Saturday, April 24, 2010

Dark Lord Day Pre Party- Or lets take it "easy" the day before

Ugh. Taking it easy when Mark and I get together is an admirable goal but one more difficult to achieve then you would think. So last night when I got in we both had every intention of just taking it easy and preparing for the big event on Saturday.

Honestly we didn't drink all that much. It was what we drank and the myriad great beers in Chicago that kept us going far beyond what we planned on doing.

I started out with meeting Mark at the State and Lake bar, which has an excellent tap list. I started with the New Holland Dragon's Milk barrel aged strong ale. You might say, "WTF were you thinking starting the night with a 10% beer??" And I would say "better to start the night strong than try to finish strong." More on that later. The Dragon's Milk was a great barrel aged beer that we can't get in Seattle so I had to go for it.
It's a great barrel aged beer that I'll have to review later. Right now the beer is only part of the story. So from there we headed back to Mark's to drop off our stuff and head out on the town. Mark insisted we go to the "best pizza place" in Chicago. Which everyone has their favorite but this was truly great pizza. Light crispy crust with fresh ingredients that all shown through the typical deluge of sauce and cheese. All done to perfection. Thanks Great Lake Pizza. BYOB also doesn't hurt. We had to wait a bit for this wonderful pizza. That didn't slow us down. We stopped over to In Fine Spirits to have a drink while we were waiting.

Of course they happen to have Kentucky Breakfast Stout which we couldn't refuse. Oh that is such a great beer! We also witnessed the most appropriate use I've seen of used lime.

A couple of beers later we were on for pizza. Since Great Lakes was BYOB Mark picked out Stone's Ruination IPA. Which was a great choice to cleanse the KBS off the pallet and compliment the pizza. People talk about beer and pizza but they don't really go well together 99% of the time. In this case Mark's pick hit it on the head. This was a great match. For all you keeping track at home we really had intended at this point to keep it light but we're now on our 3rd high alcohol great beer and all we wanted was a few slices of pizza!

From dinner we went down to the Map Room to check out their selection. This is a local bar most of Chicago knows about and respects their offerings. Mark picked up a Surly Furious and I decided on the Arcadia ESB. Both excellent laid back beers with tons of great fruit and hops to them. Nothing too crazy mind you.

After those beers and taking in the Map Room for a while we decided to call it a night and get ready for the event. We ran by the store picked up our provisions and headed home for a good night sleep. The only problem was when we got home someone opened up a Jolly Pumpkin Brown Ale and a Mirror Mirror. Oh man they were both soo good. I admit I am paying for it this morning as we make our way to Dark Lord Day. I am pumped but clearly not at 100%.The bottom line is it's great to be hanging out with you Buddy!!

More to come as the festivities continue.

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