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Beer Mon Dec 24 2012

Preview: DryHop Brewers coming to Lakeview

DryHop Brewers has been making its way into the Lakeview neighborhood. Before the gastro-brewpub doors are open, the gents behind DryHop are churning out quietly complex, I-can-make-new-friends-over-this beer. Last Wednesday night, Northdown Cafe and Taproom was packed with beards and brewers all there to celebrate the tapping of DryHop's newest collaboration beer. But before we get ahead of ourselves, an introduction is in order.

Three years ago, Owner Greg Shuff decided Lakeview needed a decent growler-churning brewery. "I figured why not open a place in my own backyard-- somehow there seems to be a shortage of good craft breweries in Lakeview." The growler concept comes from Shuff's desire to make fresh local beer accessible to the neighborhood. They'll have a 15 foot long growler-designated bar and a unique forced CO2 system, that forces all of the oxygen out of the growler, before filling it up with beer (similar to a normal bottling system), allowing you to store it cool for a month or so before enjoying. Like normal growlers, you'll still need to drink it within a day or two once you open it. I'll be honest, living less than a block from one of Chicago's larger production brewhouses has been lethal to our fridge space-- and I highly recommend it. They plan to have 6 house-designated taps, with Stone the Crow IPA, Chicago Common cream beer and four seasonal brews, plus one collaboration tap and up to eight guest taps.

Shuff hired quite a creative team to lead the way. Chef Pete Repak is a the helm of the kitchen and rather than postulate on the culinary delights that will be coming our way come March, we will defer to a true writeup upon the kitchen's opening. In the meantime, feel free to check out this blog post for an idea for how this chef spends his weekends. Not bad.

Back to Wednesday night. DryHop head brewer Brant Dubovick tapped a keg of his latest collaboration brew, the Johnny Quest Thinks We're Sell Outs: a black IPA. It greets you front and center with the familiar scent of cascade hops but these vines are locally sourced from Hop Head Farms in Michigan. Black IPAs may prove to be my new favorite due to this one's success. Its bitterness nicely seeps toward the edges of your tongue while it's dark carmel-roasted cream fits perfectly with the variety of dry hops Dubovick uses. While new to the Chicago brewing scene, Dubovick is excited to be surrounded by the energetic community of brewers that is steadily growing here. "Chicago is going to be the next Portland when it comes to beer. There's no reason it can't be," he claims, looking over my shoulder at the gents from Solemn Oath and Begyle.

Currently DryHop is having tapping parties regularly at local spots, with beers that they have collaborated on with Haymarket, Begyle and Atlas to introduce the community here to their brews before their doors open. Keep an eye on their blog and on Slowdown for upcoming events.

We're hoping fairly confident Lakeview can handle the kinds of beers these gents are putting out. And what with the levels of Miller products sold in the neighborhood, if even 0.05% of sales switch to DryHop these guys will be in business.

 
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Feature Thu Dec 31 2015

The State of Food Writing

By Brandy Gonsoulin

In 2009, food blogging, social media and Yelp were gaining popularity, and America's revered gastronomic magazine Gourmet shuttered after 68 years in business. Former Cook's Illustrated editor-in-chief Chris Kimball followed with an editorial, stating that "The shuttering of Gourmet reminds...
Read this feature »

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Drive-Thru is the food and drink section of Gapers Block, covering the city's vibrant dining, drinking and cooking scene. More...
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Editor: Robyn Nisi, rn@gapersblock.com
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