16 June 2008

Aid regarding ales in Andersonville

This weekend, the Lovely Redhead and I are traveling to Chicago for a little R&R. We're eagerly looking forward to this trip, especially because we've decided to stay a little off the beaten path by foregoing accommodations downtown, which is where we usually stay. Instead, we've found a cool little B&B in Andersonville.

Once the center of Chicago's Swedish community, Andersonville is now one of the funkiest and fastest growing neighborhoods in the city. We are amped to explore the independent shops and restaurants that Andersonville is known for. I'm particularly excited about visiting the neighborhood's crown jewel of beer geekdom, The Hopleaf Bar. This bar is a well-known Chicago attraction for beer aficionados, and I'm pretty sure that at least one of our readers has visited (though I can't remember who that is--maybe Rodney or Matt, or both of them).

Anyway, I need some tips on what to drink while I'm there. So, fair readers, if you wouldn't mind, please peruse the draft and bottle menus and give me some suggestions, 'kay? I will be forever in your debt--that is, until I'm able to buy you some Rodenbach Grand Cru when Brugge opens their upper level.


  1. From the bottles...I'd try the mustard beer.

    From the draft...Lagunitas Copper Ale, Either from Surly, or the Rodenbach Grand Cru if you don't have anything else to accomplish for the day.

    Have fun!!

  2. If you are looking for a bit of entertainment, there is a country bar called Carol's Pub down at 4659 N Clark St (a little over a mile south of Andersonville). Upside: they have karaoke. Downside: Budweiser is about the best beer you'll get. You could even go as low as Hamm's or Milwaukee's Beast, I'm sure.

    At the Hopleaf, the Dogfish Head Festina Peche is a crisp, tart summer beer.

  3. Go to the hopleaf and then stumble down the street to Simons (bring cash), the sign is a neon fish with a viking helmet. A great atmosphere, great beer list and Thor's Hammer Vodka. I highly recommend it!

  4. Yeah it was Jess and I who have a friend in Andersonville.

    My advice to you, besides trying Rodenbach on tap, is to stick with the Belgians at the Hopleaf and order things you haven't heard of. Of course for each item you haven't heard of, ask a bartender for their advice on it. They all seemed to be knowledgeable when we were there. The Hopleaf has a crazy amount of Belgians so I personally would take advantage of them for what they excel at (unless you don't like Belgians).

    Also I echo Jess' recommendation of Simon's. It's a cool dive bar with a decent tap list. Only negative is that they deal only in cash.

    If you want to go with the mustard beer, I'd recommend trying it with a zoo burger at the Hop Haus downtown.

    We are whores for Chicago.

  5. My sister-in-law lives in Andersonville, and I love that place. For breakfast check out Anne Sathers. That is my personal favorite for breakfast when I am up there.

    Reza's just down the street makes some really great Mediterranean food.

    At the hopleaf I would go with the Surly if you can get it since it is hard to come by outside of Minnesota or Chicago.

  6. another enthusiastic vote for Ann Sather right here. The cinnamon rolls are not to be missed.

    Sorry that's not a beer recommendation.

  7. Thanks for the suggestions, all. Keep 'em coming!

  8. Well I think a recommendation for the Great Lakes Dortmunder Gold is in order.. a great pilsner that isn't available around here. I have heard nothing but good things about Surly and that would be high on my priority if I was there as well.

    In the Belgians, I have had the Atomium in bottle at Quencher's Saloon in Chicago and it was pretty good. Haven't seen it locally so that would be worth a try.

    In bottles I would suggest the Grotten Brown as it is awesome, but it is seriously double the price if you were to walk into the Hop Shop.. I would actually probably go for something form Brouwerij Verhaeghe, the brewers of Duchesse de Bourgogne. One of my all time favorites, and I see 2 beers from that brewery I have not tried that sound pretty awesome to me. It's absurd I have never been to the Hopleaf yet.. must rectify this. Have fun!

  9. We hit the Hopleaf last night -- more detailed beer diary will be in the works soon. Short version for now -- Rodenbach Grand Cru: as amazingly good as advertised. Also had Cantillon's Rose de Gambrinus, which is a geueze fermented with raspberries. Jason would have hated it, but we loved it.

    By the way, Andersonville rocks. This is such a cool neighborhood-funky but not scrubbed clean by complete gentrification. We are elated that we decided to stay here.

    More detailed report upon our return.