Monday, September 30, 2013

Fall Drinking Primer

Transitioning into autumnal weather means different things to different people. While you’re picking out your fantasy football team or searching out a perfect boot, we’re fall-ing up our booze and beer offerings.

You already know that our motto is, “Live every week like it’s Craft Beer Week,” but did you know a close runner up was, “Live every week like it’s Oktoberfest?” You’ll absolutely find some stellar Oktoberfests on our fall beer list, partly due to the season, but also because they’re a favorite of Ria’s, who sometimes waxes poetic about this particular brew style:

Aristotle once said, ‘Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet.’ Oktoberfests and Marzens are beers made in the Spring that undergo patient cold-lagering for months -- a perfect transition from the crisp, golden lagers of Summer to the toasty, coppery hues of Autumn.

Fall drinking doesn’t mean you simply reach for a darker hued brew, we also take advantage of our Midwestern location by incorporating some amazing ciders, produced within a close radius, into our tap rotation. Instead of hauling your pals out to Michigan for a day spent apple picking, we suggest you make the short trip to Bangers & Lace to reap the rewards of other apple pickers. Because why do any of the work when you can have all the fun instead?

We’re pretty stoked on two local craft cider producers in particular right now: Prima Cider, located in Northwest Illinois and Vander Mill Ciders in Western Michigan. They’ve spent a few days on the board, so come in and sample these ciders before they’re gone!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Our Fall Cocktail List

Our new cocktail menu appropriately debuted on the Fall Equinox (which was yesterday, you hippy). Nick O.  mixed up six beautiful cocktails just for your autumnal tippling  Now that you've got some background on Nick, don't you think it's time you stopped by for a drink?

Mannheim Bottleneck - George Dickel Rye, Dolin Rouge, Cynar.
The Spruce Goose - Aviation American Gin, arugula juice, lime.
Stachiw Shrub - Death’s Door Vodka, cranberry shrub, lime.
Cactus Hugger - Herradura Reposado Tequila, accompanied by a wheat grass verdita.
B.A.D.A.S. (Barrel Aged Dark and Stormy) - Mount Gay Black Barrel Rum, Yellow Chartreuse, Cherry Herring, lime, ginger beer.
North by Southeast - Old Forester Signature Bourbon, walnut liqueur, ginger simple syrup, apple nectar.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Meet Our New General Manager: Nick O.

Over the past few months, you’ve probably seen Nick managing just about everything at Bangers & Lace, but maybe you felt like you needed a few more details — and that’s where our latest edition of ‘Get Ta Know Ya’ comes in. And actually, the details of Nick’s job are pretty simple: As General Manager, Nick does...well, just about everything.

Nick found his way into the hospitality industry after a ten year stint in construction and carpentry. When the market went belly up, Nick was looking for a way to pay the rent and got hooked up with a job at a sports bar, fell in love with the industry, and the rest is history.

It was during his tenure at The Drawing Room during The Charles Joly Era that Nick’s interest in cocktails was piqued, and Joly’s culinary approach to the craft still informs Nick’s creations. In fact, his new fall cocktail menu for Bangers & Lace includes a cocktail featuring arugula (and it’s tasty)!

But Nick’s interest in hospitality doesn’t stop at jigger and glass; like most folks on the Bangers & Lace team, if you inquire about their relationship with beer, they’ll often fess up to a past life of homebrewing. And homebrewing is code for Beer Geek. As a professional Beer Geek, Nick strove to elevate the beer list at his last spot, the non-sports-bar-sports-bar The Anthem. And when we were looking for a new Beer Geek-cum-GM, he was obviously at the top of our list.

Stop by and introduce yourself, grab a beer recommendation and sample the new autumn cocktail list (launching next week, so stay tuned for details). If you catch him on the other side of the stick, he’ll likely be enjoying a Duck BLT and sipping whiskey (George Dickel, Rittenhouse Rye or Templeton Rye are his go-to’s) or a nice Sour.

Monday, September 9, 2013

10,000 Bloody Marys and Counting: Jonny C.

Meet Jonny C., our faithful brunch-time bartender. Maybe you tied one on the night before? This is the guy who saves your weekend by serving up that medicinal Bloody Mary.  And you’re not alone, he reckons he’s served at least 10,000 over the course of his tenure with Bangers & Lace!

Jonny’s our weekend warrior, but you can catch him during the week at our nation’s favorite organic food retailer. If you’ve found this blog post by way of your Kingsbury Whole Foods google alert, Jonny just confirmed to us that yes, there will be a fancy cocktail spot joining the existing beer and wine bars you love so much. Featuring 22 taps (10 devoted to beer, six to wine and six to pre-batched cocktails), Jonny will be one of fine folks pouring them for you. 

And on that same cocktail tip, we left our fall cocktail menu in the hands of the very capable Nick O. (our trusty GM) and Jonny’s “very stoked to see what ideas he has created in his twisted mind.” He played it close to the vest and refused to name a favorite before it’s made public, so you’ll have to stop in and ask for recommendations after the menu debuts on September 22nd. He’s a whiskey drinker, usually ordering a Manhattan or Old Fashioned when he’s out, so it’s our best guess that Jonny will favor a very autumnal brown and stirred. 

Beer-wise, he’s more than likely to suggest a sour or an IPA. On the chance you stop in during the week, just look to line #19 on the chalkboard to find out which brew he’s hyping during your visit. Of course, it’ll probably pair well with his favorite menu item: the Slawdog.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

End of Summer Checklist

Labor Day officially marks the end of Summer, right? If you said ‘yes,’ you’d be wrong. Because we’ve got nearly 90 degree days in the forecast this weekend, plus a big dose of sunshine, and that means we’ve got at least one more shot at completing our Summer Checklist.

We bet you made it to the beach a few times and at least one street festival (we hope it was our Block Party). Great job! Go ahead and cross those off your list. And you were never actually going to go to the Bristol Rennaissance Faire, even though you put that on your list every year. So, yep, now’s the time to cross that one off, too.

But here are a few things you can accomplish this weekend to make your Summer complete:

So you didn’t make it to Europe over the past few months. Neither did we (well, except for Auggie). But you can still spend tonight drinking unending 7oz. pours of this classic summer brew.

2. Order an enormous pitcher of delicious booze for you and a few friends.

Your buds and their taste buds will thank you.

3. Bloodies and Micheladas on the patio.

Because here at Bangers & Lace, a balanced meal is one that includes a pint glass.