Tagged: craft beer

How to Best Spend $4.95 on a Friday

Pequods

I can’t figure out why I haven’t heard of any lunch specials in years? When I lived in St. Louis for college, I remember a ton of places having awesomely discounted food that would compete with McDonald’s on price, but with a much better product.

Is it because I’m out of college and have a little more disposable income, so I’m not looking? Is it the city that I live in that’s the problem – Chicago, are you holding out on me?

Honestly, if you have the answer let me know. Also, if you have heard of an awesome lunch special, please share the wealth.

I recently had the pleasure of having an awesome afternoon, courtesy of Pequod’s Pizza and their lunch special. We’ll get to that in a second. Continue reading

Eat & Drink This: Episode 2, Half Acre Beer Company

I love beer.

One of the first local beers I ever had that was brewed in the Chicagoland area was Daisy Cutter by Half Acre Beer Company.

Half Acre was the first “craft brewery” I toured, which happened a number of years ago. The tour helped solidify my appreciation for small breweries and the work it takes to create artisanal products.

Since that tour, I’ve interacted with the people at Half Acre a fair amount. Not only do I enjoy their beer, but also I respect them as a small business.

I’m also fascinated by people’s stories. I was fortunate enough to sit down with Gabriel Magliaro, President and Owner of Half Acre Beer Company to discuss how he ended up founding and running one of Chicago’s favorite breweries. Continue reading

Do We Crave Foods or Memories?

bobtailI don’t crave ice cream. Let’s start there.

Last Saturday, the wifey and I thought we’d grab a quick glass of wine and some snacks at a newly opened bar by our house.

I was in the mood for a big red wine. Luckily, this intimate bar focuses on wine, charcuterie, cheese, and has a smattering of carefully selected craft beer and a couple signature cocktails.

Apparently, everyone else wanted to do the same thing, at the same bar, at the same time. It was going to be at least a 30-minute wait to get a seat at the bar or a table.

Instead of waiting, we decided to go to another bar that had no wait, where we could get some dinner. There was a good chance we would return to our original spot afterwards for a late-night glass of wine.

At the pub, I put down some mediocre fish and chips with a cab/shiraz blend. Not the greatest pairing, but damnit I wanted some red wine.

Like many places, this Chicago pub had no real personality and could have just as easily been in Pittsburg. It wasn’t bad, but I would honestly forget the place ever existed if I hadn’t written this blog post.

Continue reading

9 Questions with Jim Koch, brewer and founder of Samuel Adams

We’re so excited about our most recent interview with Jim Koch – founder of Boston Beer Company, brewer of Samuel Adams, and father of the American Craft Beer movement.

Quick history lesson – our country used to have many, many breweries that eventually faded away.

What else faded away? The types of beer they brewed.

What replaced them was a fairly homogenous, watered down beer, produced by large breweries.

Why do we call Jim Koch the father of the American Craft Beer movement? During the mid-1980’s, when imported beers were almost the only beer you could get outside of a macro-brew, Jim made and sold craft beer. Continue reading

The 5 Most Important Thanksgiving Questions,…Ever

You must try Mindy’s burger – fresh ground beef, organic bacon and aged cheddar with a fried egg

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. For me, there is no pretense. No presents. Less family drama.

Our family has always focused on what’s important – food & family.

Everyone brings something to the gathering – food, wine, whatever. We also have a bizarre tradition of having to bring an “entertainment” – a loosely defined category of anything that will well, “entertain.”

I entitled this blog post The 5 Most Important Thanksgiving Questions,…Ever. The title was originally meant as a joke because the questions are basic and are in no way life defining. The funny thing is, the more I thought about this holiday and what it meant to me, the more appropriate were the questions. Maybe they are the most important Turkey Day questions ever?

I’m a huge fan of the people we interviewed for this posting. Being new to this whole “interview thing”, it was hard to contain my excitement when we were able to hear what Mindy Segal of Mindy’s Hot Chocolate, Pete Crowley of Haymarket Pub & Brewery and Joe Campagna of Chicago Food Snob were doing this Thanksgiving. If I were to eat and drink like anyone on this upcoming holiday, it’s these people.

Mindyat40Mindy Segal is known for her amazing pastries & heads up the restaurant Mindy’s Hot Chocolate in Chicago. James Beard Award? Check – Winner of the 2012 James Beard Award for Outstanding Pastry. Nominated by the James Beard Foundation 2007-2011 for Outstanding Pastry Chef in the country. Segal won the Jean Banchet award for Best Celebrity Pastry chef in Chicago, Chicago Magazine’s Pastry Chef of the Year and for two consecutive years the Time Out Chicago’s Eat Out Awards for Best Pastry Chef. Don’t be misled by all of these accolades – Mindy is not one-dimensional. The burger at Hot Chocolate can easily stand up against, if not beat any burger in this meat-loving city called Chicago. Trust me.

BSB: What are you doing for Thanksgiving this year? Continue reading

Eat + Drink This, Episode 1: Szechuan Peanuts + Meantime Coffee Porter

In addition to our normal stories and interviews we’ve decided to share something we’re obviously crazy about – food and drink pairings. We run a beer snack company that is dedicated to this concept, but to tell you the truth, we like all kinds of food & drink pairings – from cookies and milk to bourbon and BBQ.

We’re easing into this by discussing our own Szechuan Peanuts and pairing it with a beer we’re particularly fond of, Meantime Coffee Porter.

What inspired this pairing was actually an early morning of roasting our peanuts and drinking coffee. We thought, “damn, these Szechuan Peanuts go pretty well with coffee.” Not a complete shocker, but caught us off guard in the early morning hours. Continue reading

Integrity, In Four Acts of Food & Wine (errr…make that Wine, Cocktails, Beers & Shots)

Twisted Spoke’s Chila-Killas

A night at a local bar entitled Malort Night 2: The Cheap Beer Festival. There is room in this man’s heart for a night like that. Honest & forthright.

A tasty dinner where the bartender goes above & beyond in fixing a mistake that we, the patrons, made. That’s service and integrity.

A large, gorgeously decorated, upper-end restaurant, with failed service, food that was overpriced and flavor combos that were meh. How does this happen?

A ridiculously tasty Bloody Mary. Beer & customers that are understood by its bartender. Food that is reasonably priced & executed with precision. Period.

What do these four experiences have in common? They all occurred over the last week at dining establishments and seemed to underscore what integrity is or is not. Continue reading

5 Tips for the Ultimate Pie Pairing Party

The wifey & I love having people over to our place for dinner & drinks. We enjoy going out to the new restaurants around town or hitting up The Map Room for whatever new beer is on tap; however, having people over to your home is way more intimate and let’s you cook & drink whatever you want. It’s a selfish thing.

We pretty much have stuck to “dinner parties” (is that too antiquated for 2012?) and I will often make a signature cocktail &/or try to pair wines or beers with our food.

Last weekend we wanted to try something different. My wife is a HUGE fan of pie – apple, blueberry, whatever. I am a HUGE fan of craft beer – West Coast IPA’s, Barley wines, whatever.

We wondered if we could pair the two ideas together and throw a party around it? So, that’s what we did. We held our first Pie Pairing Party on September 29th. Each guest (or couple) was required to bring a pie and had to pair it with a beverage. Goofy but simple premise. Continue reading