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Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
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Tuesday, March 5

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Beer Mon Feb 17 2014

Craft Beer Comes to Kendall College

Earlier this month, beer educator Siebel Institute of Technology opened their new teaching hall at Kendall College (900 N. North Branch St.), a move that verified what many of us Chicagoans knew already: this city loves beer.

redbeer.jpgThe craft brew scene has exploded in recent years, and it's not all about just drinking. You don't order "a beer" anymore. Even at a party, you're asked, "what kind?"

Chicago is crafting pretty much every kind of beer under the sun, from the German-style lagers of Metropolitan Brewing to the Belgian-inspired ales of Haymarket, and this city has the brewpubs, restaurants, tap rooms, and bars to serve them. With shops like Brew Camp hosting beer-making classes, it's easier than ever for beer lovers to experiment making their own home brews.

Beer, more so than cocktails, and certainly more than wine, can exist anywhere on that continuum between ballpark-casual and fine-dining fancy. Chefs are creating beer-pairing menus and special beer dinners; beer flights are a thing now. And there's the cicerone, the beer equivalent of wine's sommelier.

In a three-level process, from Certified Beer Server to Certified Cicerone to Master Cicerone, certification is awarded to those who demonstrate a thorough understanding not just of beer-producing regions and brewing methods, but to those who have a refined tasting ability and experience in pairing beer with food.

Likewise, Kendall is offering a new Beverage Management Concentration within their School of Hospitality Management to educate more students to meet this growing pool of savvy, adventurous consumers who have come to expect more than just a drink and are willing to pay a few extra bucks for a craft product.

It's clear from Siebel's new teaching hall within Kendall that culture and history do go hand in hand with beer. One wall of the classroom is decorated with photographs of each graduating class, stretching all the way back to the early 20th century. The bierstube is lined with book cabinets and the dark woods used in the table and bar make it feel like the kind of cozy place you want to linger in. And of course, they have their own brewery. Their first brew is slated for completion later this year, in late spring/early summer.

Drink and Feel Good

The Dawson (730 W. Grand Ave.) hosts Fireside Brewer Chats Tuesdays at 5pm through mid-March.

Longman & Eagle (2657 N. Kedzie Ave.) hosts a Bourbon County Beer Dinner on Wednesday, Feb. 19 with seatings at 6:30pm or 9pm.

Monkey's Paw (2524 N. Southport Ave.) hosts a five-course beer dinner on Thursday, Feb. 27 at 6:30pm featuring five brews from Pipeworks Brewing.

As part of Cause Beer, Dusek's Board & Beer is (1227 W. 18th St.) is contributing $1 out of every 5rabbit Fabulosa Porter sold to Pilsen's Art in Public Places initiative.

Photo courtesy of Michael Fajardo

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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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