Thursday, 29 April 2010

Revolution, Stamina and Bryson


My first Chicago drink (this time) was in Rock Bottom Brewery (more on this in a further post) a couple of hours after I arrived, knackered but slightly freshened after a shower in my lovely Hilton room. (Hotwire does not suck). I met Joel there and had a couple of decent beers while we caught up. Aware of the fact that I'd been up a long number of weary hours, I started slowly with a Chicago Gold, a lightly hopped, well balanced drinkable beer and followed up with a very nice Belgian Wit which was refreshing and lemony. Joel's German style pilsner was great too. Then off on the El to Piece (a brewpub) to meet the Rock Bottom brewer, Pete, really nice guy, whose last day it was. I should add here that he is leaving Rock Bottom to set up his own brewpub, so another one is coming for the well established Chicago scene. On entry a remarkable co-incidence. A colleague of mine from BSF at GBBF was there. We gave a double take as we recognised each other. Well you would do wouldn't you? Carl, had been stranded by the ash cloud and was awaiting his return to Amsterdam. Piece's beers will be covered later but were pretty drinkable, though by that time who knows what my palate was like, but I am informed by Andy my friend, that some mystery extra beers arrived at the end, including an "awesome barley wine". Things were slipping by then but I remember the pizza was also excellent.

Then the other boys joined us to make eight and it all went downhill. Off to Revolution Brewing next where we bumped into American writer Lew Bryson, an old mate of ours, big and cheerful as ever, whose laugh could be heard throughout the packed and noisy pub (as always.) Iron Fist Pale Ale was my beer of choice with its very moreish Cascade/Centennial/Amarillo mix, but I also tried tasters of various others and while not overwhelmingly brilliant, were all very decent beers and not too strong either. Around 1.30 a.m. realising I had been up for over 26 hours, I retired, still in reasonable shape - well I was by 26 hours up standards - back to the hotel where sleep was instant. It was there (Revolution) that one of the lads fell asleep, but by then I already was, albeit in bed, not the pub.

That set the pattern, but unbeknown to me, my next drink would be a tequila cocktail. Yes really and what a cocktail and the best Mexican meal ever at Frontera Grill.

Photo is the exterior of Revolution Brewing

7 comments:

mrt said...

Tandleman,

It's interesting you mention Revolution because it's one of the pubs brewing lower abv beers that I mentioned in my earlier post. Although I agree with you that none of the beers I tried there were terribly impressive.

Did you happen to try anything from the Half Acre brewery while you were in town? They make a nice pale ale (called Daisy Cutter) that comes in at 5.2%.

Finally, whoever was making your dining choices did an excellent job. The pizza at Piece is quite good and Frontera Grill is excellent.

Lew Bryson said...

Lord God, Peter, I was only an hour off and I didn't make it to 1:30! Great to see all of you, and I put the link up to here immediate-like. Thanks for yelling at me about that, I felt pretty foolish once I understood what the hell you were talking about.

Tandleman said...

Lew - It was great to see you. I have already reminded Eileen about your laugh. She remembers it!

Jeff Frane said...

Tandleman may have forgotten, but he did try the Mild at Revolution. I thought it a bit thin, but I had been drinking. I stuck to the Iron Fist, which was excellent, and only late in the game tasted their brown ale which was ditto.

Someone had a Daisy Cutter somewhere along the line but I remember nothing about it. We also tasted three or four beers from Metropolitan, including a bottle-conditioned lager that was quite good before the yeast got in it, another dark lager that was decent, and an uninspiring "kolsch".

Tandleman said...

Iron Fist was the star of the show. Thanks for filling in the gaps Jeff. I was fading by then.

Erlangernick said...

26 hours? Not bad. I love how someone can fall asleep --in a bar-- with 1 hour's jet lag though.

Leigh said...

Nice posts - Chicago's been 'on the list' for a while. Keep 'em coming...