If you’ve spent anytime eating in Chicago or perusing the Farmer’s Markets, you’ll be very familiar with Nichols Farm. Based in Marengo, IL, the family farm has been a part of the growing food scene here for well over a decade. More recently, their apples have become the basis for Virtue Cider’s latest cider, which … Continued
If there ever was a good week for something brutally dark and rich and comforting to help get through the dark days of winter, this would be it. While Chicago suffers yet another bone-chilling, snow-covered few days (high of 10 today, folks), Roper picked an apropos brew this week. It’s Obsidian Stout from Deschutes Brewery … Continued
By now, you’ve probably heard all about the pizza, pasta, carne and pesce at Eataly, the 63,000 square feet behemoth in River North. What you probably haven’t heard too much about is their beer. Yes, they have a brewery on site, but they are also importing some very special beer from Italy, including this week’s … Continued
Pecking Order’s Pinoy Eggs for Christmas Eve. If you haven’t already made your reservations in Chinatown this Christmas Eve, or you’re just in the mood for something a little different next Tuesday night, may I suggest Christine Subido’s family tradition from the Philippines: nochebuena. Traditionally celebrated in Latin America, Spain and the Philippines, this Christmas … Continued
Last week, Michael Roper tackled a few US beers in the Christmas spirit; today, it’s off to Belgium, where he’s got three more to recommend, including his favorite, Gouden Carolus, a deep, intense beer that really delivers a lot of flavor – without the cloying spices inherent in so many of this season’s brews. This … Continued
This week, Michael Roper is talking Christmas beer, but not just with one pick – Anchor, of course – but also Great Lakes and Ommegang. These three U.S. producers are all making toast-worthy Christmas ales right now, so go pick up a six-pack, or just head over to The Hopleaf, where they have plenty. Cheers.
The far western suburbs have a few food and drink highlights, among them, Paul Virant’s Vie, Katy’s Dumplings and the massive Super H Mart in Naperville. But head out to Warrenville, and you’ll come across the headquarters of Two Brothers Brewery, one of the region’s craft brewing pioneers. This week’s pick is a red rye … Continued
Evanston is known for many things: Northwestern, Edzo’s and the rocky lakeshore come to mind. But beer? Not until recently. The Hopleaf’s Michael Roper says get ready to hear about Temperance – the first and only brewery from Evanston that has some wonderful citrus hops, low alcohol and just a touch of rye. Here’s to … Continued
This week’s pick has nothing to do with magic, it’s simply an oatmeal stout from one of our favorite breweries – Firestone Walker. “They can do no wrong,” says Hopleaf owner Michael Roper, and with its low alcohol and dark, rich finish, it’s a beer that’s well-suited to the cooler days ahead. Cheers to that.
By now you should know that Roper is a big fan of the small, family-owned brewery. That’s not to say he doesn’t respect and enjoy a good beer from a large company, but more often than not, he gravitates to the mom-and-pop operation. This week is no different. He’s tipping his cap to Robinson’s Brewery, … Continued
If you hate lines, best to avoid The Swedish Bakery on weekends, when “take a number” is the sad, but inevitable reality. A lot of Swedes make the trip in the from ‘burbs to get their rye bread or pick up a Princess Torte, but I’m guessing most of the regulars are there to also … Continued