Craft Brewers Conference: New Belgium Brewery ‘LOVE’

April 9, 2010 at 8:52 pm (Beer, Current Events, Our Favorite Things, Special Events, What we're drinking) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

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 »


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Snapshot: April Events at LUSH

March 31, 2010 at 7:05 pm (Current Events) (, , , , , , , , , , , , )

SPECIAL EVENTS, please come out and play: check website for full details, email, or call 312.666.6900 for more information.

Reservations still OPEN for the exceedingly exciting, tasty, damn arrogant bastards of brewing. STONE Brewing Company is coming to LUSH for a big kick off, launch event, Friday, April 2nd, 6-9pm. All the LUSH locations will be breaking out the bad boys. Bottles at Roscoe. Kegs at Halsted and West Town. Brewers and Stone folk all around. Brews…new and library collection pieces, maybe even a cellared 3L; delicious snacks; really cool stuff to buy. Roar. The Stones are coming. (Not rolling, mind you). $15 per person. RSVP strongly suggested. Email to get on the RSVP list. *Please indicate at which location you prefer to consume liquid arrogance*

Sunday, April 4th, 2-5pm:  Sundays with LUSH – Craft Brews. To properly initiate the impending Craft Brewers Conference that will take the city by storm this next week, LUSH is popping the tops on a wild array of craft beers. Brew-centric, indeed. And sudsy. Get set. Ready. Go…BEER! Beer beer beer. Brew, brew, brew, beer. Hops, malt, and quirky ingredients abound!

We are handpicking our spring favorites, as well as new releases from the brewers that are flitting into town this week. The warming trend leaves the Lushes parched with thirst, crawling from our dark little hole, and in need of seriously spritely, zippy brews. Spring saisons, of course, but hefe and maibock or just around the corner, and lightly spiced whites are still quite nice. Maybe a sour and a Basque cider to kick it up a notch. And, of course, a few solid standards of the Chicago local variety.

[LUSH West Town
1412 W. Chicago Ave]
Friday, April 16th, 6-8pm: North Shore Distillery ‘Spring’ Cocktails interactive seminar and tasting. Ms. Sonja will be shaking and slingin’ up a storm, and showing you the ropes of constructing tasty, classically inspired cocktails. Drink local booze. And, just for kicks, follow StillEthel on Twitter, too. She’s a fun broad. $15 per person. RSVP required; Drink, snacks, and hootenany included.

Wine 101 –
Wednesday, April 21st, 6:30-8pm

Learn the basics, LUSH style. Lush is teaching the secrets of good wine…learn the basics of wine and have fun doing it. We’ll break down the fancy labels, crazy grape names, how to taste a glass of wine, and provide you with obscure wine trivia to impress your swanky friends. Get illuminated! Lush will show you all the tricks and tips to making sure the bottle you buy is the bottle you’ve been dreaming of! Never again feel faint staring at a restaurant wine list or lost in the supermarket, wondering what will perfectly compliment your newest treasure from Lush. Be the superstar wine geek at your next dinner soiree appearance with a little tutorial in WINE 101.

Thursday, April 22nd, 6-9pm: Mr. Julian Van Winkle of Old Pappy Van Winkle, will be in town for whiskey fest, and at LUSH for a whiskey and cocktail dinner event, Thursday, April 22nd. 4 courses, 5 cocktails, $100 (NOT including tax or tip). LIMITED to 12 guests. Our tentative menu includes an appetizer of assorted ham, cheeses, olives, pickles and bread; shaved fennel salad; venison loin rubbed with coffee, salt and maple sugar along with sauteed greens and pureed root vegetable; chocolate layer cake with bittersweet chocolate pecan frosting. Each course will be paired with a specially crafted, heavy hittin’, classically inspired Van Winkle whiskey cocktail. Knee slappin’ good times are to be had. Bring a friend or two, and sidle up to experience whiskey week up close and personal.You can sign up NOW…call 312.666.6900 and chat with Rachel or Kelly, or email

Saturday, April 24th, 8am-6pm: Dark Lord Day Fieldtrip. Disclaimer: YOU must procure the golden, er purple, ticket. LUSH just gives you a ride. Brunch, beer and bloodys at LUSH Halsted before trekking down to Indiana for an all day beer extravaganza. Bring a chair and a cooler full of brews to knock back and trade while waiting in line. Good times. Rumor is, this beer will be seriously outrageous this year and the visiting breweries rockin’. Cost to be determined and will be non-refundable. We currently have started a waiting list. Reserve your seat now with Ms. Erin,, RSVP required. Round trip in style.

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March 4, 2010 at 12:42 pm (Current Events, Geek, Our Favorite Things, What we're drinking) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

by Erin

MINI-GEEK: Verticals? For serious geeks, there are a few bottles out there in the world that serve as holy grails for collectors: the Lafites and Latours and Cheval-Blancs of the world; Sassicaia, Opus One, Screaming Eagle; Sea Smoke Pinot, anything coming in magnum form, certainly, and hell, even weird whites from Baumard, Dagueneau, and their ilk. People who have access to these wines are very lucky, indeed, and their friends are luckier still if the bottle owner wants to share. Scenes from The Billionaire’s Vinegar come to mind, where some of the world’s wealthiest and richest wine collectors come together for several days and work through verticals of the wine, meaning they drink multiple vintages, in order, of the same wine. Truly a great learning experience, drinking through multiple vintages of one wine from one producer teaches the drinker about the subtle–and not subtle!– differences that one year’s varying meteorological activity can make on what is, essentially, the same agricultural product. Events like the California wildfires of 2008 lend a certain smokiness to some wines that was not present in 2007, and so on. Also, trying older vintages of a wine will let the drinker understand more about the aging process of specific varietals, not just the individual bottling.

We Lushies love partaking in vertical tastings where possible, and we don’t limit it to just wine. We’ve been known to throw big parties celebrating the many vintages of great beers, like Goose Island’s Bourbon County Stout [we still have some of the 2006 vintage!–ed.] and, among our staff and friends, the absolutely insane Three Floyd’s Dark Lord. Lushie Erin has a bottle of the 2005 Dark Lord stashed away in her cellar, to be unveiled soon with Lushie Brent during a completely ridiculous vertical tasting. So if you can keep those thirsty paws patient, stash away a bottle or two of your favorite wine or beer for a few years in a row, and get your learnin’ on. Slurp.

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Upcoming events…March 2010

February 25, 2010 at 10:58 am (Current Events, Our Favorite Things, Special Events) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Rock the vote…
LUSH has been nominated as one of the best wine shops in the city. Please excuse us while we fan ourselves and try to remain calm…eeeeee! So exciting. Please share your love and support of all things LUSH by voting. The TimeOut Chicago 2010 EatOut Awards are about indulging in the good and booze, with a close pulse on the city and what is brand spanking new or established and still performing wonders peddling deliciousness. Vote your most bestest favorite restaurant, chefs, bartender, blogger…and wine shop! We heart you!

Get Educated…
Next course offering, Classic Cocktails will be held TONIGHT, Thursday, February 25th from 7-8:30pm at LUSH in West Town. Ms. Jane will be slingin’ cocktails and preaching the gospel of good booze, classic flavor combinations and technique.  Y’all don’t wanna miss this one.  Y’all can STILL sign up…just CALL 312.666.6900 immediately.  Right now.
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LUSH Weekly Email: Riesling Week

May 21, 2009 at 2:45 pm (Current Events) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

[Our email utility is on the fritz…so I am posting here in case you need the lowdown.  No pretty colors to designate location, so make sure to pay close attention.  Feel free to comment or email me for your very own copy! ]

Hoooweee, put it in my glass!

I am not so sure about y’all, but I am very tempted to slip off my sneakers, run around barefoot for a while, and go play outside.  Granted, any playtime deserves a nice, chilly bottle of pink or white wine.  Or a sixer of local pilsner.  Venture out to see us…we have bottles open to sample for (shhh!) free.  And, we are local, friendly, and like to share.

Celebrate the holiday weekend with a little bit of wild adventure and a little bit of daring dining, intelligent sipping, and kickin’ it with friends.  And, with an extra ‘weekend’ day, make sure to break out the grill, de-rust that baby, and shake it all night long at your swinging shindig.  Woot, a party.

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Dark Lord Day

May 12, 2009 at 10:53 am (Beer, Current Events, Our Favorite Things, Special Events, Uncategorized, What we're drinking) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

by Mr. Brent Shumard, Lush beer nerd

Dark Lord Day…the name has ominous overtones and conjures up images of people summoning evil things from the nether-regions of the universe to serve their dastardly purposes…but it shouldn’t.

Say those three words to a beer geek and expect to hear a gasp, a smile, and possibly a couple of stories if they’ve managed to make it there. Read the rest of this entry »

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Birthday Brewing at BevArt in Beverly.

February 11, 2009 at 6:55 pm (Beer, class, What we're drinking) (, , , , , , , )

by Ms. Rachel Driver, Manager of LUSH

Way back in November, I set up a beer brewing class for Michael’s birthday down at Bev Art in the Beverly neighborhood of Chicago. Bev Art is the fantasically grassroots, hands-on project of Mr. Greg Fischer. The shop is a jumble of wine and beer making supplies, as well as grapes from California, and bottling equipment. Across the street, on the ‘wet’ side of Beverly, Mr. Fischer has a classroom setup for the actually brewing of wine, beer, and mead. He has been homebrewing and tinkering with winemaking since he was quite young…and has been teaching the process for at least 15 years. Greg is lively and eccentric…just the type of guy I want to get educated by.

BEV ART, 10033 South Western, Chicago, IL 60643. (773) 233-7579.

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BYOB: Urban Belly

November 13, 2008 at 8:17 pm (BYOB, Our Favorite Things, What we are thinking, What we're drinking) (, , , , , , , , )


3053 N California Ave
Chicago, IL 60618
(773) 583-0500

Urban Belly, LUSH Fieldtrip

Urban Belly, LUSH Fieldtrip

Urban Belly is amazing. Seriously, go there. Now. Tucked into a little strip mall, nestled in next to a laundry mat, the restaurant is a hidden gem. Chef Bill Kim has created a warm, communal space and a menu that comprehensively represents his evolving philosophy on food and nourishment. Yvonne Kim is a gracious and inviting host as well as super efficient managing influence. And, the next most brilliant thing besides the owners/chef and the food is that this place is BYOB with no corkage fee!

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Fashionably Late

November 13, 2008 at 5:04 am (BYOB, Our Favorite Things, What we're drinking) (, , , , , )

Ok, just to be clear I’m not (finally) writing on this blog because of peer pressure, nor has my job been threatened (over blogging anyway), I’m doing it for the short ribs.

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OYSTERS: The Aftermath

September 17, 2008 at 3:21 pm (Beer, French Wine, Our Favorite Things, Special Events, What we're drinking) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Well, my friends, you may be expecting to peruse a set of crazy pictures of slimy grey creatures…however, my camera remained safely nestled in its case, in my bag, tucked under the cabinet for the duration of LUSH Oyster Fest. Bummer. But, lucky for us, I have very photographic memories to share. And, for all you squeamish folk, no graphic depictions of oysters.

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