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Revolution Brewing in Logan Square

Revolution Brewing in Logan Square
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  • Revolution Brewing in Logan Square

    Post #1 - February 4th, 2010, 3:59 pm
    Post #1 - February 4th, 2010, 3:59 pm Post #1 - February 4th, 2010, 3:59 pm
    I spent some pleasant hours at Revolution Brewing in Logan Square last night, their first day in business. It's an attractive space, dominated by a large rectangular bar in the center and various seating areas around the periphery. A small alcove with a fireplace looked especially appealing. Be sure to admire the beautifully restored original tin ceiling.

    They are currently serving five beers: mild, golden, pale ale, IPA and porter ($5-6 per pint). I enjoyed all but there's room for improvement. In today's my-beer's-bigger-than-yours brewing climate it's nice to see a mild (3.5% abv) on offer. That said, Revolution's version is a bit overhopped and overcarbonated for the style. A cask version of the mild is also available via hand pump but I didn't realize that until too late. Still, I found even the tap version to be a most drinkable beer. I was even more impressed with the golden. At some brewpubs these styles are throwaways, brewed for those who'd rather be drinking a Bud Light. Revolution's Cross of Gold reminded me of a less intense Duvel, with a subtlety lacking in their other beers. I look forward to sampling all of them again to see if my first impressions hold up.

    I didn't try any food (their menu can be found here) but some people around me at the bar seemed pleased. Hopefully someone can give a report over in Eating Out in Chicagoland.

    One of Revolution's notable features is the almost total lack of televisions. There are a couple above the bar but they don't dominate the room (in fact only a few bar stools have a good view of the screen). They were showing the Blackhawks game (without sound) but turned off the TVs as soon as it was over. Excellent policy.

    It seems to me Revolution is off to a great start. They're doing a lot right but there's room to grow. If only Chicago had another eight or ten similar places we could be considered a serious beer city.

    Revolution Brewing
    2323 N Milwaukee (near California Blue Line)
    Chicago
    773-227-BREW
    http://revbrew.com/
  • Post #2 - February 4th, 2010, 5:11 pm
    Post #2 - February 4th, 2010, 5:11 pm Post #2 - February 4th, 2010, 5:11 pm
    Really, you don't think Chicago's a serious beer city? Hopleaf, Map Room and several other excellent beer bars, the Publican and other restos with good beer selections, Goose Island, Half Acre, Metropolitan and now Revolution, and basically being the big city home for Three Floyds. Sure, there's not the local variety of a place like Portland, but in terms of the availability of a variety of beers from across the country I think the city is in the top 5 in the country. Stone is about the only major micro that isn't available in the city and our proximity to the variety of local micros up in Wisconsin (as well as Stone being available there) makes me quite satisfied as a frequent beer drinker in Chicago.
  • Post #3 - February 4th, 2010, 5:27 pm
    Post #3 - February 4th, 2010, 5:27 pm Post #3 - February 4th, 2010, 5:27 pm
    Don't forget Piece and Rock Bottom Chicago in the city. There some other decent breweries in the suburbs (e.g., Flossmoor) as well.
  • Post #4 - February 4th, 2010, 8:39 pm
    Post #4 - February 4th, 2010, 8:39 pm Post #4 - February 4th, 2010, 8:39 pm
    Hopped Up wrote:Stone is about the only major micro that isn't available in the city

    Except for the bootleggers, I'd add New Glarus to your list of major micros not available here.
  • Post #5 - February 5th, 2010, 2:15 am
    Post #5 - February 5th, 2010, 2:15 am Post #5 - February 5th, 2010, 2:15 am
    Hopped Up wrote:Really, you don't think Chicago's a serious beer city?

    When I made the comment about Chicago needing another 8 or 10 places like Revolution, I was referring mainly to the relative lack of brewpubs in the city. We had a similar discussion a couple years ago (my post can be found here). Although the beer situation has improved somewhat in that time (I don't think the quality of some recent additions is all that high though) my opinion hasn't changed substantially: there's a fair amount to like about the Chicago beer scene but it should be so much better, especially for a city this size and with such a great brewing heritage. I think Revolution is a big step in the right direction and I hope they accelerate the movement toward lots of good local beer in Chicago.
  • Post #6 - February 5th, 2010, 10:26 am
    Post #6 - February 5th, 2010, 10:26 am Post #6 - February 5th, 2010, 10:26 am
    I agree with Rene G. While Chicago's getting better, the brewpub scene is not even close to being as rich as the scene in Montréal, a city half Chicago's size.
  • Post #7 - February 5th, 2010, 10:53 am
    Post #7 - February 5th, 2010, 10:53 am Post #7 - February 5th, 2010, 10:53 am
    Hopped Up wrote:Really, you don't think Chicago's a serious beer city? Hopleaf, Map Room and several other excellent beer bars, the Publican and other restos with good beer selections, Goose Island, Half Acre, Metropolitan and now Revolution, and basically being the big city home for Three Floyds. Sure, there's not the local variety of a place like Portland, but in terms of the availability of a variety of beers from across the country I think the city is in the top 5 in the country. Stone is about the only major micro that isn't available in the city and our proximity to the variety of local micros up in Wisconsin (as well as Stone being available there) makes me quite satisfied as a frequent beer drinker in Chicago.


    Stone will be here in the next month or so.

    On another note, I can't wait to check this place out. I'm coming into the City for my birthday in a couple of weeks and am going to check out Revolution and Half Acre. Just had a bottle of Big Hugs last week and it was awesome. A growler of fresh Daisy Cutter will be an excellent birthday present.
  • Post #8 - February 5th, 2010, 5:10 pm
    Post #8 - February 5th, 2010, 5:10 pm Post #8 - February 5th, 2010, 5:10 pm
    What about the Yard House in Glenview?
  • Post #9 - February 5th, 2010, 5:14 pm
    Post #9 - February 5th, 2010, 5:14 pm Post #9 - February 5th, 2010, 5:14 pm
    I think one reason for the lack of brewpubs doing their own beer is that it seems difficult to do both good beers and food. So many opened in the mid-90s and failed at one or the other. So, it's easier to specialize in one or the other. The Great Dane up in Madison is a good example of a place excelling at both, although their food doesn't always stand up to the quality of their beers.
  • Post #10 - February 7th, 2010, 8:37 pm
    Post #10 - February 7th, 2010, 8:37 pm Post #10 - February 7th, 2010, 8:37 pm
    the wimperoo wrote:Stone will be here in the next month or so.
    Really? I had heard they weren't interested in Illinois. Did they change their minds? I want me some Arrogant Bastard and Levitation Ale.
  • Post #11 - February 8th, 2010, 11:45 am
    Post #11 - February 8th, 2010, 11:45 am Post #11 - February 8th, 2010, 11:45 am
    And now about the food. We went there Sat night, early around 5:30-6, and there was an hour wait. Decided to wait it out only because where else are we going to go on a Sat night without a reso? I give the staff a lot of credit. The place was jammed packed with people at the bar and waiting for tables, they had a few "holding areas" and we were quite comfortable. Our wait came down to about 1/2 hour. We each had a working man and something else that I can't remember, more hoppy. We had a table upstairs overlooking the bar. The tv's were not on, and it was loud as hell, even with the music low. The tin ceiling doesn't help with the noise level. It was curious that no one gave up seats at the bar the entire time we were there, and we were watching all the action going on down there. We ordered a cheese plate, with three delicious Wisconsin cheeses, ( waitress didn't give us the names, but cheddar, telaggio type, strong goat of some sort for the third) really nicely plated with dark bread and an apple, raisin chutney, and spiced pecans I really liked. It was a generous portion of cheese. The next course was the goat cheese and greek salad. Had we known that they would serve four people, we would have ordered one to split. Seriously over portioned. The waitress said they were working out the kinks. For the main, I had the salami pizza, it was way too salty with the olives, but the char on the crust was nice, and I have no complaints about the pizza, other than salt. I'd get it again, minus the olives. Jman had the fish and chips, the fish was perfectly beer battered, but the chips were more like undercooked frites. This was one area we had to tell the server, there needs to be improvement.

    All in all it was a pleasant experience, once the crowd dies down, it may be an enjoyable spot, it's just what the neighborhood needs. This would be a nice Sat afternoon kinda place, before all the hipsters get there for the evening.

    Sorry, I didn't realize this was in the something to drink category... I'm a chronic view active topics person.....Moderators, feel free to move.
  • Post #12 - February 9th, 2010, 11:06 am
    Post #12 - February 9th, 2010, 11:06 am Post #12 - February 9th, 2010, 11:06 am
    I stopped in about 9:15 on Friday and was told my wait would be 3 hours. I was not too upset seeing as based on the horrible volume level, 5 deep line at the bar and the general look of the scene I would have rather gouged out my eyes than remained. So we plopped our name on the list and headed over to the Map Room, which made for a good time.

    An hour and a half after arriving at the Map Room I received a call from the hostess, and though I could not entirely make out her words as the volume level on her end of the phone was bordering on jet engine, I did understand that they had a table for us, of course with drinks in hand and being a little down the road we would not be able to make it in less than 15 minutes. This was not going to work for them as best I could tell through the background noise, so slightly annoyed but also cognizant of the fact they would be getting a lot of questions about that table setting empty for 15 minutes I hung up mildly disappointed.

    On a whim we decided to stop by after a few more delicious beers at the Map Room and arriving some time around midnight did find two seats at the end of the bar at Revolution. The bartender was very friendly and seemed really passionate about the beer. We each had a pint, and a sampler and found all of the beers to be above average, but none a true standout. It is a nice space, but can be ridiculously loud when full as it was when we arrrived. If the crowds keep up I couldn't see myself coming her after 5pm on a Friday or Saturday, but I'll be curious to see what they do with their beer and how adventurous they get and will definitely be back some afternoon to sample the menu.

    [edited to correct maid -> made]
    Last edited by KSeecs on February 9th, 2010, 1:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
  • Post #13 - February 9th, 2010, 1:13 pm
    Post #13 - February 9th, 2010, 1:13 pm Post #13 - February 9th, 2010, 1:13 pm
    KSeecs wrote:I stopped in about 9:15 on Friday and was told my wait would be 3 hours.


    While everyone is clearly distracted by their new, shiny toy, this might be a good time for me to get re-acquainted with Kuma's Corner.
  • Post #14 - February 10th, 2010, 5:18 pm
    Post #14 - February 10th, 2010, 5:18 pm Post #14 - February 10th, 2010, 5:18 pm
    I stopped in Monday night about 9:15 and there were a few tables open as well as a seat or two at the bar. I wanted to try the cask ale (or ales—they have two hand pumps) but they had run out. Since my previous visit they added seven guest taps, mostly US micros but also Stiegl and Tripel Karmeliet. And they have a list of about 50 bottles and cans ranging from the obligatory Pabst ($3) to a couple Jolly Pumpkins (Bam Noire and Calabaza Blanca, both $18 for a 750). It's a pretty thoughtful list with two Bells, two Boons, two Duponts, two Goose Islands and plenty more.
  • Post #15 - February 19th, 2010, 11:05 pm
    Post #15 - February 19th, 2010, 11:05 pm Post #15 - February 19th, 2010, 11:05 pm
    It was pretty jammed when I rolled in tonight--just getting to the bar was a challenge. However, service was quick once I elbowed my way up there. I'm sitting down to one growler now, of their Belgian Wit. It's alright--much better than, say, Hoegaarden, but not quite a Witkap Pater or some such. Beautiful yellow color, hazy, and quite wheat-y. Orange peel certainly on the nose, and the tongue. Coriander less prevalent. Session-able, for sure. At twelve bucks for a growler of this, plus four for the deposit, it's very reasonable, but I don't think I'll be running back up there just for this beer. Fortunately, I have another growler in the fridge for tomorrow evening's homebrew session--the Wee something Scottish something. I'll reserve more sweeping judgment until I try that one.
  • Post #16 - February 21st, 2010, 12:48 am
    Post #16 - February 21st, 2010, 12:48 am Post #16 - February 21st, 2010, 12:48 am
    I'm headed there tomorrow afternoon, so it shouldn't be busy at all (I hope). I'll report later on.
  • Post #17 - February 21st, 2010, 2:02 pm
    Post #17 - February 21st, 2010, 2:02 pm Post #17 - February 21st, 2010, 2:02 pm
    After trying both the Bottom Up Belgian Wit and the Willie Wee Heavy Scottish Ale, I'm a bit mixed. Certainly, both beers were very drinkable, well-crafted beers. They weren't so good, however, that I'll be running up there just for growlers, as I frequently do with Goose Island.

    Consensus with the brewing buddies was that the Wit was just too wheaty. Very drinkable, goes down easy--orange peel very evident, coriander less so. At twelve bucks for the refill, if I was going to be in the area, I'd bring the jugs and fill 'em.

    The Willie was more interesting, but not without its drawbacks. I really enjoyed the smokiness, apparently from cherrywood-smoking some of the malt. The smokiness loses its impact, however, after drinking for a bit--totally expected, as this happens with smoked beers, in my experience. Once the smokiness fell into the background, I was left with a fairly malty, somewhat alcoholic-tasting beer. The noticeable alcoholic flavor wasn't off-putting--not nearly so strong as something like, say, Bourbon County Stout--but I am most impressed when a high-ABV beer manages to hide it. The hops required to do that would've definitely ruined the Scottish-ness of it, however, so it's all good.

    All in all, I preferred the Willie, but both beers were pretty solid. The Wit for quaffing, the Willie for sipping. As a whole, these beers are comparable with things coming out of Piece, and if I lived in the area, I'd probably be a regular. Hopefully with some time, they put out more complex beers, as befit the pedigrees of the owner and brewmaster.
  • Post #18 - February 21st, 2010, 10:20 pm
    Post #18 - February 21st, 2010, 10:20 pm Post #18 - February 21st, 2010, 10:20 pm
    The wait was around 25 minutes this afternoon (Sunday) at 2:00. We tried the mid, wit, and pale ale. All were good; none we stand out great. I would happily go back again. We didn't eat anything, but the food looked good.
  • Post #19 - February 22nd, 2010, 10:49 am
    Post #19 - February 22nd, 2010, 10:49 am Post #19 - February 22nd, 2010, 10:49 am
    i stopped by this watering hole last week. no wait. it feels like some sort of trumped up rock bottom brewery. really, this place has NO character. the food i had was lackluster, but, to be fair, i only had a burger. the real sin is the beer. my two and friends and i each got different styles. i had their anti-hero ipa... no depth, nothing interesting, no hoppiness at all. my two lady friends got the working man and the iron fist pale ale... they too thought the beers were weak.

    i walk by this place from time to time. i see the lines. looks like the cheese cake factory has gone indie (but brought the food... and left the delicious double oreo cheesecake 8) 8) 8) 8) 8) 8) 8) ).
    "cooking is an art. baking a science."
    -- benjamin franklin
  • Post #20 - February 22nd, 2010, 6:03 pm
    Post #20 - February 22nd, 2010, 6:03 pm Post #20 - February 22nd, 2010, 6:03 pm
    While I admit it's been some time since my last visit to Rock Bottom, the beer at Rev is at least an order of magnitude better, and it's only been open a little while. Learning the particulars of a given brewing set-up will take time, of course, and I seen signs of possible greatness--I expect greatness, given the experience of the brewer. Also, the Workingman is supposed to be "weak"--they were deliberately trying not to put out over-hopped, high-gravity beers.
  • Post #21 - January 28th, 2011, 2:04 am
    Post #21 - January 28th, 2011, 2:04 am Post #21 - January 28th, 2011, 2:04 am
    FYI, Ratebeer just named Revolution among the top five new breweries in the world for 2010.
  • Post #22 - January 28th, 2011, 7:24 am
    Post #22 - January 28th, 2011, 7:24 am Post #22 - January 28th, 2011, 7:24 am


    How many new breweries opened in 2010?
    ...defended from strong temptations to social ambition by a still stronger taste for tripe and onions." Screwtape in The Screwtape Letters by CS Lewis

    Fuckerberg on Food
  • Post #23 - January 28th, 2011, 12:19 pm
    Post #23 - January 28th, 2011, 12:19 pm Post #23 - January 28th, 2011, 12:19 pm
    Don't know, certainly hundreds, if not thousands. 73 opened on the West Coast alone.
  • Post #24 - January 29th, 2011, 10:57 am
    Post #24 - January 29th, 2011, 10:57 am Post #24 - January 29th, 2011, 10:57 am


    Congrats to Josh and the good people over at Revolution!
    They are currently working on getting a production brewery up and running in the next year or so. So we'll all be able to buy their products at local stores.
  • Post #25 - February 1st, 2011, 1:29 am
    Post #25 - February 1st, 2011, 1:29 am Post #25 - February 1st, 2011, 1:29 am
    Very cool. I went there for the first time a couple of weeks ago and have to agree it's another shining star in the Chicago area brewing scene. Can't wait to see their product on sale at retail outlets.
  • Post #26 - February 1st, 2011, 10:41 am
    Post #26 - February 1st, 2011, 10:41 am Post #26 - February 1st, 2011, 10:41 am
    Revolution is throwing themselves a one-year anniversary party on Thursday (2/3/11). It looks like they have held onto some great kegs from this past year:
    Sodom collab with FFF Imperial Stout
    BA Bad Man Rye Old Ale
    Coup de Grace saison with cardamom
    El Clavo y La Cruz Abbey Dubbel
    Reel Ten ESB
    When the Shit Hits the Fan Imperial Brown ale

    Sodom was a great, great beer - it's too bad it's "twin" won't be served as well (Gomorrah - a small beer made from the used wort of the Sodom... tons of flavor, half the ABV, my dream session beer).
    best,
    dan
  • Post #27 - March 19th, 2011, 10:51 am
    Post #27 - March 19th, 2011, 10:51 am Post #27 - March 19th, 2011, 10:51 am
    Revolution just purchased property where they're going to build a production brewery.

    http://revbrew.com/blog/2011/03/19/142

    Forgive me father, it has been four moons since my last blog post. I have done many sinful things in the meantime, but I've also been working hard brewing some tasty ales and cooking up some nice grub. Cut me some slack. I know the brewpub gets kinda busy sometimes and even you have to wait an hour to get in, but we are making more space upstairs and it will be ready soon. You can even throw a party there with 129 of your closest friends or maybe catch a rock show down the line. Everybody likes to rock out now and then, no? Yes, we did name our latest beer Baphomet Bock for a pagan idol, but you have to admit it is pretty cool looking. I have been keeping up with my Facebook updates, but I know I know, not everyone does that.

    And we just signed a lease for a new 35,000 square foot production brewery nearby to spread the Revolution across Chicagoland. Is that a good enough excuse for ignoring this blog for so long? The lease took four months to negotiate, so I figure I deserve a beer for getting through that at least. Where is it? Oh, over by Lee Lumber on Kedzie. It'll have mondo huge beer tanks, a high speed canning line, loads of wooden barrels and a tasting room. No father, it won't be ready to visit anytime soon, but we should have beer to sell and see there in about a year or so. Awwh c'mon that's not too long. Imagine if we were making wine.

  • Post #28 - March 30th, 2011, 10:57 am
    Post #28 - March 30th, 2011, 10:57 am Post #28 - March 30th, 2011, 10:57 am
    Some additional info on the expansion to a production brewery. I'm very excited to get Anti-Hero in cans.

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/features/food/

    Revolution will bottle and can its beers
    By Josh Noel

    One reason I haven’t been too worried about Anheuser-Busch’s takeover of Goose Island Beer Co. is that even if Goose is ruined – which I don’t necessarily think will happen – there will continue to be no shortage of great craft beer.

    The latest evidence: Revolution Brewing, which opened as a brewpub in Logan Square in February 2010, is building a production brewery. By January 2012 – and hopefully well before that, owner Josh Deth says – Revolution beer will be in bars and on Cook County shelves.

    Revolution will can its flagship beers year-round – Bottom Up Belgian Wit (a Belgian-style white ale), Anti Hero India Pale Ale and Eugene (a chocolate porter) – and at least a couple of seasonals (October fest and Fistmas, a heavily-hopped brown ale spiced with ginger and orange peel). Its reserve line – a milk stout, a barrel-aged milk stout and a saison – will be put into 22-ounce bottles.

    The canning line, Deth says he was told, once belonged to Stroh’s. He’s still weighing whether to package his beer as four 16-ounce cans or six 12-ounce cans (I voted for the latter).

    Deth already has two successful ventures behind him – Handlebar restaurant (which he recently sold his stake in to avoid being in violation of the state’s three-tiered system liquor laws) and the Revolution brewpub at 2323 N. Milwaukee Ave. But seeing his beer on shelves will be the culmination of a dream dating to when Deth was a Goose Island brewer in the late 1990s.

    Having seen the strain of keeping up with demand of other craft breweries, he will be limiting his beer to Cook County, at least at first.

    “We’ve wanted to be Chicago’s next hometown beer even before Anheuser-Busch bought Goose Island,” he said. “Now it gives us even more passion.”

    Jim Cibak, head brewer at the brewpub who has previously worked for Goose Island, Three Floyds and Firestone Walker brewing companies, will handle the same responsibilities at the production facility.

    The 35,000-square-foot plant, in the 3300 block of North Kedzie Avenue, will also include a 3,000-square-foot tap room and a quality control laboratory.

    “We’re following the Goose Island model of growth – I don’t mind saying that,” Deth said. “That was our intention from the beginning.”

    Does that mean if someone eventually wants to buy him out for $38.8 million, he’d listen?

    “I want to retire someday, too, like (Goose founder) John Hall does,” Deth said with a laugh.
  • Post #29 - March 30th, 2011, 11:52 am
    Post #29 - March 30th, 2011, 11:52 am Post #29 - March 30th, 2011, 11:52 am
    Not to mention Eugene. I think it's my favorite of their standard line-up (especially when it's available on cask). In general, it's hard to find craft offerings that are porters or stouts - yes, Founders and Bell's both have stouts/porters but I can't say I enjoy them as much as Eugene.
    best,
    dan
  • Post #30 - April 3rd, 2011, 4:24 pm
    Post #30 - April 3rd, 2011, 4:24 pm Post #30 - April 3rd, 2011, 4:24 pm
    I went over to Revolution Brewing last night for the first time and really enjoyed myself. I'm not a beer connoisseur at all, but I really enjoyed these. I had the Willie, a Scottish heavy ale with smoked cherrywood malt. I really didn't taste a whole lot of smoke, but I enjoyed it. I then had the Baphomet which I enjoyed because it wasn't strongly hopped, which is normally one of the things that I like least in beers.

    I am not great at describing beers, so that's about the best I can do. I also really really enjoyed my Workingman's Burger, but thought the fries were just ok.

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