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Craft Beer

  • MEET ALE SYNDICATE AT PASTORAL'S 5TH ANNUAL ARTISAN PRODUCER FESTIVAL

    ale syndicateSamuel and Jesse Evans started their craft beer journey in California, bottling the very first and only craft beer in the city of Oakland. Success was abundant, but they missed Chicago and returned to establish a truly collaborative brewery focusing on strong flavors, pure ingredients and the power of coming together over something they love.
    After mastering home brewing, they started their own brewery in California with great success, but quickly realized that Chicago was their true home. They returned to the Midwest to create Ale Syndicate, crafting brews ideal for our city's palate. While waiting for their current city brewery to be finished, the team works with partner breweries in Illinois to make their craft beers a reality. This commitment to community and artisans supporting each other is exactly what the Artisan Producer Festival aims to celebrate.
    Try some of the brothers' delicious Ale Syndicate brews at Pastoral's 5th Annual Artisan Producer Festival .
    Held every Spring at Chicago's French Market , Pastoral's 5th Annual Artisan Producer Festival on Saturday, April 25th from 11 am - 3 pm is a FREE tasting and meet-the-maker event features producers of artisan cheese, bread, beer, wine, charcuterie, confections, and other food stuffs. Along with a stage show packed with chef demonstrations and informative panels.
  • Pastoral's 5th Annual Artisan Producer Festival!

     

    Pastoral Artisan Cheese, Bread & Wine and the Chicago French Market are proud to announce the 5th Annual Pastoral's Artisan Producer Festival at the Chicago French Market from 11 AM to 3 PM on Saturday, April 25, 2015.

    apf 2014 jasperThis is a FREE tasting and meet-the-maker event featuring producers of artisan cheese, bread, beer, wine, charcuterie, confections, and other food stuffs. Each year we are blown away by the support and enthusiasm of not just the producers that we and the other Chicago French Market vendors are proud to represent, but by the tremendous turn out by you, our loyal and wonderful customers.
    In addition to cheese-makers and mongers from around the world, there will also be producers of beer, wine, and accouterments. You'll meet confectioners, beer and spirit makers from right here in Chicago and around the world. The event will also feature artisan producers featured at Pastoral’s neighboring Chicago French Market vendors.
    CLICK HERE
    to visit our festival event page for a peek at the producers, vendors and stage lineup for the big day! Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to stay up-to-date on festival details as they are announced.
  • Ale Syndicate - Pastoral's Artisan Producer Festival Highlights

    ale syndicateSamuel and Jesse Evans started their craft beer journey in California, bottling the very first and only craft beer in the city of Oakland. Success was abundant, but they missed Chicago and returned to establish a truly collaborative brewery focusing on strong flavors, pure ingredients and the power of coming together over something they love.

    After mastering home brewing, they started their own brewery in California with great success, but quickly realized that Chicago was their true home. They returned to the Midwest to create Ale Syndicate, crafting brews ideal for our city's palate. While waiting for their current city brewery to be finished, the team works with partner breweries in Illinois to make their craft beers a reality. This commitment to community and artisans supporting each other is exactly what the Artisan Producer Festival aims to celebrate.

    Try some of the brothers' delicious Ale Syndicate brews at Pastoral's 4th Annual Artisan Producer Festival.

    Held every Spring at Chicago's French Market, Pastoral's 4th Annual Artisan Producer Festival on Saturday, April 12th from 11am - 3pm is a FREE tasting and meet-the-maker event features producers of artisan cheese, bread, beer, wine, charcuterie, confections, and other food stuffs. Along with a stage show packed with chef demonstrations and informative panels.

    FOLLOW US HERE AND ON FACEBOOK IN THE WEEKS LEADING UP TO THE FESTIVAL AS WE CONTINUE TO PROFILE MORE OF THE PRODUCERS ATTENDING THIS YEAR!

  • Pastoral's Artisan Producer Festival Lineup Announced!

    Each Spring we host nearly 100 producers and vendors from around the world at Chicago French Market to celebrate the makers who make what we do possible. Pastoral's Artisan Producer Festival is in its 4th year, and we are very excited to announce this year's schedule of demonstrations, discussions and more. Not only is this an incredible opportunity to meet these talented local and international culinary artisans and taste their products; there's a chance to learn about them and what they do and (thanks to the generosity of our sponsors) - it's FREE!

    APF web bannerCheck out this incredible lineup of artisan producer presentations, culinary demonstrations and discussions:

    11-11:20

    Welcome Announcement - Pastoral co-owner / founder Greg O'Neill

    11:20-11:30

    A Discussion on Innovative Food Entrepreneurship in Chicagoland - presented by culinary incubator Now We're Cookin' owner Nell Funk and incubator manager Natalie Shmulik

    11:40-11:50

    Raw Food Culinary Demonstration - presented by raw food advocate Polly Gaza co-owner of RAW Chicago

    12-12:30

    The Art of Pairing Craft Beer and Cheese - presented by Goose Island Beer Company’s resident expert Suzanne Wolcott

    12:40-12:55

    Culinary Demonstration, A Sneak Peek at Bar Pastoral's Upcoming Brunch Menu - presented by Bar Pastoral’s New Chef Brooks Hart

    12:55-1:05

    Specialty Food Association’s “sofi” Awards: Why They Matter to Us All - Presented by Ken Seiter, Specialty Food Association

    1:10-1:40

    Panel Discussion on Heritage Meats, Charcuterie Styles and Techniques - Presented by Brady Lowe, founder of Cochon 555, Michael Sullivan of Cochon 555, Chris Eley of Smoking Goose, Gregory Laketek of West Loop Salumi and Elias Cairo of Olympic Provisions

    1:50-2:20

    Culinary Demonstration, Making of the Girl & the Goat “Pig Face” From Farm to Plate - Presented by Chef Will Cordero of Girl & the Goat

    2:30-2:40

    Artisan Breads of France’s Alsace Region - Presented by La Fournette Bakery Owner Pierre Zimmermann

    We hope you will join us for Pastoral's 4th Annual Artisan Producer Festival, featuring the incredible demonstrations and panels above, plus tons of tasting, meeting and fun - all FREE to the public. Find out more about Pastoral's Artisan Producer Festival HERE

  • A Visit to Lakefront Brewery

    Lakefront Brewery Tour

    Stop by any Pastoral Retail Store & Bar Pastoral and you’re sure to find a carefully selected & awesomely varied array of beers. We’re very proud of our beer selection at Pastoral, and we’re even prouder of the Artisan Producers who create these fine brews. Recently we added a new beer to our rotating beer case from our neighbors in Milwaukee at LakeFront Brewery, a brewery dedicated to locally-sourced, green-friendly production. Pastoral Retail currently carries Lakefront Brewery's Bridge Burner,  a love letter to earthy hops that’s backed up by caramel notes and hints of citrus and pine.  Recently, I paid a visit to the Lakefront Brewery located alongside the Milwaukee River to see where this tasty brew was created.

    Product - Lakefront Bridge Burner

    Image from GreatBrewers.com

    The tour costs a mere $7 and begins in Lakefront’s massive Beer Hall, which looks like it belongs in Germany for Oktoberfest and is also host to a weekly Lenten Fish Fry. Each guest is given 4 tokens to trade for a tasting of beer and is encouraged to enjoy an assortment of Lakefront's brews before, during & after the tour. Guests are also given a free pint glass before leaving the brewery, plus a coupon for a free Lakefront beer at an assortment of Milwaukee bars (Only tours before 4 PM). The team at Lakefront is friendly and knowledgeable, and they even let me sample some beers before deciding which ones I’d relinquish my token for. We were given a five minute warning before the tour began, cuing me to chug the remainder of my deliciously malty & dark Fuel Café (a perfect substitute for my morning coffee) and selected my on-tour beer: a light & crisp Klisch Pilsner (my favorite of the day).

    As our adventure began, it became apparent that this was no ordinary brewery tour.

    We began our trip with a series of ‘Cheers’ in several languages, with our awesome guide enjoying a brew along with us. Our tour guide (the 'Brewery Dungeon Master') genuinely seemed to enjoy himself on the entire tour and never stopped cracking beer-related jokes and poking fun at the homey but fun nature of the brewery. Lakefront was founded by two home-brewing champions, The Klisch brothers, who took one friend's tipsy suggestion of ‘hey, you guys should start a brewery’ to heart.

    lakefront sign1

    We learned the ins & outs of the brewery, including the history of the building (a coal factory) and the dairy-farm origins of their equipment. We learned of the Lakefront traditional birthday celebration, where the birthday boy or girl is named ‘King of the Bunghole’ (a term to describe the hole bored in old-school wooden beer barrels). The king is then encouraged to hammer away at the bung hole with a ‘bunghole whacker’, announcing to everyone in the vicinity that his birthday has arrived.

    3 stooges

    The original brewing equipment from Lakefront Brewery, fondly nicknamed the 'Three Stooges',  now has a permanent home in front of the Brewery.

    Loyal employees of Lakefront who have paid their dues in blood, sweat & beer are chosen to brew their very own limited edition batch.

    The tour continued on to a small bar located inside the brewing area itself (awesome). It was there where I learned about the ‘My Turn’ beer series at Lakefront, perhaps my favorite factoid about the company. Loyal employees of Lakefront who have paid their dues in blood, sweat & beer are chosen to brew their very own limited edition batch. I sampled the Luther, a smoky-sweet Helles Rauchbier that would be perfect alongside some BBQ chicken or smoked salmon. Our day ended at yet another Lakefront Brewery bar to finish off our beer tokens and to toast to a fine day of educational, beer drinking fun.

    You can find Lakefront Brewery on Facebook & Twitter.

    IMG_3056Amanda Diamond is Pastoral's Social Media & Marketing Coordinator and Cheesemonger. She's a recent Chicago transplant who hails from Atlanta, GA (and yes, she says y'all). She studied at Tulane University in New Orleans, a city that also inspired her love of cheese and tasty new food. She's thrilled to be surrounded by cheese-lovers like herself while navigating the Social Media landscape for Pastoral.

  • See Behind the Building of Bar Pastoral!

    Our friends at moss design, the super cool Chicago design studio who helped us realize Bar Pastoral have posted a great video about the project.  It's easy to look good when you've got a great team of designers, artists and contractors on your side!

  • Chicago Craft Beer Week Pairing: Racer 5 and Montgomery Farmhouse Cheddar

    Pastoral is having a blast with the myriad of events around the city for Chicago Craft Beer Week. We even revamped our beer selection for the occasion! We have brought in several new beers with the intention of further showcasing the broad spectrum of beer styles as they relate to pairing with our broad spectrum of cheese, chocolate, and charcuterie offerings.

    Pairing #7

    Racer 5 and Montgomery Farmhouse Cheddar

    Brewery: Bear Republic Brewery
    Style: IPA
    Region: Healdsburg, California
    ABV: 7.0%

    Well here we go, the most popular style of beer these days amongst “hop heads” leaves much to be desired for the cheese monger. The aggressive hop profiles and high alcohol of many IPA’s is delicious, but not too food friendly. Look for a firm, salty, and expressive cheese like Farmhouse cheddar to stand up to the big dry floral and citrus flavors of this remarkable IPA from Bear Republic.

  • Chicago Craft Beer Week Pairing: Collesi Imper Ambrata and Whimsical Nougat

    Pastoral is having a blast with the myriad of events around the city for Chicago Craft Beer Week. We even revamped our beer selection for the occasion! We have brought in several new beers with the intention of further showcasing the broad spectrum of beer styles as they relate to pairing with our broad spectrum of cheese, chocolate, and charcuterie offerings.

    Pairing #6

    Collesi Imper Ambrata and Whimsical Nougat

    Brewery: Birra Tenuta Collesi
    Style: Amber Ale
    Region: Apechio, Marche, Italy
    ABV: 7.5%

    Another fantastic example of complexity and craftsmanship, this amber isn’t coppery nor cloying. A rolling, velvety carpet of almond and walnut with sticky caramel and slight pipe tobacco. Try our Nougat bar made specifically for Pastoral from Whimsical Candy with this import and call it dessert (or lunch).

  • Chicago Craft Beer Week Pairing: Meantime London Porter and Madécasse Sea Salt & Cocoa Nibs Chocolate Bar

    Pastoral is having a blast with the myriad of events around the city for Chicago Craft Beer Week. We even revamped our beer selection for the occasion! We have brought in several new beers with the intention of further showcasing the broad spectrum of beer styles as they relate to pairing with our broad spectrum of cheese, chocolate, and charcuterie offerings.

    Pairing #5:

    Meantime London Porter and Madécasse Sea Salt & Cocoa Nibs Chocolate Bar

    Brewery: Meantime Brewery
    Style: Porter
    Region: London, England
    ABV: 6.5%

    London’s Meantime Brewery makes beer with astonishing balance. It’s a Porter; we expected roasted notes of coffee, toffee, and nuts.  We didn’t expect a relatively lighter body and more persistent carbonation. This is the perfect “dark” beer for summer and a get out of jail free card in regard to pairing bigger cheeses like cheddar and gouda. With chocolate, however, shut the front door! Rich, decadent, sweet and savory all at once. Bring this pairing home when you are in the dog house and put things into perspective.

  • Chicago Craft Beer Week Pairing: Tripel Karmeliet and Bleu d'Auvergne

    Pastoral is having a blast with the myriad of events around the city for Chicago Craft Beer Week. We even revamped our beer selection for the occasion! We have brought in several new beers with the intention of further showcasing the broad spectrum of beer styles as they relate to pairing with our broad spectrum of cheese, chocolate, and charcuterie offerings.

    Pairing #4

    Tripel Karmeliet and Bleu d'Auvergne

    Brewery: Brouwerij Bosteels
    Style: Belgian Tripel
    Region: Buggenhout, Belgium
    ABV: 8.4%

    Iconic and complex, this golden Tripel is fruity, malty and refreshing. Its medium-full body and sweet note tame the salinity of big blues while accentuating the nutty and earthy tones hiding in the background.

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