DryHop Brewers Preview

June 07 2013 - 9:00 AM

The buzz surrounding the opening of Lakeview brewpub, DryHop Brewers, has been building exponentially over the past few weeks. If you’re like me, you’ve probably walked by the space at Broadway and Barry, wondering when DryHop was actually going to open. Luckily, they’ve finally announced the opening date, Thursday, June 13, with full dinner (and beer!) service.

If you can’t wait that long, you’re in luck. The brewpub will open its doors for the first time to the public on Saturday, June 8 from 1-3pm. During this time (I advise you to line up early!), beer enthusiasts can tour the brewpub, chat with the brewers, and take home a full or half growler of one of DryHop’s first two beers, Shark Meets Hipster, a Wheat IPA, and Batch 001, a Chicago Common Cream Ale.  The brewpubs first beer lineup includes the following options, crafted by Head Brewer, Brant Dubovick:

1.     Shark Meets Hipster: Light bodied American Wheat Ale

2.     Batch 001: Pre-prohibition Cream Ale and Steam Beer hybrid

3.     Velvet Divorce: Classic, crisp, Czech Pils

4.     Judge : American Pale Ale

5.     The Angry Samoan: Coconut Milk Stout

6.     Vampire for Your Love: Belgian farmhouse ale

Not only will DryHop offer a variety of craft brews, they will also feature a menu of small plates to perfectly pair with the changing draft offerings. Executive Chef Pete Repak designed the menu to match the flavors of the beers, and, quite simply, the flavors he and his team enjoyed most (after sampling nearly 7o dishes). The menu is “farmer-focused” and “unpretentious.”

As Chef Repak explains, “We represent a  landscape of cultures but distill it down into an American influence.” Small plates include pork and sausage boulettes served with pimento cheese dip, and  gulf shrimp and grits with poached egg and slow cooked greens. Larger options include a house-blended brisket and short rib burger and pastrami-spiced lamb sandwich with lemon aioli and gruyere. As one might expect, the menu will evolve seasonally, as well as with the changing of taps.

The space itself is suited for about 70, including seating at the 50-foot wrap-around bar crafted from a fallen tree from the suburbs. A few other interesting features include the three growler-fillers in the front, specially designed to flush air out of growlers and preserve beer for a six week shelf life (if you could ration it out that long!). Behind the bar you’ll find 1,800 gallons of beer storage housed in individual stainless steel compartments designed to keep each beer in perfect drinking condition.

DryHop’s dinner (5 pm) and late night (10 pm) menus are available starting Thursday, June 13. Lunch (11 am), dinner and late night menus are available starting Friday, June 14. For more information, visit DryHop Brewers’ website.

Photo Credit: Michael Kiser, Good Beer Hunting