Thursday, September 22, 2011

Haymarket Pub & Brewery

Another Bears season started up a week ago Sunday (9/11/11) and, as the football sailed off the tee for the opening kickoff, I found myself stuck in traffic on the Dan Ryan, inching my way towards Haymarket Pub & Brewery for a game-watching rendezvous with my brother-in-law Dan and cousin-in-law Bobby. Haymarket is one of the newest additions to our local microbrew scene, lauded by Dan and Bobby as the ideal venue for sampling small portions (4 oz. each, to be exact) of house-made brews and highly-regarded beers from other respected producers (they both made their inaugural visit to Haymarket while Mrs. Hackknife and I were on our recent trip to Las Vegas and, by all accounts, did sufficient 4-oz. sampling to result in fuzzily-recalled trips home and refreshment fatigue the morning after - who would have thought that I'd actually be safer in Vegas than out with those 2?). The pub is located at the corner of Halsted and Randolph, just a stone's throw away from the city's historic square of the same name, the site of a famous labor dispute and alleged anarchist bombing back in 1886. The decor of the room reflects this connection to organized labor, with reprints of old union rally posters and a real workingman's feel to the room. Seated in front of the wide-open patio doors to let in the amazing weather outside (72F, sunny, light breeze), we watched the Bears pound on the Atlanta Falcons while noshing on a bacon and blue cheese pizza (nice) and downing several sampler glasses, which included for me Stillwater (MN) Bertram's Pale Ale, the house Mojo Belgian-style Abbey Dubbel, a Speakerswagon Pilsner (also house-brewed), and possibly a few others that got lost in the shuffle (darned 4 oz.ers). Had I been able to simply sit there for another 6 hours resting in the warm wind, sipping tremendous beers in advance of our 10:15pm dinner reservation that evening at Next (posting soon to follow) only a few blocks from the pub, I would have happily done so (of course, Mrs. Hackknife might have had an issue with that, not to mention the fact that I'd be too incoherent to eat high-end Thai food)...

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