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The East Coast Just Got a Little Bit Closer

By Chuck Sudo in Food on Jan 23, 2007 4:00PM

2007_01_brooklyn_brewery.gifWhen cabin fever sets in, we take good news any place we can get it. Still, we had to read this bit of news twice when we received it. A press release sent to Chicagoist and other outlets yesterday from the Brooklyn Brewery announced that they've reached an agreement with distributor River North, allowing the Williamsburg-based craft brewer to sell its flagship lager, Brooklyn Brown Ale, and Brooklyn East India Pale Ale in the Chicago area. This means we don't have to vacation in New York as much to enjoy the beer anymore. Now if we could only get Harpoon in here.

You'll be able to find the beer retail at Sam's and Whole Foods, and at Hopleaf, Silver Cloud, Beer Bistro, Timothy O'Toole's. Alive One also carries it, and we know some of you like going there, so we'll leave it at that.

In addition, the press release indicated that Brooklyn Brewery brewmaster Garrett Oliver will be in town in the following months to present the beers in a series of dinners. Oliver is the author of The Brewmaster's Table, which is possibly the best resource for foodies looking to pair beer and food. Next to our friends at Goose Island, Oliver is at the vanguard of heightening beer's presence with food as more than a "ribs 'n Bud" thing. The Brewmaster's Table is a book that we regularly turn to when we're cooking or planning a dinner out with friends, and it hasn't failed us yet.

The Brooklyn Brewery announcement is, in our opinion, a coup for River North. In a city that loves its beer, there's room at the cross for something from New York City, and Brooklyn Brewery is one of our favorites. It might be the best thing to come out of Brooklyn since the Dodgers called Ebbets Field home, "Welcome Back Kotter", the Beastie Boys, or John Travolta donned a polyester suit and whined about his hair.