In the context of brief comments on places to which one can go in the Printers Row neighbourhood to eat and to drink, I have mentioned Kaseys Tavern (701 S. Dearborn) on a couple of occasions. I am very fond of the place for a number of reasons: its an old and cozy bar (tin ceiling, brick walls), clean but not prissy (well, the bog could really use an upgrade), the staff are all good eggs, and the beer selection is outstanding. I make no bones about it, I am of partisan spirit in this regard and look upon Kaseys as my stamcafé.
That said, I think it worth noting that Kaseys is now one of the surely very few bars (and the only one I know of) this side of the English Channel that has De Koninck on tap. De Koninck, from the city of Antwerp, is an ale, vaguely similar to English ales of the Bass sort but rather more similar to some other Belgian ales (none of which are to my knowledge readily available in this country but available to varying degrees in the Netherlands and northern France as well as Belgium) such as Vieux Temps, Horse Ale (geft me mor 'n Paardje), and Palm (waar Brabant trots op is). Making the addition of De Koninck to Kaseys draught beer selection an especially happy event is the fact that the distributor has also supplied the bar with the appropriate glasses in this case, the distinctive bolleke.
For those who love Belgian beer, Kaseys also has on tap (with appropriate glassware) Stella Artois (if only they had Jupiler: mannen weten waarom), Hoegaarden (the original witbier, more subtly spiced and earthier than its American imitators such as Blue Moon) and in bottle both Duvel (accent on the first syllable, please; its Flemish, not French) and Lindemans Lambic framboise. Theyre also considering some further additions to their inventory.
I have heard often and much of Hopleaf on the far north side as a bar which is said to offer many Belgian beers but Ive never been there; Im curious to know more about their current offerings and would happily make the trek up there (as long as someone else is driving). But a real tavern is a local institution and Kaseys is a great one to have here in the South Loop. In fairness too, I should mention that Hackneys (northeast corner of Polk and Dearborn), though more a restaurant than a tavern, has a large, comfortable bar, very pleasant staff and an excellent selection of beers on tap, including German, Austrian and Belgian offerings (as well as great Buffalo burgers).
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