Leaving Goose Island Clybourn, a party bus is waiting for the now loud and raucous beer bloggers. Chitown Party Bus, basically a converted school bus is complete with two stripper poles, ice chest, barf bucket and disco lights. I sit down near the front and wave my two index fingers around in circles near my nipples and howl. “Things are gonna get weird tonight!” someone yells as @brewdad works the stripper pole like a seasoned pro, gyrating his all-encompassing rump to the beat. The bus roars wildly. (read part 1 of 2 of the Chicago trip here)
Piece Brewery & Pizzeria
First stop of the night is Piece Brewery & Pizzeria, a pizza brewpub with a good selection of award winning beers. The interior is a vast open styled warehouse building with exposed beams similar to the inside of a big boat being built. The exterior windows are wide open, allowing the smell of fresh Chicago pizza and roasted garlic to waft through the air, slightly improving the city’s funk like a cheap perfume. Craving a load of hops in my supple, young mouth after Goose Island’s myriad of Brett/Lacto/Pedio/Oak beers I opt for Wingnut, their Double IPA.
Wingnut is a simple hop delivery system in liquid form; somewhat murky golden hay colored, not complex, kind of lip-smacking sweet. Other bloggers threw darts at the draft board and lucked out. Instead of samples, we all opted to steal tastes from each other, which is fine, because we’re all clean and free of STD’s (I hope). I stop and play their Soprano’s Pinball machine for a bit, the only real Chicagoland gangster moment of the trip thus far. As our stop is only 45 minutes, it’s time to say “Piece out, bitches!”
After Peace what comes next? Revolution. Wait…what? Revolution Brewing is our next stop. I hate when I get off on the wrong foot with a bartender, which is what happened at Revolution. I order a Three Floyd’s beer, only to cancel it (pre-cap) because the house Rye Stout, Repo Man struck my fancy. She complied, only to pour me an Anti-Hero IPA, which I whiffed and sent back. I really wanted a Repo Man, dammit. I tip her an extra buck for my silly California-boy fiasco.
Happy as a clam with my intended beer in hand, I sip and love. There is nothing better in life than a full bodied stout that is easy to drink! I’m alarmed that the Revbrew’s tap handles look like a super kinky sex toy. NOT MY SEX TOY OKAY WISE ASS! I bet you’re thinking “MORE LIKE WIDE ASS LOL”. Whatever. I was charmed to meet and talk with local Chicago beer blogger Kristen Stroud of beerrunninghappiness.blogspot.com, so much so I was bummed she wasn’t on the bus the next day. She instantly reminded me of a good friend, Shev, who loves beer, running, and other shenanigans. From Revbrew’s website: “Just a few years ago, we turned a dark, dusty warehouse into a welcoming destination for great craft beer. Barrel wood walls and benches made from 100-year old beams salvaged during construction make our space warm and cozy as do our two hardwood bars.” Revolution Brewing should not be missed. It has wood, beer, and good food.
Haymarket Pub & Brewery
Last stop: Haymarket Pub & Brewery. In my opinion these are the brightest, cleanest, balanced hop friendly beers I’ve had in a while. Rivaling many of SoCal’s West Coast IPA style, Haymarket stands tall with the big boys. Their brewer, Pete Crowley stuck around to address the crowd while standing on a bar seat. Buzzing nicely at this point but not stumbling or slurring, I order a pint of Angry Birds Belgian IPA and am not disappointed.
As a homebrewer, this Belgian IPA is my default IPA style. I like some rye spice and fruity esthers to balance out the hops and base malt. This beer floored me; bubblegum and lemon zest on the nose, followed some phenolic clove. I could drink this all day. Can you shoot me one across the country with a slingshot? I’d give you 1000 points and hum the Angry Birds song! I also sample the DIPA, Simcoe IPA, and Bourbon Barrel Aged Stout. Super Win, very win, and win. Sorry for getting the Angry Birds song stuck in your head. Next time I’m in Chicago, Haymarket will be my first stop.
I feel wobbly in the knees at last call. The disco lights on the bus taunt me like a cat with a laser beam. My room back at the Howard Johnson looks so much nicer from my earlier arrival. I never thought beer goggles would improve a hotel star rating! I lift the mattress, no dead hookers. G’nite Chicago.
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