I don’t begrudge the Cubs good fortune. They deserve their new coach… or manager… or whatever this John Maddon guy is.
(Just kidding, I know John Madden is the football dude and the new Cubs’ manager is named Joe Maddon.)
With that said, I don’t quite care about the Cubs enough to get swept up in the jubilation and speculation of Maddon’s hiring.
I do care about beer though. This thought occurred to me as I watched a new commercial about to air in the UK. The commercial was commissioned by the British Beer Alliance and was worked on by the likes of Michael Winterbottom, who directed 24 Hour Party People, and Sean Bobbitt, the Oscar-nominated director of photography for 12 Years A Slave. Flipping the phrase, “There’s an app for that,” it offers a number of great foods to pair with different types of beers.
In general, it makes me want to drink, but in a good way.
Though Chicago’s not the U.K., I decided to celebrate their clear message that beer is better than iPhone apps (or whatever) by offering a few Chicago beer/food pairings below.
Goose Island’s Bourbon County Stout, a limited favorite from Goose Island (so if you see it, don’t hesitate, snatch it up), has gained a lot of praise. Thick and black, this monster smells like, well, bourbon, along with the smoother scents of vanilla, chocolate and oak. Like most stouts, you’ll get a nice chocolate and coffee taste at first, followed by a small kick in the butt from the bourbon near the end. Depending on the batch, it’s in the vicinity of 15% alcohol by volume, so drink up, but not too much. Goose Island suggests you pair this with a slice of flourless chocolate cake.
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Some might turn their nose up at Revolution Brewing’s rise in popularity. Personally, I find it downright convenient that I can find their beers at Walgreens.
With that said, their food is good enough to warrant regular visits to their actual brewery. I’m a pretty big fan of their pulled pork sandwich, slow-smoked with a sweet sauce that’s slightly spicy. You’ll want to pair this with their Eugene Porter, which goes well with BBQ and has a hint of chocolate to its taste.
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Half Acre Beer Company, for those willing to stop by the Chicago brewery, offers a wonderful look at the making of craft beers. Their facility has 19 fermentation vessels, three-vessel 15bbl brewhouse, liquor tanks and other stuff that’ll excite local homebrewers.
If you’re a fan of Mexican food (and why wouldn’t you be?), I’d suggest picking up some Daisy Cutter followed by some tacos from L’ Patron. This American Pale Ale should go well with their fish or shrimp tacos, and will probably even add to the flavor of their somewhat spicy poblano rajas tacos. I suggest calling the order in for pick-up as you nab the beers, otherwise you’ll be in for a wait. I’ve seen plenty of other’s BYOB to the restaurant, which does sport a small seating area, though I usually just take the food home to devour in privacy.
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Mason Johnson, CBS Chicago