For just under three years, the Moody Tongue Tasting Room in Pilsen was an off-the-beaten-path destination for craft beer aficionados. Fans sampled creative, cuisine-inspired brews in what was the city’s most thoughtfully designed taproom.
Moody Tongue closed that space over the summer to move into new, much larger digs in Bronzeville. The new building at 2515 S. Wabash Ave. (formerly Baderbräu Brewery) gives Moody Tongue Brewing Company nearly three times the space as its old location.
The sprawling, stark interior is split into two rooms: the Bar and the Dining Room. The Bar is an exercise in minimalism, with mostly black walls and globe lights, but it still manages to feel cozier than many large taprooms. Visitors who frequented the old tasting room will recognize some familiar design touches, like the fireplace, vintage speakers, and bookshelves filled with tomes about brewing. Plenty of seating and a wraparound bar give the space a lively feel. The Bar also features an expanded beverage program, with a wide variety of wines and a selection of specialty cocktails.
The Dining Room side doesn’t just feature “elevated bar food”: Co-owners Jared Rouben (himself a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America) and Jeremy Cohn enlisted chef Jared Wentworth to create a 12-course tasting menu. The seasonal menu pairs each course with a complementary Moody Tongue beer, some of which are brewed specifically for this purpose.
Casual drinkers who might find the Dining Room experience a bit lavish need not worry. The Bar is no slouch in the food department, with dishes like smoked beet tartare, whole crispy branzino, and the legendary 12-layer German chocolate cake.
It's not just Chicagoans who can enjoy the benefits of the expansion. The extra space will allow Moody Tongue to double its brewing capacity, so expect to see a greater variety of brews on stores shelves and in area bars. The team also hopes to increase distribution both domestically and internationally so more people can experience beers like the Peeled Grapefruit Pilsner.