Libations

Northdown Cafe's Half Acre Brewery Night Tuesday 1/31, 6:00 p.m.

January 30 2012 - 11:29 PM

Always an inviting spot for a beer event, Northdown Cafe and Taproom is having Half Acre Brewery Night Tuesday the 31st at 6:00pm.

Before getting to that, note that I saw an outstanding film tonight, Maxwell Street Blues.   It screened at Transistor book and record shop on Lincoln Ave. as part of their free movie screening series (BYOB!).  Maxwell Street is a 1981 documentary about the dying Chicago blues scene on legendary Maxwell Street, a transient home to some of the all-time blues greats.  The focus is on the street bluesmen that time forgot, the ones not named Muddy Waters or Buddy Guy. 

This is a Land of Misfit Toys where the discards are weathered black bluesmen playing their last act, with withered fingers, leathery faces, and turquoise eyes blinded by glaucoma and cataracts.  It's vividly alive with brilliant music that in the span of a few strums will make you sad and make you laugh out loud.  Filmmakers Linda Williams and Rual Zaritsky deliver you a Chicago that's as real and tangible as that post-snow gunk you've been cleaning off your shoes.

This has everything to do with Half Acre.  Like the bluesmen that stitched Chicago's fabric, Half Acre is doing the same thing with beer, helping lead the local brewing charge.  None of their beers have really wowed me.  Not yet.  But they brew with tons of personality.  More than most.  Almost all of their beers are memorable, even if you don't particularly care for them.  Not one is remotely bad.  Each one has a distinct and unforgettable taste and aroma.  And they keep pushing the boundaries.  Sooner or later they're going to stumble upon a brewing masterpiece and help establish the city of Chicago's brewing chops, just as the city once established its bluesmaking prowess.

Get your introduction to Half Acre, or remind yourself of why you dig them, amongst the friendly crowd at Northdown from 6:00 p.m. until 11:00.  They'll be pouring Big Hugs, Callow Knife (a Beer Advocate 90 score), and Gossamer from the tap, accompanied by Daisy Cutter in cans.  There will also be a glassware giveaway.  I hope they queue up a spoonful of some Howlin' Wolf. 

Northdown Cafe
3244 N. Lincoln Ave.
Chicago

–M.Sheppard

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