Bah Humbug! A Sour Xmas (12/23) – Jerry’s Sandwiches Wicker Park

Movies, Sour Beers, Xmas Beers!

And sandwiches!

Bonus, maybe Chris and Trey (and possibly myself) will make some silly holiday sandwich pairings.

Sour Beers:
The Bruery – Oude Tart
The Bruery – Tart of Darkness
Jolly Pumpkin/Upland – Persimmon Ship

Xmas Beers:
Great Lakes – Christmas Ale
Three Floyds – Alpha Klaus
Evil Twin – Christmas Eve At A NYC Hotel Room
Port Brewing – Santa’s Little Helper
Lost Abbey – Merry Taj

Movies: (Keeping it family friendly during the dinner hour, and getting progressively darker from there.)

6:00 pm – National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
7:45 pm – Gremlins
9:30 pm – Saint Nick
11 pm – Black X-Mas


Beer Fest Beatdown – Hoffman Estates

One of the goals with the Boozy Beggar, now that there’s a new look, and arguably, new approach, is to not neglect the suburbs. People out there need to drink too, maybe even more than us city dwellers. Also, they have some great breweries popping up (Urban Legend, Penrose), and some great bottle shops for beer and spirits. And just last week across my desk (I really do have one now, though half the time I write at bars) came the heads up about this beer fest in Hoffman Estates (NW burbs), called Beer Fest Beatdown.

Beer Fest Beatdown, at the Sears Centre Arena, brings you 30 breweries, over 100 beers and ciders, Lucha Libre wrestling, the cascading Beering-ham fountain, Santa’s Little Hoppers Workshop and specialty food items from some of the area’s best food trucks. Your ticket gets you 25 sample tickets for beers from Revolution, Two Brothers, Lagunitas, plus local breweries like Lucky Monk, Emmett’s, Penrose, and more. The full list is at the end of this post.

Tickets – $35, tasting glass, 25 tickets, 2-6pm, or
VIP – $60, one hour of extra access starting at 1, plus complimentary food

Beer List is up at:  All the breweries are listed below.

Revolution, Lagunitas, Emmett’s, Vermont Hard Cider, Wisconsin Brewing, Leinenkugel, Blue Moon, Crispin Cider, Scorched Earth, Dogfish Head, Rogue, Sea Dog, Shipyard, Tight Head, Oskar Blues, Two Brothers, Penrose, Dark Horse, Church Street, Pig Minds, SlapShot, Lucky Monk, Mad Mouse, Stone Brewing, Arcade Brewing, 51st Ward, New Belgium

Food Trucks: Toasty Cheese, Bridgeport Pasty, Pizza Via, Haute Sausage, PIKO Street Kitchen, Chicago Cupcake, Calle Wagon, Gino’s Steak


Fermented #25 – The Local IPAs Series – Ale Syndicate Municipal IPA

Back in mid-September, I had two local IPAs that made me think to myself the random thought: why bother drinking non-local IPAs? I didn’t really mean much by it at the time, except that there’s a few breweries in our area doing good things with hops, and I should drink that stuff more, rather than getting beers with the same hops from far away places. The local movement is important, to an extent, because it benefits those we interact with daily, our friends, our neighbors, and so on; any aid to the local economy begets more benefit to the local economy (some other time I’ll talk about things I don’t like about the local movement – this is a positive piece). More important than any economic growth, is the impact on community from supporting local brands, businesses, groups, and people.

My thoughts deepened on the topic – IPAs are kind of the “flagship” for many breweries, being extremely popular with new craft drinkers, and often very in with those of us interested in trying new hop flavors, new varieties, and experiments on styles that helped explode the craft movement (if I say movement one more time in this post, I’ll break my own fingers). Why try the IPA from some large, nationally distributed brewery, when there’s IPAs made up and down the streets of Chicago and its suburbs, in all kinds of sub-styles, and some of them very, very good. I’m already like this about lagers in many ways, because of Metropolitan Brewing and others, so why not IPAs?

I’ll start this series of posts off with the first of the two IPAs that inspired it – Ale Syndicate’s Municipal IPA (the other is Begyle’s Hophazardly). My first sit down with Municipal came at Fulton Market Kitchen. Eschewing some of the more traditional IPA hops like Cascade and Centennial, this beer is all Crystal hops, making it more floral and sp ice-driven, like sweet cinnamon and cardamom, white pepper and a bittersweet elderflower-ish thing. A very well-balanced malty backbone of Vienna, Munich, and Caramel 60 malts supports the hops, and wheat and carapils present a great head that opens up the aroma. ORange-amber and clear. The medium body and balance makes this exceptionally easy to drink, as does the moderate 50 IBUs (in these days when 70 is typical anyway). 6.2% ABV makes this the big sister to Ale Syndicate’s Sunday Session.


BeerFx presents: Barrel Aged Documentary Screening – 12/13

BeerFx, a local beer collective, presents the premiere of their Barrel Aged documentary at Logan Square Auditorium, on December 13th, from 3:30 – 7:00. The folks at BeerFx understand that beer culture is more than tap takeovers and reviews. Beer culture reaches into the part of us that bleeds passion and turns us into brewers ourselves (figuratively and literally), engaging us with the people that make our drinks in new ways.  Beer culture becomes more than liquid, but about stories and experiments, adventures and more.

A bit about Barrel Aged:
“Beginning over 18 months ago, this project has included eight brew days, four tastings, numerous brewer and distiller interviews as well as a trip to the bourbon trail and back. It tells the story of a beer “Turn Brown for What”, an imperial brown ale aged in an Angel’s Envy Barrel for 10 months. Through this interactive experience, the event-goer will better understand barrel aged beer, the passion that goes into each craft beer and this exciting craft beer community in Chicago and around the world.”

Barrel Aged Graphics


Tickets here! Includes admission to the premiere screening of “Barrel Aged”, a custom commemorative glass, a tasting of the featured imperial brown ale and sample size pours from the participating breweries and distilleries.

Breweries and distilleries participating in the fest include:
Against The Grain Brewery
Angel’s Envy Bourbon
Big Dicks Brewing
Inebriated Brewing
Moody Tongue
Powell Brew House
Red Gate Brewing
Rude Hippo Brewing
Soma Ale Werks
Transient Artisan Ales
Transmission Brewing Company
Upland Brewing Co.
A Table featuring the best in Craft Imports

Brewers Against Bad Things (and some 3 Sheeps Brewing events)

When I first heard about the Brewers Against Bad Things, I thought “this is going to be a cute internet comic, with mash paddles that shoot magic beams and beards that give their owners +5 against beer-consuming dragons.” The name’s light-hearted, but also succintly explains the focus. These are brewers dedicated to philanthropy, for serious charitable causes, in a light-hearted way. Mash paddles that raise money to fight cancer and poverty.

There first foray into being against bad things, is to help in the fight to promote Men’s Health, and battle prostate cancer, with the Brew Men Calendar, which is basically a bunch of handsome pantless beer dudes (11 in fact), raising money…the best way they know how? Some of my friends will be very happy to have this little bit of Sheboygan’s brewing culture in their homes this holiday season.

I found out about this project from one of the 11 himself, Grant Pauly, former Chicagoan, and owner of 3 Sheeps Brewing (learn more about Grant and Three Sheeps). Really Cool Waterslides, 3 Sheeps deliciously drinkable IPA, ends up being my beer of choice at my local bowling alley (Lincoln Square Lanes – 2.5 Really Cool Waterslides makes me a moderately better bowler than when I started the night).


Tonight at Monk’s Pub, you can meet Grant himself, for Thank God It’s Firkin Friday. They’ll be tapping a firkin of something special from 3 Sheeps! Also, check back here at the new blog for more events from 3 Sheeps and Brewers Against Bad Things, plus some reviews/lists of 3 Sheeps beers and pairing suggestions.