Saturday, October 19, 2019

Chicago: Like Every Brewery

Well I had driven up to Chicago on a normal lengthed weekend, so if we wanted to see every last thing in the city we had to hurry.

That meant no time for kitties, unfortunately.

I made a poor choice for breakfast while at Nookies Edgewater. There were so many good things on the menu that I couldn't decide which to choose... so I got a sampler thing that was way too much food. It was really good but I almost died trying to finish it.

"Autumn Trio: A sampling of the Pumpkin Pancakes, Apple Bread French Toast, and Fig Waffle"

"Pumpkin Pancakes: Buttermilk pancakes mixed with pumpkin and autumn spices, with spiced pecans and more spiced pecans on top."

"Apple Bread French Toast: Homemade apple bread with roasted apples, chai creme anglaise and cinnamon streusel."

"Fig and Marscapone Waffle: Golden-brown Belgian waffle topped with fresh figs and marscapone cheese whipped with dry figs, honey and cardamom." They were all delicious but I do have to point out that the cheese is spelled mascarpone. You get points for effort, Chicago.

One of the reasons I came up this weekend was for Open House Chicago. It's pretty much like it sounds, where lots of important architecturally interesting buildings in the city all open up to the public at the same time. The list was crazy long and trying to decide where to try to squeeze into one day was kind of overwhelming. We started out at Edgewater Beach Apartments.

"The Edgewater Beach Apartments (EBA) is the only remaining structure of the legendary Edgewater Beach Hotel complex, which comprised 3 buildings designed by acclaimed architect Benjamin H. Marshall. The "sunset pink", Mediterranean-style EBA opened in 1928. It is 19 stories of reinforced concrete, stone, face brick, and terra-cotta. Its unusual Maltese cross design maximizes lake views and enables every room to receive an abundance of natural light. Originally built as rental apartments and to absorb overflow from the hotel, EBA has operated as a co-op since 1949. In 1994 it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Today EBA is home to a diverse community of individuals, couples, and families."

I thought it was cool to see how little the pool had changed since 1929.

I thought this nearby building was really cool too. My big takeaway from this visit was learning that this hotel used to be on the beach, and that Lakeshore Drive was built on top of the beach with the growing popularity of the automobile.

It's a thing!

Next stop was Colvin House. Built in 1909, it now houses a fancy pants coworking space. It was built in the prairie style, which I thought was interesting because I don't think I've seen a non-Frank Lloyd Wright building like that before.

The bathroom was pretty wild.

Across the street was the Emanuel Congregation Reform Jewish Synagogue.

We popped into 6018 North. It was sort of like a hipster art hotel.

Luckily there were some breweries on the list as well. Architecture makes me thirsty.

Lake Effect was pretty solid and they were trying some fun stuff with weird ingredients. It's the worst when craft breweries just make like the 6 most popular basic beer flavors with nothing new about them. Like why does that sort of brewery even need to exist? We got pilsners covered at this point. For example I went home with a few Champagne Supergose in my trunk. It was aged in cabernet barrels.

The thirst remained so it was time to go to ERIS Brewery and Cider House. This place was both boozy and had some architectural stuff going on. The building was originally the Myrtle Masonic Temple Association. According to the literature the building was also used as a Chicago Police Department set for the short lived procedural drama A.P.B.

This place was very generous with the samples. It was a bummer because sometimes I would forget my sample notes and have to sample the same thing twice. I'm pretty serious when it comes to sampling.

"96 radiator fins were salvaged from the building and repurposed as decorative railings throughout the Lobby, Lounge, and Dining Room. A combination of chemical treatments and sandblasting was used to strip paint and reveal the cast iron, which was then sealed with a clear varnish."

As we went up into the higher floors the experience turned into part rummage sale. There were fun old mason artifacts just laying all over the place.

I think that there was a teaching strike happening.

At this point we were on a brewery warpath. We made an appearance at Old Irving Brewing Co.. My string of luck trying weird beers ran out here, unfortunately. I had to try the ludifi$k: "Berliner Weisse. (ABV:4.3%. IBU: 10. SRM: 3) Kettle-soured ale brewed with half wheat, cranberry juice, Swedish Fish, and a touch of milk sugar. Collab with James Tsai of Chaos Brew Club. Grains: Pilsner, Wheat. Hops: Hallertau Blanc"

It was really really bad. It tasted just like Swedish Fish, so I can't fault them for false advertising. It turns out gummy fish don't belong in beer. Lesson learned.

They had bags set up.

I showed no mercy against my enemies.

Revolution Brewing is a Chicago brewery that's successful enough that I often see their stuff in St. Louis stores. Today was a release day for their Deep Wood Series. These were some high alcohol barrel-aged stouts. The way nature intended. 

I hope to someday in the distant future suffer from death by plums.

I brought a few bottles from the St. Louie wine cellar for the gang and we opened them back at headquarters.

We hit the streets and ended up in Wrigleyville.

We had a hankering and so wriggled over to the nearest pizza joint.

They weren't selling that nonsense tomato casserole they call pizza around here but they were hawking this abomination macaroni and cheese pizza. A member of our Fellowship who shall not be named actually ordered this Italian hate crime.

Ok, it was Joe.


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