Village Tap, at the ready for Thursday’s Local Beer Takeover
All right, readers. Take a deep breath. There’s a lot to talk about this week. First up, heaven for the beer geeks: Mike Green, owner of the Village Tap in Roscoe Village, recently found himself marveling that there are now enough locally brewed beers from Chicago and the burbs to fill all of the bar’s 26 taps. The realization led him to dream up the Local Tap Takeover, an event starting at 5 p.m. Thursday that will do just that—and sounds a bit like our 36 best local beers list come to life. Green told me what to expect:
The Chaser: What’s a Local Tap Takeover?
Mike Green: The Local Tap Takeover was inspired by all the wonderful local breweries and the local beer drinkers who love them. Patrons will be able to come in as they normally would and purchase any of the beers. And, so attendees can sample more, all the beers will be offered as 8 oz. samples, in addition to the normal pour sizes.
TC: Which beers are you particularly excited about?
MG: All of them. But there are a few very special beers because they’re made in small quantities and are difficult to find, like the Half Acre Galactic Double Daisy Cutter, Emmett’s Belgian Pale Ale, Wild Onion Mighty Oak Strong Ale, Three Floyds Thick White Freeks, Goose Island Marisol, Flossmoor Station Pullman Brown Ale, 5 Rabbits 5 Rabbit Golden Ale, and Revolution Brewing Bottom Up Wit.
The Tap’s year-round patio
TC: Is Thursday night our only chance to taste?
MG: The local brews will kick off on Thursday night and will continue to be available into the weekend and the following week. As we run out of the beers on our initial lineup, we have a number of local backups waiting in reserve to keep the beer flowing. All the breweries have been invited to send representatives on Thursday, and many will comply. Some will have giveaways and samples, and some will simply hang out and talk beer with our guests.
TC: Why should we drink local beer?
MG: People should drink locally produced beer because they enjoy it and also because supporting local breweries, like supporting any local business, supports the communities we live in.
TC: Do you think the Local Tap Takeover could be considered a hot pickup event for single ladies?
MG: It’s true, a lot of guys show up at beer events, but the ladies would enjoy it as well. To snag that special someone, we suggest that the ladies brush up on their ales and lagers and show up prepared to talk beer!
TC: I’m bummed summer’s winding down. Isn’t your patio a year-round phenomenon?
MG: Yes, our beer garden is decked out with a retractable canopy and a heater, so we’re fortunate to get year-round use.
Bonus: Check out Seen on the Scene next Tuesday for photos of the Village Tap’s local beerathon. And coming up next at the bar: an IPA Smackdown on September 29; plus, the tavern is participating in Guinness Oyster Fest on September 16 and 17, also in Roscoe Village.
People keep saying summer is almost over—don’t you wish they would just can it already?—but the news apparently hasn’t reached these bars, which are going ahead with plans for new outdoor drinking spaces like we’re all living in Miami:
• Speaking of beer, the venerable corner tap Quenchers Saloon, which we named one of the city’s top five beer bars in Chicago’s July issue, has been around for 32 years—but who says you can’t teach an old bar a new trick? The Bucktown spot has plans for a new 40-person sidewalk beer garden to open before the end of the season. “It could be as soon as early October,” says manager Steve Segel, who also says the idea of putting up a tent and keeping the space open year-round isn’t totally out of the question.
From taps to laps—or, rather, the “water feature”: Deuce’s and The Diamond Club’s yet-to-open patio
• I spied construction workers on the roof of my own neighborhood bar and one of Chicago’s top five gastropubs, Fountainhead, earlier this week, so I called co-owner Aaron Zacharias for the scoop on whether we’ll be drinking above the corner of Damen and Montrose anytime soon. “Yeah. We finally received our permit and we’re banging away up there,” he says. But Zacharias projects the rooftop will only be finished in time to host to a couple of special events this fall; expect full service up there next season.
• Looks like drinkers will soon be lounging in the lap of luxury on the patio at the new Wrigleyville bar(s) Deuce’s and The Diamond Club. Seriously, there’s a water thingy—make that a “water feature”—that looks for all the world like one of those mini lap pools. I wouldn’t be surprised if a Cubs fan or two ends up taking a dip, despite co-owner James Geier’s assertion that Deuce’s is no rowdy sports bar. The patio, which could be a promising place to escape game-day madness behind a greenery-covered iron fence, may open as soon as tomorrow, though the bar’s keeping mum about whether that will actually happen. Geier says he has his fingers crossed for this week. What’s the holdup? Waiting on permits, like everybody else.
Also: The Owl, a new late-night spot in Logan Square from the guys behind Alive One, Easy Bar, and Estelle’s, has set a firm opening date of September 17. Owner David Halpern says The Owl will have 20 beers on tap, including nearby Revolution Brewing’s Cross of Gold golden ale, as well as occasional live music, menus on hand from nearby restaurants for ordering in, an old-school CD jukebox (CDs: totally vintage!), and most importantly, that oh-so-rare 4 a.m. liquor license. Which means 5 a.m. on Saturdays. Drinking gods, help us.