How To Celebrate Pie And Beer Day In Chicago

By Jenny Pfafflin in Food on Jul 24, 2015 7:30PM


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Today marks Pie and Beer Day. “Oh great, another made-up food holiday,” you may be thinking. “And, why Pie and Beer?”

Well, truth be told, it’s a holiday only celebrated in Utah. A homophonic play on Pioneer Day, a holiday that celebrates the arrival of Mormon pioneers in the Salt Lake Valley more than 150 years ago (and is marked by more parades and fireworks than you’d see on the Fourth of July), Pie and Beer Day is decidedly less pious, and has more pie.

Via the Salt Lake Tribune, Pie and Beer Day began about 10 years ago, when Utah’s growing non-Mormon population decided to retool the holiday to give themselves “a reason to feel good about a day that has little meaning otherwise.” Soon enough, Utah’s also thriving beer scene was getting in on Pie and Beer Day celebrations, and now, July 24th in Utah has become as much of a celebration of beer and food, as it is about its roots as a state.

But why should Utahns have all the fun today? Here are a few local pies and beers to pair together for your own Pie and Beer Day celebration:

Hoosier Mama (Ukrainian Village and Evanston): Chocolate Chess Pie with Revolution Eugene Porter—Eugene’s chocolate roastiness is a checkmate when paired with this classic Southern pie, keeping its sweetness in check, while moving the chocolate forward.

Bang Bang (Logan Square): Cherry Pie with Victory Kirsch Gose—Bang Bang’s spin on this pie standard features pink peppercorn and red rooibos tea; the gose’s acidic tang, already married with cherry, will brighten up the pie filling of the current season.

First Slice (Andersonville and Ravenswood): Key Lime Pie with Weihenstephaner Hefeweissbier—The tart, lemony character flavor from the yeast, along with its banana and clove aroma, makes most easy-drinking weissbiers refreshing company to the pie’s tangy citrus filling and graham cracker crust.

Pleasant House Bakery (Bridgeport): Steak and Ale Royal Pie with Temperance Smittytown ESB—Temperance’s ESB received Chicagoist’s BOTW status earlier this month, so it’s a fantastic excuse to pair it with one of Pleasant House’s savory, British-inspired pies. Smittytown’s maltiness and mild bitterness is a perfect match for a steak and ale pie.

And let’s give a proper shout out to the Utah beer that helped make Pie and Beer Day the beer and food Festivus it’s become. There is a lot of great beer from the Beehive State that can be found on Chicago shelves—like Uinta Brewing’s Ba Ba Black Lager, an excellent, roasty take on a Schwarzbier; or Epic Brewing’s Brainless series, which features barrel-aged, Belgian-style beers aged on fruit like peaches and raspberries.