As a friend and I made our way to Revolution Brewing’s 3rd Year Crazy Party one bone-chillingly cold evening in early February, we both shared our expectations for the event. Held at Revolution’s Kedzie Avenue taproom with tickets going for $50 apiece, the party was split into afternoon and evening sessions. Billed as a “Battle of Beer & Food Pairings,” we agreed that this would probably be a quiet, intimate affair, limited to seating for about 100, which is what the taproom usually accommodates for visitors looking to enjoy one of their 16 delicious taps. We envisioned a handful of Revolution staffers catering each of the nine pairings to the tables over the course of the three-hour session, allowing lucky party-goers to mingle and compare their impressions on the courses and memories of Revolution’s first years of skyrocketing success.
Wait a sec…had we somehow managed to completely gloss over the whole theme of this party? As we drove past the long line of shivering, thirsty Revolution fans, it only took us a few seconds to realize we were in for a completely different kind of event.
The taproom’s traditional picnic bench seating arrangement was nowhere to be found. Instead the entire brewery and distribution space, which is usually off limits outside of guided tours, was opened up to give guests ample room to roam. Nine individual stations were set up throughout the facility, offering party-goers beer/food pairings and as many repeat visits as their palates desired.
To say that the menu provided a diverse array of foods, flavors and gastronomic styles would be a gross understatement. Revolution really outdid themselves with these pairings, serving up dishes that forced most guests to travel outside of their culinary comfort zones and get handsomely rewarded for doing so. Revolution’s variety of beers was top notch, introducing us to new and rare selections, appeasing us with twists on old favorites such as adding coffee to the Eugene Porter and previewing their 3rd Year Beer, a rum barrel-aged wheat barleywine. Each guest was given a limited edition bomber as a party favor on their way out.
While my initial expectations for the party were completely shattered, I feel Revolution did a tremendous job in allowing more of their fans to help them celebrate, and leave with full bellies and smiles on their faces. In fact, between the two sessions, more than 1000 of us were able to partake. Needless to say, Revolution knows how to throw themselves one helluva birthday party, and I look forward to many more in the years ahead.
Revolution Brewing 3rd Year Crazy Party
Battle of Beer & Food Pairings
#1 – Duck & Bacon Ragout, Smoked Gouda Grits, Pickles Shallots and Basil Orange Puree / Ivan’s ESB
#2 – Chicken Liver Ballantine and Sage Jus / Moby the Great White Ale
#3 – Dark Chocolate Candy Bar with Whipped Malt Nougat and Hop Rocks / Winter Woman Imperial Brown
#4 – Wild Rice & Barley Risotto with Coffee Smoked Parsnip Cream / Coffee Eugene Porter
#5 – Veal Sweetbread & Pork Sausage, Chow Chow and Satisfy Puree / TV Party Rye IPA
#6 – Buffalo Chili Surprise / Very Mad Cow, Barrel Aged Milk Stout
#7 – Pears Foster and Piloncillo Ice Cream / 3rd Year Beer, Rum Barrel-Aged Wheat Barleywine
#8 – Bulgogi Beef Skewer with Crimini Mushroom / Infiltrator Dopplebock
#9 – Scallop Ceviche with Sour Orange Zest / A Little Crazy Belgian Pale Ale