Wednesday, May 25th, 2011
LUSH West Town
1412 W. Chicago Avenue
Chicago, IL 60642
The original gypsy brewer, Brian Strumke, popped in to LUSH West Town for an impromptu tasting of his Stillwater Artisanal Ales. Based in Baltimore, Maryland, this rockin’ beer dude makes beer all over the world. He has paired up with 12% Imports, headed by Brian Ewing, to form a most dynamic duo. Alas, no brewery. But, no problem. Following suit to Mikkeller ‘in’ Denmark, Stillwater beer is crafted on borrowed time with borrowed space in breweries far flung. It is about good beer. And good relationships. And beer.
We tasted American. English. And Belgian style brewing. Beautiful (and creepy) labels catch the eye. The rest happens in the bottle, in the glass, and with friends. It is all about collaboration. So, join LUSH and Mister Strumke for an epic evening of beer…swing by to check it out. More special, rare, and delicious gypsy ales jumping onto the shelves soon.
‘A sincere artist is not one who makes a faithful attempt to put on to canvas what is in front of him, but one who tries to create something which is, in itself, a living thing.’ -Sir William Dobell
‘The goal of Stillwater Artisanal is just that, living art. Although packaged within a medium often overlooked for its artistic merits, our desire is to offer something new and intriguing. We present more than just a fine crafted beverage, rather an occasion that evokes an emotion and inspires contemplation. For art is not a sum of actions but rather an approach to life. We draw our inspiration from the world around us, whether that be a season, location, or even humanity itself. Our intent is to encapsulate this muse exhibiting an artistic rendition to the best of our abilities.’ – http://stillwaterales.blogspot.com/p/stillwater-portfolio.html.
Somewhere out there in the wide world of swirling, whirling internet information, there is a nugget of information implying Russian River Brewing may be for sale in our shop. Well, I wish. Alas, not the case.
We DID host the RRB guys for a private event during the 2010 Craft Brewing Conference in April. The brewers did bring in delicious bottles to share! We sipped on some Pliny the Elder, Supplication, and Consecration. And all was good and right in the world. Very very tasty. However, all was consumed and enjoyed by the guests. At our shop. At a private par-tay hosted by New Belgium Brewery for craft brewing companies.
So, we do NOT have Russian River Brewing Co. beer. If they do pursue distribution in Illinois, we’ll be all over it in a second. For serious.
Good talk. Next time…
by Rachael Thompson
I have to admit to being a little perplexed when we got our first batch
of Ineeka beer in at Lush–I knew Ineeka as the locally based company whose tea we
sell in the shop– now they were making beer? My confusion grew when I saw
“Product of Holland” stamped on the beer bottles–so Ineeka
was making Dutch beer? Was Ineeka Dutch? Had they always been Dutch? Eeek! Confusions! Read the rest of this entry »
So, one day, Lauren Salazar from New Belgium Brewery gave LUSH a ring. She had grand plans to invite brewers, brew folk, and friends to a private ‘brewery only’ event right smack in the middle of the Craft Brewers Conference, the World Beer Cup, and copious amounts of public beer events. She wanted pig. And beer. And good people.
Ms. Rachel Driver thought this was just the right kind of crazy idea that could be brilliant and amazing.
Thus, we schemed and scheduled, flew beer in from around the country and Canada, and threw on hella big shindig. Drowning in beer required. Special brews, delicious pigs and all sorts of super serious fun were to be had by all. See the rundown below for a glimpse of the par-tay that New Belgium hosted with LUSH.
Rocking. Read the rest of this entry »
There are plenty of Friday nights when the rest of the world is out pounding the pavement, drinking it up at bars, clubs, rock venues, and house parties all over the city. Drinking, and probably drinking too much. After all, it’s the weekend! What we work for all the week. A time to unwind, be social, and do things ill-advised for tamer evenings, like Tuesdays.
Unless you work in the hospitality industry, that is. We of the bizarro schedules are usually working our hardest on Fridays and Saturdays, while early on in the week–school nights!–are usually the best times to really tie one on, if so inclined. It is a fine balance; plenty of my friends work ‘normal people hours’ and as such they expect me to come hit it, hard, with them on weekend nights. And sometimes I join them, occasionally making a visit to Jim’s Original before the Sunday shift a complete and total restorative necessity. All that said, there are plenty of weary Friday evenings when I refuse to join the crowds and instead opt to settle in, have a glass of wine, maybe two, and conk out.
When thinking of drinking, I feel like many people have some idea about when it ‘should’ occur. Of course, this idea varies tremendously across different cultural groups. Many French will drink some wine with lunch, while here in the States, we joke about having to wait until 5 PM to have a cocktail–and then go get obliterated. For me, I sometimes opt out of when it’s ‘normal’ to have a few drinks, like on the weekends. But I do sometimes just want some wine, or a beer. In the morning. And so, if I am not heading to work, I have one! And that, my friends, is balance– don’t drink if you don’t feel it. And have a beer if you want one. I recommend the lazy morning shower beer, personally*. Try it out sometime!
*A special occasion variation is the shower flute of Champagne.
The other night a good friend of mine invited me over for some beers as part of a club he and a few friends formed. Devoted to tasting and evaluating new beers, Beerhunter is right up my alley. Casual and fun, but truly devoted to serious beers, just like the people in the group.
It seems that the time has come for my second and last blog posting – I do not enjoy writing, nor do I command the written word as well as my Lush counterparts.
I’ll soon be starting my new life in a faraway land called Utah (yes, they sell alcohol there, and yes, some beers have less alcohol, and yes, you do get drunk at 4500 ft on low-alcohol beer just as easily as you would down here at sea level, or are we below sea level?). While I’m very excited to go back to my adopted home, it makes me a wee bit teary to say goodbye to yet another set of friends and coworkers. It has taken me six years to find such great friends in Chicago and they are what I will miss the most about this place when I leave. If I’m lucky, I will have many visitors to my new home! I really wish I could stick a little Gmail digi-emoticon here. Read the rest of this entry »
The 2 Brothers after party, for those of you who didn’t get the golden ticket, took place at Nightwood in Pilsen. Alright, it wasn’t really an after party, but Rachel, Erin, Bambi (Erin’s mom), and I decided that a few sips of delicious beer and a couple of brats just wasn’t enough to satisfy us. The decision was made to head down the street to Nightwood. A bit weary that we would be competing with the Pilsen art walk crowds, we piled into Rachel’s car and headed south. Read the rest of this entry »
One man’s folly is another’s pleasure. Er, well. Two Brothers’ ‘oops’ is about to be YOUR good luck! A little over a year ago, our friends over at Two Brothers made a batch of their red rye ale, Cane and Ebel, with too much sugar. It became HUGE and super malty; with a 10% ABV, this Imperial version of the Cane and Ebel was a one-time offering that we decided to put away for a bit in our cellar. We’ll be unleashing it on draft THIS FRIDAY at LUSH on Halsted, and sampling out great picks from the rest of the Two Brothers lineup. We’re even breaking out the grill and slangin’ brats and stuff, so come party with us, try some great beer, and relish in the fact that you’ll get the chance to sip on a beer no longer available ever again, anywhere. Yeah, we love you. 6-9 PM at LUSH on Halsted. Entry and some free samples available for free. Food and Imperial Cane and Ebel will be available for purchase.
1257 S Halsted