In Pictures: The Chicagoist Reader Meetup/Sai-Shan-Tea Release
By Chuck Sudo in Food on Jul 26, 2010 4:00PM
Fans were working overtime circulating air throughout a packed Goose Island Clybourn Thursday night as readers and beer geeks joined in with what turned out to be a healthy Chicagoist alumni reunion. Faces some of us haven't seen in years showed up to say hello and get a glass or three of Sai-Shan-Tea. also present were some of the city's notable food media like Grub Street Chicago editor Nick Kindelsperger, Mike Gebert of Sky Full of Bacon, Carly Fisher (NBC Feast/Chicago Brunch Blog) and the ludicrously prolific Michael Nagrant.
Later, around 10:30, a second wave of chefs arrived from the Chefs and the City event at the Peninsula Hotel. And it was a Murderers row of talent - Lockwood's Phillip Foss, Curtis Duffy of Avenues, Inovasi's John des Rosiers, Rick Gresh of David Burke's Primehouse were among the chefs who showed up.
With such a litany of chefs and critics in the house the question was, "How was the beer?"
- Nagrant: "It's awesome!"
- Gebert: "(T)he beer is indeed very good-- the lemon tea makes for a much more dimensional lemon flavor than you'd have in a saison using lemon peel or some such. Well worth a try, and dead on right for the time of year."
- Gary Wiviott, LTHForum founder and "Barbeque life coach:" "Light on the tongue, effervescent, notes of citrus, Sai-Shan-Tea perfect accompaniment to mussels in Thai curry broth."
- Darwensi of Chicago Gluttons: "Sai-Shan-tea is bukkaki [sic] of flavors. well done."
- Foss: "(A)mong the best beers I've ever tried."
Now, there have been a lot of requests about getting growlers of Sai-Shan-Tea. The beer wasn't available for growler sales Thursday night. Goose Island's Jared Rouben at one point said that he could visibly see the tank level lower. Call ahead if you want to buy one. Meanwhile, Rouben showed Rod Markus and myself a little surprise before the festivities even started - 50 gallons of Sai-Shan-Tea aging in Meritage wine casks from Justin Vineyard. That should be ready to sample mid-winter.