beer scene for years, pouring at Chef Won Kim’s stellar underground homebrew events under the moniker Twisted Hippo. And now they are ready to branch out into the world of professional brewing, with a little help from a certain Rude Boy.
Ian Denson also was a participant in the Chef Won Kim Brew Ha Hey Ho Stein events, first as a member of the homebrew collective Corazon and then under his own name, Rude Boy Brewing. Ian and his wife, Medea, were researching how to start their own brewery when they started talking to the Rutherfords and realized that all of their dreams could be realized if they joined forces. And Rude Hippo was born. The Rutherfords will contribute their own unique take on classic Belgian styles while the Densons will bestow their award-winning sour recipes. You can help them bring fresh beer to the Chicago masses by contributing to their fundable campaign at poorbrewer.com (be sure to watch the video, it is hilarious).
In full disclosure, I have been friends with the Rutherfords and the Densons for years as I, too, have been involved in the Chef Won Kim events both as a homebrewer and as a guest. Their beer is truly amazing and I am so excited about this brewery marriage; I cannot wait to try their unique collaborations. But while their beer is delicious, they are even better people and I am so fortunate to have them in my life. You can have them in your life, too, by attending one of their many events over the next month. This Saturday, head on over to 1727 N. Hermitage in Chicago for an cookout hosted by Flesh For Food with a tasty line-up of Rude Hippo beers. $20 suggested donation. For all upcoming events, check out their website rudehippo.com