Nearly all of our seasonal American restaurants have badass beer lists.
Matching signature dishes to the perfect brews.
Restaurant: The Black Sheep (1132 W Grand Ave, 312-997-5100)
Entree: Veal sweetbreads with corned beef tongue, rye bread sauce, mustard and savoy cabbage, $24
Perfect brew: Pepe Nero$6
Sweetbreads are stellar with darker German beers like dunkels and doppelbocks, but here you should take advantage of Goose Island’s hard-to-find Pepe Nero ($6). The peppercorn saison carries a roasted nutty sweetness that echoes the main three elements of this dish.
Restaurant: GT Fish & Oyster (531 N Wells St, 312-929-3501)
Entree: Lobster roll, Market price
Perfect brew: Duvel, $12
The butter-brushed bun and naturally buttery lobster are perfectly suited for a dry, crisp, clean and pretty Belgian pale ale like Duvel ($12).
Restaurant: Leopold (1450 W Chicago Ave, 312-348-1028)
Entree: “Moules + Frites” Mussels steamed in Wittekerke with bratwurst and onion aioli, $13
Perfect brew: Brasserie Lefebvre, $7; Two Brothers’ Monarch White, $6
Take a cue from the broth and follow suit with a witbier like the Blanche de Bruxelles from Brasserie Lefebvre ($7), or go local with Two Brothers’ Monarch White ($6).
Restaurant: Northdown Café and Taproom (3244 N Lincoln Ave, 773-697-7578)
Entree: “The Burger,” a six-ounce Wisconsin grass-fed beef burger served with tomatoes, lettuce, onion and a special burger sauce, $9
Perfect brew: Flossmoor Pullman Brown, $12
It might sound silly, but a good tip for pairing with burgers is to match your beer color to the patty’s exterior, which should be a nicely seared, caramelized brown. An American brown ale such as locally brewed Flossmoor Pullman Brown ($12) is ideal for its roasted malts and slight sweetness.
Restaurant: Perennial Virant (1800 N Lincoln Ave, 312-981-7070)
Entree: Baked chocolate mousse with Werp peppermint ice cream and chocolate mint shortbread, $8
Perfect brew: New Holland’s Dragon’s Milk, $10
This foolproof dessert pairing matches creamy milk stout with roasted coffee and bitter chocolate flavors sweetened by lactose sugar. Pastry chef Kady Yon’s desserts may change weekly, but New Holland’s Dragon’s Milk ($10) is a sure thing.
Restaurant: The Publican (837 W Fulton Mkt, 312-733-9555)
Entree: Raw oysters, chef’s selection, 6/$15
Perfect brew: Monk’s Café, $6; Cantillon Rosé, $12
Think of the vinegary mignonette served with raw oysters and replicate that super-tart strawberry flavor with a Flemish sour like Monk’s Café ($6) or a funky, acidic lambic like Cantillon Rosé ($12).
Restaurant: Roots Handmade Pizza (1924 W Chicago Ave, 773-645-4949)
Entree: 12-inch Quad Cities–style sausage and mozzarella pizza, $16
Perfect brew: Tyranena’s Headless Man, $5
The French-style country ale Two Brothers brewed especially for Roots is a no-brainer, but also try pizza’s perfect pair: altbier, a German style with similar pizza flavors of yeastiness, toasted malts and a touch of tomato-like fruity sweetness, all found in Tyranena’s Headless Man ($5).