Settling Into Chicago

February 6, 2011

My choice of days to drive out to Chicago couldn’t have been more perfect. The massive, record breaking, blizzard that hit Chicago on Tuesday and Wednesday of this week ended well before I hit the road on Thursday morning. In fact, the only weather issue I dealt with was a ridiculous amount of wind that killed my fuel efficiency, otherwise it was clear and sunny and brutally cold.

So I’m staying in a condo that my friend owns in the “near west side” part of town. This puts me a couple blocks from the United Center, where no sport worth watching is played, and right near a blue line train that can take me into the city.

I’ve explored the city a little. The first order of business was finding a grocery store, where of course I forgot to buy coffee beans. Sigh. I found a very nice bar with great food, great beer, and a nice atmosphere just two train stops away from me: Jaks Tap. That’s where I tried the Atwater Voodoo Vator, which is one of the most dangerously drinkable and delicious doppelbocks I’ve ever had.

Tonight I went up to Goose Island’s brew pub on Clybourn to see where Siebel’s location was and to check out the brewery’s offerings at the pub. I’ll simply say this: Goose Island beers at the brew pub are miles beyond what we can get in bottles back in New York. I also met a really awesome couple there that love beer and told me to call them next time I go out drinking. It’s amazing how interested people are when I say I’m not from Chicago and that I’m here for brewing school. 🙂

Tomorrow Siebel is having a welcome reception for the students so everyone can get acquainted and see where the place is. I’m going more for the beer and pizza than anything 🙂 I’m hoping to keep a running blog of the whole experience. We’ll see exactly what the format and frequency will be once I get settled into the whole routine.



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