Last March (yes, this post is a little late) my family and I went on a short trip two day trip to Chicago. While there we did a fair number of fun activities. We went to the Museum of Science & Industry & stopped at the Lincoln Park Zoo. Part of our family trips usually result in catching dinner at places that have appeared on Diner’s Drive Inn’s & Dives. This trip was no exception. We did lunch at Big & Little’s and dinner at Pequod’s Pizza. (Not the same day.) I would highly recommend both places (short mini reviews below, sorry no pics of those).
While there I also wanted to stop in at the well known Goose Island Beer Co.. While our other schedules prevented a tour, I could at least stop in at the tap room and get a quick view at some of the brewing equipment through the window. Surprisingly this was actually my first brewery stop post blog creation. I just was not sure how or what to write about since it was mainly a tap room visit. Then I reminded myself, this is my blog, I will write about what I want. Yes it was only a taproom visit but my family is my priority on family trips.
For those that perhaps don’t know, Goose Island is one of the country’s more famous craft brewers. While they surpassed micro brew status a long time ago and were purchased by AB InBev, they still produce some very good beers. Most notably, the Bourbon County Brand Stout and its variants. Goose Island was the first company to put a beer in a Bourbon barrel and age it. That big step has now created a whole genre of beers across the nation.
Now, onto my visit. The taproom I visited was rather busy when I first arrived. It wasn’t difficult to grab a seat even though I was by myself. There was a small table area I could grab against a wall at first until a seat at the bar opened up about 15 minutes in. I opted to get a sample of beers that were not bottled or available in my market often with a flight. Here is a quick view of what I sampled. Unfortunately there was no Bourbon County on tap. I listed the beers sampled in order of my rankings on Untappd (Look me up and friend me. Search for me as Stout Central.).
- All Zeroes – Bourbon Barrel Aged Belgian Strong Ale – 4.25
- Cooper Project No. 1 – Bourbon Barrel Aged Scotch Ale – 3.75
- One Word Email – Double IPA – 3.75
- Demolition – Belgian Blonde Ale – 3.50
- Cask Conditioned Scotch Ale – 2.75
- Untappd uses a 5 point rating system with 5 being the best and .25 being the worst
The tap room was really clean and pleasant in appearance the bartenders know the beer extremely well and can help you pick something you may be interested in. In my short trip there there was a nice young chap from Pennsylvania and his new wife who stopped in there on their way back from their honeymoon in Hawaii. It was a planned part of the trip in hope he could purchase or sample the Bourbon County Proprietors Stout if that gives you any indication of the reach and lore of Bourbon County. For the record they actually were able to purchase a bottle as they happened to have some for sale that day ($90 a bottle). Even for someone who appreciates beer that is insanely steep.
While my experience was short lived, I did get to sample some great beers and see at least a glimpse of where it comes together.
Big & Littles – To sum this place up easily. Great Value with Great food! We visited the North Milwaukee street location which is their newest. We did a fair amount of sampling between Mahi Mahi Fish Tacos, Burgers, Fish & Chips, Truffle Fries and more. All of it was rather good if not great. Sure, not the healthiest place to eat but if you want some great comfort classics, amazing portion sizes and best of all a great value be sure to stop here! Beyond that the service was AWESOME! They were very accommodating to our large family (6 of us) and even through in a freebie fry for the kids! Thanks Big & Littles! Oh and by the way, we ordered way more food than we needed because we wanted to sample. We spent under $50 to feed a family of 6 and had a lot of leftovers!
Pequod’s Pizza – We tried the Morton Grove location for this place. When we saw the caramelized cheese crust on Triple D we knew we had to make a stop here. Our family loves pizza. During our other trips to Chicago we have gone to Giordano’s on two separate occasions. They set a high standard for Chicago style pizza so we wanted to see what else there was. Overall the pizza was great. I really enjoyed it and so did the whole family. I still think I like Giordano’s slightly better, but my wife definitely preferred Pequod’s. Disclaimer – The service here was “ok” and the waitresses seemed to be “going through the motions” a little. If you want to go here, plan ahead and make a reservation. It is basically a requirement. The pizza is WELL worth it.