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Chicagoist's "Beer of the Week": Montegioco "Demon Hunter" Ale

By Chuck Sudo in Food on Feb 13, 2008 7:00PM

2008_02_botw7.jpgSo there we were on that really vicious cold Tuesday night last week, enjoying a steaming plate of pasta at Café Bionda (the good location on south State, not the skeevy Wicker Park version) when we remembered a tip from a frequent reader that Joe Farina was stocking Montegioco beers. Now if you're the type of beer drinker whose knowledge of Italian beers runs to Moretti and Peroni, you're in for a treat.

Montegioco brews hearty ales with some weight behind them. "Demon Hunter," a strong dark ale, was the perfect beer for that bitter cold. It poured a deep amber in color with a rocky, pocked head of foam that left thick lace rings on the glass. Loads of hops imparted both a fair amount of spice and bright citrus notes on the palate, and left a lingering dry finish that almost had us licking the inside of the glass for more. That is, until we got the bill and saw that Bionda charged $40 for the bottle. We should have taken the cue from our waiter that the beer was priced like a bottle of wine (thankfully, it came in a wine-sized bottle. as well).

After poking around further, we found that Montegioco beers are stocked at Map Room and sold at West Lakeview Liquors. That should save you the headache of paying for restaurant markup. It was still a good beer, price be damned. We'll just make sure to ask next time. Montegioco "Demon Hunter" is Chicagoist's "Beer of the Week."