Got to Chicago for a few days and did our best to check out a bit of the beer scene (not as much as we would have liked). Here’s the rundown:
Piece Brewery: Nice place with well-made beers and good New Havens style pizza. Liked that they have a few “guest” beers on tap as well. Of Piece’s beers, we had the Worryin’ Ale (given to us by mistake—okay…the least interesting of the bunch); Sixth Anniversary (good, a little on the sweet side for me); Delusion Ale (good, somewhat hoppy, but could be stronger); and Top Heavy Hefeweizen (fantastic hefe—one of the best we’ve had). Also got Three Floyd’s Alpha King (wow – crisp, hoppy, perfect) and a sausage and mushroom pizza (they sauté the mushrooms—brilliant idea that not enough places do). Altogether, a great late lunch stop with some good beers.
The Map Room: If I lived in Chicago, I would live in Bucktown to just be near this great bar. Lots of beers on tap (both European and stateside selections) and a stellar bottle list. Under a time and alcohol limit restraint, so we couldn’t have as many beers as we would have liked. Enjoyed on tap the Arcadia Hopmouth Double IPA (good hops, but not quite as well-balanced as some of the best of the DIPA, like Pliny, etc., but still fantastic); a bottle of Dogfish 90 Minute IPA (strong, but not as strong as I was expecting…some balance, some floral, but need to try other Dogfish to decide); and a bottle of the Three Floyd’s X Anniversary Ale (wow, wow, wow!!! Loved this hoppy quasi-barleywine…what is it about the tenth anniversary that brings out the best in brewers? Need to buy more now).
Pizano’s/Midway: Had a Goose Island Honkers Ale at both the pizza joint and the airport. Don’t know why I ordered it twice—boring, too malty, not hoppy. I am just not a fan of GI’s beers.
Really wanted to go to the Hop Leaf, but ran out of time. Tried to go to Clark Street Ale House, but it was closed (it was 3 p.m. on Sunday, but people want beer in the afternoon). Didn’t get to try any Two Brothers either and really want to drink more Three Floyd’s. But we need a reason to go back, right?