Before I moved to Chicago I was "meh" on any Goose Island product. Their mass-produced beers are nothing to write home (or blog) about. However, their offerings at the Clybourn brewpub are way better than the standard Honkers. Typically they have at least a dozen or more beers on tap and 3 on cask. Also, they do a weekly beer release at 6:00 on Thursday evenings with free samples.
Free beer is usually enough to get me into a place, but GI-Clybourn offers an added bonus - a weekly "Recycled" Pig Roast. The pig is from a local farmer who uses Goose Island's spent grain as feed, and each week is roasted in a different fashion and served with seasonal sides. (Examples: BBQ pig w/ black beans & creamy corn, Tomatillo roasted pig w/ smoked mozzarella & eggplant ratatouille, Bourbon brined & smoked pig w/ baked beans & ginger slaw.) It's freakin' delicious! Pair that w/ a cask ale (preferably the Midway IPA) and it's heaven. Food*, otherwise, is solid. The cuban sandwich ranks as one of the best in the city.
If you have room after beers and food, be brave and try the Nightstalker for dessert. It's a well-balanced, ass-kicking imperial stout. (Much better and not as strong as the Bourbon County Stout.)
This is a very lively room, with a warm atmosphere. Also, parking is easy and free, a rarity in Chicago. We've made a monthly ritual of beer release/recycled pig, which has quickly become my favorite day of the month.
*If you haven't eaten there in the past 6 months, they have a new chef, who has taken this place to the next level.
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