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Double Clutch Brewing Co - New Brewpub in Evanston

Double Clutch Brewing Co - New Brewpub in Evanston
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  • Double Clutch Brewing Co - New Brewpub in Evanston

    Post #1 - November 8th, 2021, 6:41 pm
    Post #1 - November 8th, 2021, 6:41 pm Post #1 - November 8th, 2021, 6:41 pm
    Double Clutch has been open for two weeks. We had dinner there tonight, and IT'S VERY GOOD!

    This is quite a large space, just west of the Walgreens and Social Security office on Green Bay Road. At the moment, the sidewalk along Ashland is under construction, and the entrance to their parking lot from Ashland is blocked off. You can enter the lot from the north-south alley just east of the restaurant, between Ashland and Jackson.
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    There are two large dining rooms, as well as a display of several classic cars. (I'll take the McLaren!)
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    We ordered several dishes as well as a couple of beers, and everything we had was very good indeed!

    HARVEST PEAR SALAD - spinach tossed in honey dijon vinaigrette, roasted pears, bacon, fennel, goat cheese, candied pecans, with optional salmon
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    BELGIAN P.E.I MUSSELS - hand-picked mussels in our DCBC Hefeweizen beer broth, loaded with bacon, shallots, garlic and herbs, served with honey beer bread for dipping
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    BEER-BRAISED SHORT RIB - smoked beer-braised short rib, garlic parmesan mash, glazed carrots served with honey beer bread
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    BEER-BATTERED SIDEWINDERS - came with the mussels and they are great fries
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    ONION RINGS
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    Needless to say, they have a decent assortment of beers (two of which were deemed very good by my companion) as well as wine and spirits.

    Double Clutch Brewing Company
    2121 Ashland Avenue
    Evanston IL 60201
    224-456-7890
    doubleclutchbrewing.com
  • Post #2 - November 11th, 2021, 5:36 pm
    Post #2 - November 11th, 2021, 5:36 pm Post #2 - November 11th, 2021, 5:36 pm
    Building on Ken’s post, I was there last about a week and a half ago, after they’d opened the previous Friday. Since it was so new, it’s understandable there are still a few kinks to work out.

    It’s a blockish, unremarkable building, in a not-very-busy neighborhood.
    Image

    From the outside, you’d never guess all the money that was poured into the building’s innards. (Or should I say “driven” into the building’s interior?)
    Image
    And the cars ...
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    (I made a NSFW comment about some of these cars — you’ll have to ask me in person if you want to hear it.)

    In a few words, the food was pretty good, the beers, not so much.

    We started with Fried Pickles. We’ve been jonesing for the fried pickles from Celtic Knot lately; these were a little fluffier, more tempura-like. A slightly different, but excellent version.
    Image

    Belgian P.E.I. Mussels were good, in an herby Hefeweizen broth with bacon. (See Hefeweizen comments below.) Unfortunately, the honey beer bread that came with it, while delicious on its own, was too dense and fatty to do much good at sopping up the broth. (We suggested to the server that something more akin to a baguette would be better for soaking up the tasty broth.)
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    The Pulled Pork Sammy consisted of flavorful smoked pulled pork, slaw, pickles, and crispy fried onion strings.
    Note the beer-battered “sidewinders” — their version of thick-cut French Fries — on the right. (I’d always thought a sidewinder was a snake, but there was no evidence of reptilian flesh anywhere near these fries.) As fries, they were excellent.
    Image

    I didn’t get a pic of the beers, but had a sampler (which was served in a plastic replica of an engine block). In general, each of the beers were okay, clean, inoffensive, but lacked some of character that would define each style. For example, if you concentrated, you could pick out the banana-clove notes in the Hefeweizen, but they weren’t as pronounced as you’d expect for that beer. Similarly, the Märzen wasn’t as malty as I anticipate in the style. Other beers shared the same fate. Strangely, when I asked our server about dark beers, he said the Märzen was the darkest they made (and it was a lighter amber than many Märzens I’ve had). He also said he didn’t know of any plans to make a porter or stout. (I’m hoping that’s just a result of his newness there and inexperience in the beer world in general.)

    Overall, Double Clutch is a good option for the food, and the cars; there are better options for locally-brewed beers in Evanston. (Full disclosure — I work on a very occasional basis for Sketchbook Brewing Company.)
    Last edited by nr706 on November 11th, 2021, 9:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
  • Post #3 - November 11th, 2021, 6:42 pm
    Post #3 - November 11th, 2021, 6:42 pm Post #3 - November 11th, 2021, 6:42 pm
    nr706 wrote:Building on Ken’s post, I was there last about a week and a half ago, after they’d opened the previous Friday. Since it was so new, it’s understandable there are still a few kinks to work out.

    It’s a blockish, unremarkable building, in a not-very-busy neighborhood.
    Image

    From the outside, you’d never guess all the money that was poured into the building’s innards. (Or should I say “driven” into the building’s interior?)
    Image
    And the cars ...
    Image
    (I made a NSFW comment about some of these cars — you’ll have to ask me in person if you want to hear it.)

    In a few words, the food was pretty good, the beers, not so much.

    We started with Fried Pickles. We’ve been jonesing for the fried pickles from Celtic Knot lately; these were a little fluffier, more tempura-like. A slightly different, but excellent version.
    Image

    Belgian P.E.I. Mussels were good, in an herby Hefeweizen broth with bacon. (See Hefeweizen comments below.) Unfortunately, the honey beer bread that came with it, while delicious on its own, was too dense and fatty to do much good at sopping up the broth. (We suggested to the server that something more akin to a baguette would be better for soaking up the tasty broth.)
    Image

    The Double Clutch Burger consisted of two 4 oz. patties, with jalapeño beer cheese (not especially spicy), bacon, arugula, pickles, and what was described as “beer-braised onions” (actually crispy fried onion strings. Not as expected, but a nice burger topping) A very good burger.
    Note the beer-battered “sidewinders” — their version of thick-cut French Fries — on the right. (I’d always thought a sidewinder was a snake, but there was no evidence of reptilian flesh anywhere near these fries.) As fries, they were excellent.
    Image

    I didn’t get a pic of the beers, but had a sampler (which was served in a plastic replica of an engine block). In general, each of the beers were okay, clean, inoffensive, but lacked some of character that would define each style. For example, if you concentrated, you could pick out the banana-clove notes in the Hefeweizen, but they weren’t as pronounced as you’d expect for that beer. Similarly, the Märzen wasn’t as malty as I anticipate in the style. Other beers shared the same fate. Strangely, when I asked our server about dark beers, he said the Märzen was the darkest they made (and it was a lighter amber than many Märzens I’ve had). He also said he didn’t know of any plans to make a porter or stout. (I’m hoping that’s just a result of his newness there and inexperience in the beer world in general.)

    Overall, Double Clutch is a good option for the food, and the cars; there are better options for locally-brewed beers in Evanston. (Full disclosure — I work on a very occasional basis for Sketchbook Brewing Company.)


    Sounds like it would be worth it for the food and the cars. For what its worth, it seems like very few American Brewers are able to nail hefeweissens. I think two brothers ebel Weiss is the only one I enjoy consistently. Better to stick with the German ones
  • Post #4 - November 12th, 2021, 7:05 pm
    Post #4 - November 12th, 2021, 7:05 pm Post #4 - November 12th, 2021, 7:05 pm
    nr706 wrote:
    Strangely, when I asked our server about dark beers, he said the Märzen was the darkest they made (and it was a lighter amber than many Märzens I’ve had). He also said he didn’t know of any plans to make a porter or stout. (I’m hoping that’s just a result of his newness there and inexperience in the beer world in general.)

    According to the Tribune this is a current trend.
    [url]https://www.chicagotribune.com/dining/drink/ct-food-prem-chicago-lager-beer-dovetail-metropolitan-goldfinger-20211021-lughffeh5jasllrqz7o7qh4xca-story.html[/url)
  • Post #5 - November 12th, 2021, 7:07 pm
    Post #5 - November 12th, 2021, 7:07 pm Post #5 - November 12th, 2021, 7:07 pm
    scottsol wrote:
    nr706 wrote:
    Strangely, when I asked our server about dark beers, he said the Märzen was the darkest they made (and it was a lighter amber than many Märzens I’ve had). He also said he didn’t know of any plans to make a porter or stout. (I’m hoping that’s just a result of his newness there and inexperience in the beer world in general.)

    According to the Tribune this is a current trend.
    https://www.chicagotribune.com/dining/drink/ct-food-prem-chicago-lager-beer-dovetail-metropolitan-goldfinger-20211021-lughffeh5jasllrqz7o7qh4xca-story.html
  • Post #6 - November 12th, 2021, 9:15 pm
    Post #6 - November 12th, 2021, 9:15 pm Post #6 - November 12th, 2021, 9:15 pm
    Lagers are trending (unless you note that virtually all macrobrews are lagers), and Dovetail and Metropolitan have great lager beers (both usually including a dark beer or two from time to time), but for a brewpub, I'd normally expect a range of beers, including darker beers — especially appropriate IMHO as the weather gets cooler.
  • Post #7 - March 22nd, 2022, 1:55 pm
    Post #7 - March 22nd, 2022, 1:55 pm Post #7 - March 22nd, 2022, 1:55 pm
    Today the Evanston Lunch Group™ had lunch at Double Clutch Brewing, as planned here. The food was once again excellent, in my opinion. Here are photos from today's lunch!

    The cars on display are rotating selections from the car collection. Right now they are featuring the Ford Mustang.
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    The dining room:
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    One of us had a beer sampler:
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    CLUTCH FRIED PICKLES - beer-battered pickle chips served with chipotle aioli
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    CHICAGO'S TATA'S PIEROGIES - ruskie, topped with beer-braised onions, bacon, crème fraîche
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    ALTBIER BARBECUE POUTINE - beer-battered sidewinders tossed with Wisconsin white cheddar cheese curds, smothered in DCBC Altbier Barbecue Sauce, topped with smoked pulled pork, chives
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    BELGIAN P.E.I MUSSELS & SIDEWINDERS - hand-picked mussels in our DCBC Hefeweizen beer broth, loaded with bacon, shallots, garlic and herbs, served with honey beer bread for dipping
    Image
    BEER-BRAISED SHORT RIB - beer-braised short rib, garlic parmesan mash, glazed carrots served with honey beer bread
    Image
  • Post #8 - March 22nd, 2022, 5:27 pm
    Post #8 - March 22nd, 2022, 5:27 pm Post #8 - March 22nd, 2022, 5:27 pm
    Excellent work with the photos and description. If it were my business I'd comp you an entree and beer for such appetizing shots.
  • Post #9 - March 22nd, 2022, 8:31 pm
    Post #9 - March 22nd, 2022, 8:31 pm Post #9 - March 22nd, 2022, 8:31 pm
    bweiny wrote:I'd comp you an entree and beer for such appetizing shots.

    Agree the shots are great. The entrée I can go along with, but adding a beer would be slightly cruel. I'll 'fess up — I was the guy who ordered the beer flight — (left to right in Ken's photo) Grodzieske, Schwarzbier, Altbier, and Rauchbier. Consistent with my previous visit, I think they have a remarkable ability to make beers that taste like a faint approximation of what the beers should be. Smokiness was barely detectable in both the Grodzieske and the Rauchbier; there were little of the roasty flavors appropriate to a Schwarzbier, and the Altbier was underhopped and lacked much of the maltiness called for in the style. Overall, I'd say there's a timidity in the approach to making beers here.

    At least the food is very good. If I were to nitpick [which of course I would never do :D ] I'd say the bread used to soak into the mussel broth wasn't quite sturdy enough to hold up (a basic baguette would work better), and I prefer poutine with the traditional brown gravy and cheese curds rather than the melted cheese used here. Otherwise, go for the food, and if relatively drinkable is all you care about in beers, you'll be fine.

    Full disclosure — I work occasionally for Sketchbook Brewing, representing them at beer events and beer festivals. So I may be a bit biased. But I'm a big fan of many other local breweries, including Temperance, Alarmist, Empirical, Metropolitan, Dovetail ... I could go on and on. But as currently functioning, Double Clutch won't make that list.

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