Dry Hop's brewing is serious business

August 17, 2013 (CHICAGO)

"The beer is primarily what we do, so the kitchen really wants to accompany the beer and highlight the beer as best it can. It's almost like a wine pairing," said Peter Repak, the Chef at Dry Hop Brewers.

Lunchtime has the predictable burger and fries, even a cholesterol-laden poutine with gravy and bacon, but once the dinner menu kicks in after five, a whole host of new options present themselves: cheese-stuffed shishito peppers wrapped in prosciutto; bite-sized sausage croquettes topped with quail eggs; small plates of lentils paired with a large sea scallop, dressed with a tangerine reduction and a shower of papaya relish. Even something as straightforward as salmon and blinis is upgraded, thanks to a garnish of caviar.

"The caviar is Tennessee paddlefish, so it's an affordable caviar. But we're in the middle of wild salmon season, so why not cure our own salmon. It's a simple process," he said.

And next to that cured salmon, a potato tower holding a green salad. Even more ambitious - and beer friendly - is Repak's sausage and herb-stuffed wild boar belly porchetta, draped with a bit more white lardo (that's fat) for extra flavor.

"It's wild boar belly that has a dry cure and herb spread filling, and then Broadbent's country sausage. It's slow-cooked for 36 hours and then lightly smoked, and it gives me a reason to hide in the basement," said Repak.

Now burgers and fries are a given at a brewery, but when I see house-cured salmon on homemade blinis with paddlefish roe, you know the kitchen is taking a little bit more serious approach to the menu.

The brewpub is open for lunch and dinner, but they stop food service in the afternoon from three to five. Also, they sell refillable growlers in 64 and 32 ounce versions.

Dry Hop Brewers
3155 N. Broadway 773-857-3155

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