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Something's Brewing At Eataly Chicago

By Chuck Sudo in Food on Dec 2, 2013 8:20PM

Chuck Sudo/Chicagoist

When Eataly Chicago opens later this afternoon one of the featured aspects of the “giant bar that’s trying to help you have an extra drink so that you may shop better and think about your life” is its brewpub and brewery.

Birreria Chicago is the fourth Eataly brewpub to bring together the creative minds of the “Birreria Brother Brewers” collaborative of Dogfish Head’s Sam Calagione and Italian brewers Teo Musso of Birra Baladin and Leonardo Di Vincenzo of Birra Del Borgo.

Birra Del Borgo's Leonardo Di Vincenzo, Birra Baladin's Teo Musso and Dogfish Head's Sam Calagione. (Chuck Sudo/Chicagoist)

Keeping in line with the additional space available at Eataly Chicago, Birreria Chicago’s brewhouse is a seven-barrel pilot system containing three fermenting tanks and three bright tanks. Calagione said at a Friday night preview of the brewpub that the Chicago brew works are easily the largest of the four Birreria brewpubs. “We’ll have a lot more elbow room here in Chicago to work,” he said.

Chuck Sudo/Chicagoist

Calagione, Di Vincenzo and Musso will oversee the recipes and work with head brewer Tyler Prokop to brew beer on site. The inaugural beer is te first beer designed to make a flip beer cocktail. Flips originated in the 17th century, a mixture of beer, rum, and sugar heated with a hot iron. For Eataly Chicago’s flip, Calagione worked with Mario Batali to create one with used saba, a red wine reduction commonly used in balsamic vinegar production, green cardamom and crystallized ginger. The cardamom cuts right through the mix and attacks both the nose and palate, paving the way for a sweet, sessionable drink.

Sam Calagione uses a hot iron to warm Birreria Chicago's flip cocktail. (Chuck Sudo/Chicagoist)

The beer bar will feature selections from the Dogfish Head, Baladin and Del Borgo, in addition to what’s being brewed on premise. Some of the standout offerings during the preview include Dogfish Head’s “Bitches Brew” (a tribute ale to Miles Davis’ classic album brewed with honey and African gesho root which gives the beer a flowery, almost tobacco-like nose); Baladin Super 9a malt-forward ale with a flavor profile similar to a Belgian dubbel); and Del Borgo’s 25 Dodici (a winter ale with prominent spice and citrus notes).

Local offerings from the likes of Three Floyds, Revolution and Half Acre will also be available and guests may order cheeses, charcuterie from West Loop Salumi and offerings from Eataly’s roticceria.

Eataly Chicago is located at 43 E. Ohio.