Category Archives: Food

Hop Cast – Episode 118: Bangers & Lace

Ken Hunnemeder and Brad Chmielewski are at one of the newest beer bars in Chicago; Bangers & Lace. Bangers & Lace is located at 1670 W Division and features a huge tap list of over 30 beers. To show Ken and Brad Chmielewski all those wonderful beers on tap is the beer director Ria Neri. Ria talks about her plan behind the beer menu and her goal of turning people on to new beers. When Ken and Brad were in, Bangers & Lace featured six different wood aged beers on tap and something they just started playing around with is the idea of beer and whiskey parings. Eric Hay, the man behind Bangers & Lace’s cocktails talks about why this is a perfect paring. To go with all these great beers you need some fabulous food. Ken and Brad were able to talk a bit about the concept and menu with manager Eric Clarke.

Bangers & Lace is a great spot on Division so be sure not so skip over it. Hope you enjoyed getting a behind the scenes look at Bangers & Lace. As always, thanks for watching the Hop Cast.

Having issues watching this video? Try the Quicktime (189.9 MB).

Hop Cast – Drink Deck Bar Crawl (Bluebird)

Ken Hunnemeder and Brad Chmielewski finish their Drink Deck bar crawl with some delicious food and beer at Bluebird. Bluebird is located on Damen Ave. right next door to Hot Chocolate. Ken and Brad sit down with the beer buyer Jason Baldacci at Bluebird to find out what Bluebird has to offer as well as his recommendations on what to eat and drink. Both Ken and Brad agree with Jason that the wings are a must try, whatever you do, don’t skip them. You really can’t go wrong with whatever you choose, Bluebird boasts an impressive bottle list and a great menu to pair with each one of those beers. If craft beer isn’t your thing, which would be sad… Bluebird also has a nice wine list. Ken and Brad stuck with the beer so you’ll have to take Jason’s word on that.

Drink Deck makes a perfect gift for anyone that is looking to save money and enjoy great craft beer. It allows you to save $10 at each of the 52 locations.

If you order the drink deck now and enter the promotional code HopCast you can save $5 on the order. That’s basically a free beer!

Having issues watching this video? Try the Quicktime (221.6 MB).

Two Brothers Brewing & The Publican Beer Dinner

To kick off the week of the 2010 Craft Brewers Conference two powerhouses have joined forces to create a beer dinner that will undoubtedly be special. Two Brothers Brewing Co. and The Publican are known for their excellence in beer and food respectively, but they’ve taken this event one step further. They have collaborated on a one-off beer that will debut with one of the courses.

Michael McAvena, beer director at The Publican, has a background in homebrewing so it seemed to be a no-brainer that he go out to Warrenville and make a beer with Jason Ebel, founder/owner of Two Brothers Brewing Co. The style is said to be a sour mash triple that will be available as is and also in two different blends. One of the blends is with the Two Brothers Bitter End Pale Ale, and the other is with an especially rare Two Brothers Brett beer that was the second beer brewed when they opened their current brewery in 2007.

Executive chef Paul Kahan is passionate about his food and his beer, which shines through every night at The Publican. It has quickly become a destination spot for beer drinkers looking for a flawlessly executed menu and a fantastic beer selection to boot.

A glimpse at the menu should say everything.

• Jamon Iberico with fried morels and pickled fiddlehead fern
paired with Prairie Path
• Guinea hen, foie gras galantine with ramps orange mustard greens and cashew paired with Ebel’s Wiess
• Crawford Farm corned lamb mix grill with spring, rye, panzanella
paired with Longhaul Oak Aged Session Ale
• BBQ salmon
paired with the collaboration beer
• Brown butter, orange, honey, coffee and almonds
paired with Domaine DuPage

Keep an eye out for the upcoming Hop Cast episode featuring the brewing process and highlighting the dinner at The Publican. Hop Cast will be there Monday, April 5th and you should be too!

The price of food is $55, beer will be $20.
Reservations are encouraged. 
For more info please contact The Publican 837 West Fulton Mkt. Chicago 60607
(312) 733.9555

Hope to see you there!

Dragon’s Milk Ice Cream Recipe


Makes 1 quart

1/2 Vanilla Bean
1/2 Cup Whole Milk
1/2 Cup Chocolate Milk
1 Cup Heavy Cream
2/3 Cup New Holland Dragon’s Milk
2 1/2 Tablespoons Robust Molasses
4 Egg Yolks
1/3 Cup Sugar
1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1 Teaspoon Dark Drinking Chocolate or Cocoa

Split vanilla bean lengthwise and scrape into a medium saucepan. Add the pod, milk, chocolate milk, and cream into the saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, once boiling turn off the heat and add drinking chocolate. Stir in drinking chocolate and then cover the pan. Let sit for 30 minutes so flavors infuse.

In a small saucepan whisk together the Dragon’s Milk and molasses. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Once boiling turn the heat off.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk the yolks, sugar, and vanilla extract until combined.

Whisk in a few tablespoons of the hot cream mixture, then very slowly begin to whisk in the rest of the hot cream mixture. Be careful not to add too much too quickly, you don’t want to cook the eggs.

Pour the mixture back into the medium saucepan and remove vanilla pod.

Add the beer/molasses mixture into the cream mixture.

Cook over medium heat, stirring often with a wooden spoon, for 8 to 10 minutes or until you think it has thickened enough that it is coating the back of the spoon.

Refrigerate in bowl overnight.

The next day, add the mixture to an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Beer & Ice Cream

You don’t hear very often about wine drinkers pairing wine with a good ice cream. Sure it can be done, a good sherry would probably work well with a light vanilla or there are always Wine Cellar Sorbets. But what happens when you want to mix up the flavors of your ice cream and try something different then a vanilla or chocolate. It becomes a lot hader to pair the two.  Beer and ice cream are an excellent team. This is a pairing I feel beer has the biggest edge over wine. Beer has a broad range of flavors and it presents an unlimited possibility for ice cream and dessert pairings. Beer floats rock and they seem to be appearing on menus all over the place and for good reason, the richness of the cream goes well with the CO2. All you have to do is replace the root beer with one of the endless number of stouts out there. Beers that incorporate layers of flavors like honey, pumpkin, coconut, apple, and raspberry are practically begging to be paired with their food counter part or tossed into the ice cream machine. I have always been a fan of coffee and ice cream so a Russian Imperial Stout with vanilla bean ice cream is a perfect combo in my book. But try your own ice cream and beer combo and let me know. Would love to hear about an ice cream that has worked well with an IPA or a sour.