Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Brew England Visits: Chicago, Part I

Chicago….wow. If you haven’t been there, you are definitely missing out! I’ve wanted to go to Chicago for at least the past 10 years, with hopes of making it to Wrigley Field to watch a Cubs game. Over the past five or so years I’ve wanted to visit the city to experience all the culture, food, and of course the great beer not readily available in the Boston area. Sarah and I found a deal too good to pass up on airfare through South West and decided it was time.

This was my first time flying out of Logan Airport in Boston since probably 1986 when I first got on a plane to Orlando, FL, but I was really glad we decided not to fly out of Manchester (our typical point of departure). We decided we were going to take advantage of the public transportation on our trip, so we caught a cab to Quincy Adams around 6am, so we could hop on the Red Line. This would be our first experience with the Silver Line, which we picked up at South Station. It was easy enough as it took us right to the airport, and direct to our terminal (of course after stopping at the first four). Easy peasy.

Of course we were at the airport almost two hours before our flight was to take off, so what else to anxious travelers (read: Sarah) do at 7:45am? Well, we hit our first bar of the trip – Beer Works at Terminal E.

I managed to get a few tall pints of freshly brewed beer, and Sarah opted for a few Bloody Marys before boarding the plane.

Fast forward a few hours, and we landed at Chicago’s Midway Airport.

From there we took the “L” to our hotel, all the meanwhile admiring this new (to us) city.

Now, Sarah is a globetrotter. She’s been to Lebanon, London, Paris, spent a summer in Kenya, and more. Me…not so much. Granted this was my second trip of the year which required air travel, as I went spent four days in Winter Haven, FL with my buddy PJ visiting his parents; however, I have kept mostly to the east coast – or at least Eastern Standard Time. Until Chicago, I had never been in another time zone, or west of Cleveland, OH, so this was kind of a big deal for me (NERD ALERT!).

At any rate, Sarah and I were both PUMPED to be in Chicago!

We ventured out to find some lunch, but didn’t make it very far, as we stumbled on what would be come our local hangout – Timothy O’Toole’s. We were expecting a small Irish Pub, but it turned out to be a good sized sports bar. Not too big, but it had plenty of room at the bar…which shouldn’t have been a surprise because it was a Wednesday afternoon. We quickly became big fans of this bar.

They had a fantastic beer line up, and it was EXACTLY what we were looking for. I quickly ordered a New Belgium Brewing Fat Tire, and Sarah went with the Goose Island Sofie.

We had our lunch and ordered a few more beers, the Goose Island Matilda for Sarah, and the Great Lakes Brewing Edmund Fitzgerald Porter for me.

We quickly struck up a conversation with our bartender, who turned out to be a really nice guy. We talked beer, chatted about the Blackhawks and how we wanted to go to the game that night, and other things Chicago. As it turns out, we were simply too tired to go very far, but ended up going back that night for a few more beers and some pub grub.

Stay tuned for Chicago, Part II tomorrow....


Joe Sheehan said...

Glad to see you found the Midwest can be an awesome place to be. Lots of good breweries in other cities in the Midwest. Milwaukee and Saint Louis standout in my mind. "The Lou" is alot cooler than people realize, especially if you like breweries. Hope you guys continue to travel and blog about breweries!

BrewEngland said...

Thanks Joe! We had planned on going to milwaukee, but didn't think we'd have enough time to do all the things we wanted to see in Chicago. It's definitely on our list though! We'll have to get down to St. Louis sometime as well.

Thanks for reading and leaving a comment too!