An Opportunist’s Weekend in Beer

As another weather system dumped roughly six inches of snow on the Chicagoland area during the evening rush hour Friday night, I contemplated what my weekend might entail as I sat in long lines of traffic.  I received my first shipment from the Craft Beer Club during the week and hoped to sample each kind, I was planning on attending Brew Ho Ho in Wicker Park, and I intended on bringing my next beer-laden recipe to fruition.  Midday Sunday, I was 0 for 3.


Friday night, I hoped to sample each of the four different styles of beer I received from the beer of the month club.  The thought of staying in on Friday night seemed too claustrophobic, and I instead recruited a friend to walk to the Bad Apple with me just to get out of the house; snow is much more enjoyable when you aren’t scraping it off of your car, driving in it, or shoveling it.  The best surprise of the weekend came when I looked over the draft list. No way: Dogfish Head 120 Minute Imperial/Double IPA.  In two and a half years, the Bad Apple has been open, I’ve never seen 120 Minute on their list, much less on draft. I would finally get my first taste.

With a range of 15-20% ABV, the first sip resembles whiskey more than beer.  The second sip tastes strongly of caramel.  The third, fourth and fifth sip are surprisingly fruity.  Overall, this is the smoothest, most enjoyable IPA I’ve ever had. I get why it has such a following.


Saturday, I planned to attend Brew Ho Ho in Wicker Park, which showcased some of Chicago’s best home-brewers/nano breweries as well as the talents of chef Won Kim. In December, I had RSVPd my place and couldn’t wait to enjoy some new brews and to turn a few electronic friends into non-electronic friends. I ended up leaving shortly after arriving as the chick working the RSVP list inconsistently let a handful of people who hadn’t RSVPd enter, but not my group.  Not a problem, we were less than a block away from Piece Pizza & Brewery.


Piece is easily my favorite pizza in the city.  Their beer? Well, their beer is exceptional, as well.  The go-to choice, of course, being their Egyptian Pale Ale appropriately named Camel Toe.  This is a fun one to shout to the bartender over a packed bar on a busy night. Piece boasts a full tap list of their own beer,s and each one is worth the taste. Although they don’t offer “flights,” I would suggest getting the $1 sample of each.


Once we were done at Piece, we all decided that we couldn’t let that keg of Dogfish Head 120 Minute sit at the Bad Apple without getting another glass.  Who knows the next time it would show up on tap?  A few more brews were enjoyed and I rounded out the evening at a friend’s house, watching Pulp Fiction and having a beer.

This brings us to Sunday.  Too lazy; beer recipe is not going to happen today.  I’m not going to the grocery store, and I don’t feel like not being on the couch.  It’ll have to wait until my motivation level is above -5,000,000 and there’s no football on TV.

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