Chicago Craft Gin Week June 21-28

Chicago’s upstart gin-centric week is now upon us. There’s even shirts this year. Festivities kicked off last night across the city, with gin cocktails at Sportsman’s Club and Rock Island Public House. Check back here for more events; see below for a vague schedule of gin celebrations.

GinBock Release, June 22nd
Read about this Bock beer from Atlas, distilled by CH Distilling into a citrus-forward botanical gin over at Chicagoist. Gin & Tonics available all week at CH Distilling starting tonight, plus a $30 dollar, 3 course menu incorporating gin or gin botanicals into each dish, also available all week.

Fountainhead Gin Cocktails, 6/24
Featuring gin cocktails from locals FEW Spirits, New Holland, and North Shore Distillery for the evening

Whole Foods Kingsbury/Lincoln Park, 6/24
Gin sampling – more details soon!

Northdown Taproom, 6/25
Off Color Fierce Firkin + New Holland Gins.
Drink whatever combination of the above you’d like – all in the same glass, each in their separate, just don’t give Kate and Laffler a hard time when you don’t remember anything the next day.

GinBock @ Atlas Brewing, June 26th
Junebock Helles Bock Tapping and GinBock release, 5pm.
More Third Anniversary celebrations on the 27th as well!

Logan Square Gin Crawl – Chicago Distilling/Whistler

More details soon.

Scofflaw Gets Swizzled. Fan Fiction: Chicago All Stars Menu, Sunday ALL DAY.

Take some of your favorite bartenders and some of their swizzle recipes. Then take some of your favorite Chicago foods. Put it all in a bar that loves swizzling, Scofflaw, and then well, swizzle that into a hell of a way to do a Sunday right.

That Damn Tiki…So Hot Right Now
Brandon Phillips, The Duck Inn

Plantation Barbados Rum, Wray & Nephew Overproof Rum, Combier Framboise, coconut milk, tropical oleo saccharum, lime, salt) from Brandon Phillips of Duck Inn Chicago!11415617_925895954118233_2514645932481978549_o


A Little Spice Is Always Nice
Liz Pearce, The Drifter

Liz Pearce of The Drifter Chicago: The Drifter (St. George Green Chile Vodka, Pueblo Viejo Blanco Tequila, Chareau, grapefruit, lime, grenadine)


She’s Your Daughter
Jess Keene, The Drifter, Barrelhouse Flat

El Dorado 5 Year Rum, Old Grand-dad Bonded Bourbon, Pierre Ferrand Dry Curaçao, maple, cinnamon, lime, mint).


The American Dream
Laura Kelton, Sportsman’s Club, Bordel, Fulton Market Kitchen

Amontillado Sherry, apple brandy, apple pie spice, lemon, Angostura Bitters, grated nutmeg


Boozy Beggar Picture of the Day – Glenfarclas Ferd in the Spey cask at new Fountainhead Market!

Fountainhead Market, the storefront next door sibling to Fountainhead, is now open! If you ordered a bottle of Glenfarclas ‘Ferd in the Spey’, Fountainhead/Bar on Buena edition, at last month’s Glenfarclas night, your bottle is available. There’s also another dozen or so available for a limited time. Delicious sherry-barrel aged cask. The store is chock full of great scotch, other spirits, beers and ciders from the brands Fountainhead loves, and food products by Chef Cleetus

via Instagram

The Boozy Beggar Guide to Chicago Craft Beer Week, pt. 3 (May 19 – 21)

Let’s just get right to it. Chicago Craft Beer Week just keeps on rolling.

TUESDAY, May 19th

Pipeworks/BroVo Amaro-Inspired Beer “18” Collaboration

Brovo Spirits makes amaros, vermouths, and liqueurs (as if you hadn’t already read that from me before). But they don’t just spit out products that sell, they develop their products (which I openly admit, I represent in Chicagoland) with some of their favorite bartenders, to produce cocktail quality, unique, handcrafted products, made from real ingredients.  I don’t need to sing the praises of hometown heroes Pipeworks Brewing, because if you haven’t had any of their tremendously delicious and inventive beers, you live under a rock or inside a CTA bunker. The Pipeworks crew apparently got their hands on some of BroVo’s amaros, and fell in love. They’ve had more of the amaros than anyone I know actually, aside from myself and the distillery’s boss lady, Mhairi Voelsgen. Pipeworks Brewing Company and Brovo Spirits collaborated to create, “18,”  a barrel aged beer inspired by amaro #16, BroVo’s collaboration authored by Lone Wolf’s Stephen Patrick Cole. “18” got aged in barrels that previously held #16.

“18” will be presented as a shot and a beer with the amaro that was the original inspiration. There will also be two other Pipework’s collaboration beers on draft. Brown & Stirred, Manhattan Inspired Rye Ale collaboration with Longman & Eagle and The One Horned Wonder And His Fanciful Flying Fresno, Passionfruit and Rotary Evaporated Fresno Chile Pale Ale collaboration with The Aviary (Micah Melton of the Aviary collaborates with BroVo on the Boomerang liqueur).


The Duck Inn Beer Dinner w/ Forbidden Root (Backyard Pig Roast)

Pig Roast and forage-derived menu items paired with five beers from Chicago’s botanical brewery, Forbidden Root. Dishes and beers highlight both the missions of Duck Inn and Forbidden Root.

Enjoy Sublime Ginger, Forbidden Root, Shady Character, WPA Wild Pale Ale and Divine Mud Imperial Chocolate Stout.

5 courses, $60 dollars. Call The Duck Inn for reservations. 312-724-8811


3rd Annual Begyle Beer Dinner at Fountainhead

One of my favorite neighborhood breweries (with a new tap room!) teams up my local scotch and beer and cider watering hole (which just happens to have a chef who knows a thing or two about chef-ing).

5 courses. 5 beers paired.

Begyle Blonde Ale – 5.4% American Blonde Ale
Hophazzardly IPA- 7.1% American IPA
Tough Guy Brown – 5.6% American Brown Ale
Comb the Desert – 6% Schwarzbier brewed in Collaboration with Cleetus Friedman
Imperial Pajamas – 9.8% Imperial Coffee Stout featuring Wildfire Espresso.

$66.66, tickets here!

Meat Local Option at Kuma’s Too


Indulge yourself with burgers and beers alongside head brewer Tony Russomano and Alexi Front from Local Option!

Playlist for the night custom by Tony and Alexi!

Mourning Wood Oak Aged Coffee Amber Ale
die Königin Oak Aged Kellerbier
Walk ov Shame Saison

Sour Beer Cookout at Publican Quality Meats

Beers From:
Perennial Artisan Ales
Penrose Brewing
Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales
Allagash Brewing
Off Color Brewing

Grilled Birds, sides, and more.

Cost is $65 per person, inclusive of tax and service

Please contact Ashley Miller at 312.496.0012 or to reserve a spot.

THURSDAY, May 21st

Begyle Brewing Dinner at Bread & Wine

Tripel Stamp paired w/Spicy Banana Jam, Fried Plantain Lily, Pickled Serrano, Juniper

Hophazardly IPA paired w/Roasted Maitake, Blueberry, Meyer Lemon, Oregano

Tough Guy Brown Ale paired w/Smoked Cod, Tarragon Marshmallow, Roosted Fennel Butter

Oh Hey! Porter paired with Pork Sausage Steam Bun, Chicory Cured Pork

Reservations – 773/866-5266

3rd Annual Women of Craft Beer Celebration at Riverview Tavern

This is the 3rd annual Women of Craft Beer Celebration at Riverview Tavern, and the last two were the inspiration behind my blog posts earlier this year celebrating the ladies I know in the industry. There will be special tappings of local beer throughout the night including exclusive all-female-brewed collaboration beers with the brewers themselves on hand.

Donations from pint sales and raffle tickets will benefit the Chicago Chapter of “Dress For Success”, a charity that promotes economic independence by providing professional clothing and resources to disadvantaged women.

Event curation by my pal Hail To The Ale

Rhine Hall Peach Brandy launch at mfk! Tonight!

Sweet baby octopus, I almost forgot to post this!

The brandy/eau de vie gurus over at Rhine Hall are teaming up with the mfk kitchen (Scott, you’re just going to pontificate and eat/drink like a King…) for a Spanish-style seafood meets Chicago-made brandy night.

Tickets might still be available, depending on time you’re aiming for tonight. Buy them here!

4 courses paired with two of Roger Landes’ peach brandy focused cocktails, $55.

Boozy Beggar Picture of the Day – La Trappe Witte

One of my beers of spring, La Trappe’s Witte. Fell in love with this Artisanal Imports, work-related beer so much, I took inspiration from the use of Saphir hops to make some homebrew (coming soon). This is the world’s only Trappist white, and uniquely relies on the hops instead of the usual spices of a white ale. 5.5% ABV.

via Instagram

Boozy Beggar Picture of the Day – Beer Mustard Recipe

First of many batches of homemade homebrew beer mustard. This is a pale ale and white wine vinegar base. Delicious. More experimentation needed and a label design perhaps. Recipe below the pics.

via Instagram
1/3 cup (2 oz) of yellow mustard seeds
1/3 cup (2 oz) of brown mustard seeds)
1/2 cup of Homebrew of your choice (this was a Pale Ale with Pacific Gem hops)
1/2 cup of vinegar (this was white wine vinegar, red or apple cider would work too)
1.5 tablespoons of honey
1 tablespoon of sugar (brown sugar would be awesome, I was out)
1/2 teaspoon of salt
Soak the mustard seeds in the beer and vinegar, covered, for 24-48 hours. Blend with other ingredients until the desired consistency.

Rioja Wine & Tapas Festival, May 2nd (Union Station)

Wine, tapas, and the great hall at Union Station. Hopefully the marble can’t be stained by mere fermented grape juice? I’ve compiled what is sort of a mini-cheat sheet of facts for what promises to be a very interesting array of wines from Spain’s Rioja region. The Spanish wine-making region of Rioja is in the N/NE part of the country, close to the French border (and for historical reasons is often considered heavily influenced by its closest French neighbor, Bordeaux). Rioja is about 90% red grape production, and still reigns supreme as the principal wine-producing region of Spain (though I think there’s still dozens of posts to be made in the future about other Spanish regions). The two most common or primary grapes of the region are Tempranillo and Garnacha (Grenache if you know your french grapes).

Things to know before a Rioja wine event:

-some wines get denoted as Joven and like in Mezcal, this indicates it is young, unoaked, and should be drunk young (don’t hide it in your closet for a few years)

-Riojas don’t list grapes on the label usually, and are most often denoted by style or level of aging

Crianza = 2 years of aging, minimum of one year in oak

Reserva = 3 years of aging, minimum of one year in oak

Gran Reserva = 5-7 years of aging, minimum of two years in oak

– Vinos de Pagos means that the wine comes from a single estate

May, 2nd 1 – 5 pm

$65 + 3.95

40+ winemakers

25+ chefs

creative tapas, a gallery of jamones (spanish hams), morcilla (a spanish form of blood sausage) from top chefs, a cheese cave, reserve wine tastings, seminars, and more.

Tickets Here!

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