It’s beginning to actually feel like winter in Chicagoland now and when the chilly temperatures arrive, that means it’s time to break out the winter warmers! Here are five beers from local breweries that I usually keep on hand to enjoy while getting the feeling back in my fingers after clearing snow.
Alter Brewing Company’s Swedda Wedda is not only fun to say – it’s really fun to drink too! Even at 6.0% ABV, you can usually start feeling the warmth pretty quickly. As an oatmeal stout, the layers of complexity really mask the higher ABV. With notes of chocolate, coffee, toffee, and vanilla, this smooth and creamy stout usually satisfies my craving for a hot chocolate.
Moody Tongue Winter Ale can only be found on draught but I think you’ll really enjoy it if you happen to be at a bar or restaurant that serves it. This 6.5% ABV Belgian-style dark ale has notes of toffee and candied orange peel along with cinnamon, cardamom, and ginger aromatics. As a Moody Tongue beer, it’s made to be paired with food. They suggest braised short rib, roast leg of lamb, a panettone, or date honey nut cake – anything rich and indulgent can work.
Spiteful Brewing’s Jingle Balls is a winter ale that comes in at 6.7% ABV and is perfect as an afternoon beer. Perfectly spiced with ginger, nutmeg, and cinnamon, this winter ale starts off as an amber ale made with Maris Otter malt so you know it’ll have a nice subtle sweetness to it.
Hopewell Brewing Company’s Long Shadows was something I’ve been waiting to crack open for the first substantial snowfall but I couldn’t wait that long. This red-hued Winter IPA is piney and citrusy with a toasty malt backbone. At 7.5% ABV, this IPA is a great pairing for a holiday roast or a beer to end the evening with.
Of course we had to include Goose Island Bourbon County Stout if we’re talking about local winter warmers because every single BCS is a great winter warmer. As the originators of the barrel aging style, their newest 2023 lineup was packed with great collaboration like the Bourbon County Brand Eagle Rare 2-Year Reserve Stout and Angel’s Envy 2-Year Cask Finish Stout but the one I look forward to most every year is their Proprietor’s. It’s usually the most experimental and most out of the box and I really enjoyed this year’s. Unofficially, I’m calling it the BCS Rice Pudding and I think it’s a perfect treat for the holidays. The toasted rice, vanilla custard, dried fruit, and spice flavors make me feel like I’m in a Dickens novel. At 14.3% ABV, it’s going to be a winter heater for some but it’s perfectly toasty for me.
Here’s the warmth scale just because I liked the way it looked. Maybe I’ll make a Winter Warmer Flight out of it!
Chicago’s rich and diverse history has made it a major cultural melting pot for generations. From the earliest settlers to the newest generation, wintertime celebrations are a major part of many cultures. Some of you may not know how your neighbors, friends, or co-workers celebrate but if you are curious to know more, here’s a short list of some of the traditions we here at Lakeshore Beverage celebrate.
Hanukkah is a Jewish festival filled with rich traditions and foods. I am lucky to have grown up in an area that allowed me to have many Jewish friends. I grew up going to Jewish delis and being part of many Jewish holidays and I can honestly say that it’s one of my favorite cuisines. There are many different dishes that come to mind for the holiday such as brisket, matzo ball soup, and gelt but one thing I always look forward to is dessert – especially sufganiyot.
I love baked goods and donuts but the sufganiyot my friend’s grandmother made were out of this world! There are many different fillings for these pastries but the ones I dream of eating are custard filled and fried in schmaltz. These are so decadent that you’d need something that can keep up with their richness. The Espresso Martini from Cutwater (to keep you awake after a huge meal) or a stout from Founders like their Breakfast Stout would be a great pairing for these.
For many, Christmas is something that they look forward to all year. A way for many Christians in the world to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, this holiday has spread all across the globe. The holiday may be called the same thing all around the world but each culture has made the holiday their own by incorporating their culture.
A Polish holiday isn’t a holiday without pierogies and even though they are eaten all year round, this dish is a staple of Christmas in Polish households. As one of the biggest Polish populations in the world, Chicago has some of the most authentic pierogies I’ve ever had in all my travels. Whatever they’re filled with, I make sure I have plenty of crispy onions and butter on top. It goes without saying that pierogies are best paired with Polish beer and one of the best is Okocim. Another combination which might sound strange to you, is pierogies with Guinness – especially if they’re filled with beef.
This musical tradition from Puerto Rico is a popular tradition during Christmas Time that is similar to caroling. The tradition of visiting family and friends to sing is often accompanied with food and drink such as pasteles and coquito. Pasteles are similar to tamales but this masa is made from cassava, yautia, and squash. There are a myriad of fillings in savory or sweet categories but whatever they are filled with, they are delicious! I can’t think of anything better to pair with pasteles and fuel the singing of Aguinaldo music than Medalla Light.
Kwanzaa is celebrated by Black communities over seven days following Christmas. The sixth night of Kwanzaa celebrates the principle of kuumba or creativity. It’s also the night of the Kwanzaa Karamu or feast. Families invite loved ones and friends into their homes to share a meal inspired by the foods of the African Diaspora such as salt fish, red beans, and pigeon peas. There are many different foods that can be incorporated into the meal but the main dish in many homes is a one-pot stew or soup like thieboudienne or a jambalaya. I haven’t had the chance to try thieboudienne, the national dish of Senegal, but I have had jambalaya and I’m sure many of you have too. This flavorful Cajun rice dish is often made with andouille sausage and seafood like mussels and shrimp. These bold flavors need an equally intense drink pairing like an Alaskan Amber Ale. Jambalaya also goes great with a white wine like our 90+ Cellar’s Sauvignon Blanc.
Although most of the world goes by the Gregorian calendar, another major calendar still in use today is the Chinese calendar – used by many Asian countries such as Korea, Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam in conjunction with the Gregorian. If you ever wondered why Chinese New Year didn’t line up with January 1st, this is why. Regardless of what calendar you use however, it seems to be a universal human desire to have large celebrations during the winter.
As one of the biggest festivals of the year for those with Chinese ancestry, this celebration has made it all across the globe and is a major holiday in many countries. Even outside of China, the traditions and foods are largely the same. It is a celebration of the upcoming spring and is used as a reunion dinner for many families. The dinner can consist of many courses and different foods but one of the staples for this celebration are dumplings. Especially popular for those who live in or are descendants of the northern region of China, jiaozi (dumplings) symbolize wealth and good fortune because their shape is similar to sycee – a type of gold and silver ingot used as currency in imperial China. By serving them to guests, the host is wishing them prosperity in the upcoming year.
Due to the symbolic nature of certain foods in Chinese culture, jiaozi can fill multiple roles in the meal with what they’re filled with. They can be savory or sweet, but for me, my favorite is a steamed fish jiaozi. I find that most Asian dishes pair very well with lagers and pale ales. I would enjoy a couple helpings of fish jiaozi and a couple pints of Moody Tongue Toasted Rice Lager. Another great choice would be Spiteful’s Alley Time or Alter’s Hopular Kid if you still want a bit of hoppiness.
Many Korean holidays also follow a calendar derived from the Chinese calendar. Seollal is called that because it’s the day everyone in Korea becomes one year older. For those who are confused by that sentence, let me explain. In Korean culture, everyone becomes a year older on the same day regardless of what time of the year you are born. It’s a very quirky tradition that had me very confused growing up but that’s just how it is. Seollal is also a reunion celebration and focuses heavily on showing piety to their elders. It’s also a great day for many Korean children because they are usually gifted with a nice bit of money and many traditional Korean games. The main dish eaten on this day is called tteokguk or rice cake soup. Korean tteok (pronounced like duck), is not the crunchy dieter’s bane kind of rice cake – it is a soft and chewy rice cake more similar to mochi. The traditional way to make this soup is with a beef based broth filled with thinly sliced rice cake and beef slices. Similarly to Chinese jiaozi, the thinly sliced rice cake looks very much like a traditional Korean currency called yeopjeon and symbolize wealth in the upcoming year.
The broth is a rich and cloudy white that makes every spoonful a surprise when you bring it up to the surface – and just like the broth, a hazy IPA would be a great pairing for this dish. Goose Island’s Hazy Beer Hug or Hopewell’s Lightbeam are a great compliment to this rich beef soup. Stone’s Hazy IPA would also be a great choice.
I have been very fortunate to grow up in Chicagoland and the multitude of cultures living so closely together. Because my Korean celebrations didn’t line up with many of my friends growing up, I was always free to spend the holidays with them. One of my most vivid memories was getting invited to New Year’s with my friend Conrad because I had never eaten something like I was served before. Shuba or dressed herring is one of the most popular New Year’s dishes in Ukraine. If you haven’t had or seen this dish before, it is a sight to behold! It is a multilayered salad (salad as in egg or potato salad, not like a Caesar or niçoise) that symbolizes the winter coats many in Ukraine use.
I had never had herring before (it’s one of my favorite snacks now) and I couldn’t stop staring at how brightly purple it was from the beets. It’s a unique taste because of the combination of eggs, mayonnaise, herring, carrots, beets, and potatoes. It wasn’t long before I went in for seconds (and thirds). It’s a deliciously rich and salty dish that needs a beer that can compliment its strong flavors. An IPA would pair nicely with how strong the flavors are – some of my top choices for this would be a Fresh Squeezed from Deschutes or a Furious from Surly. Another way we can go with this would be for a nice mouthfeel and perceived sweetness from a hefeweizen like Buckledown’s Party Pillow.
I love eating tamales all throughout the year but it holds a lot of cultural significance for Mexicans and Mexican-Americans on New Year’s Day. It is said that the golden color of the corn masa symbolizes wealth and the laborious aspect of making tamales represents unity since it usually involves a lot of family members to make the large batches. I don’t want to brag but I am quite the tamalero (tamale-maker) after spending many long hours helping make them in the past. Fresh and homemade tamales are so different from the frozen ones I’ve had before I tried handmade ones. I always thought the fillings were the most important but it really is the masa that makes it. My favorite type of tamale is pork and I think it goes without saying that a Mexican lager is probably a perfect pairing for tamales. Estrella Jalisco is a perfect choice for this dish. If you want to spice it up even more, Estrella Micheladas like the Mango or Chamoy can really kick up the complexity. And if you are a fan of pairing with cocktails, a Paloma like Salucita is a bright and citrusy cocktail that will help cut through the richness of the tamale.
There are so many different cultures that have unique winter celebrations and the traditions listed above are just a small sample of what our great city celebrates. If you have a great food and drink combination that you believe must be shared, please feel free to share them so we can try!
Halloween is coming up faster than you know and with all the parties coming up, do you have a costume ready? I know I don’t! So, if you’re a beer or cider lover like us, why not let some of our amazing spooky-themed beers be your costume inspiration this year?
A perennial favorite for peanut butter fans everywhere. The iconic Absence of Light monster from the can will surely draw some attention. Throw on some short horns, put on a brown shirt and make sure you have plenty of peanut butter cups on hand to share.
As the antagonist of one of the greatest horror movies in recent years, this goat could be the GOAT for drink-inspired costumes. Made with real fruit, this blood orange and cranberry hard cider could easily fool some into thinking you’re drinking something much spookier. Find some goat horns and drape yourself in something black with vvhatever you can find!
Darkness is an apt name for a stout this massively opaque! Chocolatey and sweetened even more so with tart cherry and raisin, this beer is balanced by its piney resinous hop character. Every year the packaging is done by a different artist and this year’s eyeball-filled eldritch horror could be too much for some. Grab a pack of self-adhering googly eyes and embrace your inner goth for a quick and easy costume.
A lot of alliteration for Alien Avatar Amber Ale. This smooth and malty beer has a nice hop backbone that should please IPA drinkers. Go retro with an 8-bit themed saucer costume or make it your own by going full Roswell Grey. If you can find it, go with the classic Alien Abduction costume – it brings a smile to my face every year.
All Hallows Treat hopes to rekindle your favorite childhood Halloween memories with the aromas and flavors of dark chocolate, creamy peanut butter, and soft vanilla swirl. This rich and malty beer will have you entranced! The artwork from the can gives you two options – zombie searching for “graaaaaiiins” or the classic white sheet ghost!
A barrel-aged take on a classic German style – this lager is transformed into something out of this world with complex wood and whiskey notes over a soft roastiness. Go check your parent’s attic to see if they kept your costume from your solar system project. Or rush out and find a moon-texture printed tee shirt to pair with this lunar-themed doppelbock.
What is more quintessential to Halloween than a Jack-o-Lantern? Ill Repute is chock full of pumpkin pie aromas and flavors. Built upon complex layers of caramel and chocolate to create an imperial stout, this beer is an ideal pairing for all that Halloween candy! Pumpkin-head masks and costumes are sure to be around but if you’re in a real last minute pinch, a real pumpkin on your head will surely spark some interesting conversations.
Apples and oven roasted pumpkin – yum! This delicious and naturally gluten-free choice might just be what you’re looking for. If you have the face painting or make-up talent, this would be a great chance to break out those reds and oranges. Go half apple, half pumpkin face and watch the confused faces until you break out a pack of Apple Lantern!
Also called “The Patch” – this wild pumpkin ale from no other than Jolly Pumpkin finally broke the streak of no pumpkin beers from this brewery. Fortunately for us, they did make La Parcela and it was worth the wait! This ale is packed with real pumpkins, hints of spice, and a gentle kiss of cacao. I’m going to admit that I’m not familiar with this bat-winged cat but if you have a cat that will put up with it, get a few pictures of them doing their best La Parcela impression. You can always up your cat costume from the past with a pair of wings too.
Are you someone who goes against the trend? Don’t want all those porters and stouts coming out for the fall? Well Duvel 6,66 might be exactly what you want! An easy drinking Belgian blond Ale with 6 refined hop varieties. Keep your summer glow going a little longer and dress up not as a devil but a Duvel – yellow jumpsuit and some tiny yellow horns will have you feeling lively and zesty just like the beer itself!
The entire Beer Hug series from Goose Island has been flying off the shelves this year. From Hazy, Neon, and Tropical, these local Chicago IPAs are perfect for any Halloween party. Throw on those big shades or go all out with a bear costume and make sure to bring a pack of Beer Hugs.
I will admit we are quite spoiled when it comes to choices in what we want to drink. Our portfolio alone encompasses hundreds of different choices from over 170 breweries and supplier partners. We have gotten so used to getting things year-round that when things are only available for a limited time, it makes me stop and pay attention to it.
In the beer world, there are very few moments that are as anticipated as Oktoberfest beers. Keeping a tradition like this going brings us closer together as we become a part of the history and connects us deeper with the past. When the season comes around, it makes us nostalgic for the celebrations we’ve had in the past and excited for what’s to come this time. It’s quite interesting to me that we could, hypothetically, brew these exact beers to drink any other time of the year but it wouldn’t be “Oktoberfest” because it’s more than just the liquid in our steins, it’s about the festivities, the ambiance, the weather, and most importantly, the people.
If you already know the history of Oktoberfest and want to skip to our offerings this year, feel free to skip ahead to the next header but if you’re interested in how all this started, grab your favorite Oktoberfest beer, pour it out into your favorite glass/stein/horn/Stanley tumbler and gather around as we talk about a royal wedding.
The year is 1810 and we are in Munich to celebrate the marriage of Prince Regent Ludwig of Bavaria (who would later go on to be King Ludwig I) and his bride Princess Therese of Saxony-Hildburghausen. A Bavarian National Guard member by the name of Andreas Michael Dall’Armi suggests having a large horse race to celebrate this royal marriage and with King Max I Joseph of Bavaria’s backing, the horse race was held on October 17th that year.
The celebration was so amazing that the following year, they wanted to party again but with no royal wedding (and royal funding) available that year, the Landwirtschaftlicher Verein in Bayern (Bavarian agricultural society) was formed. This group used this occasion to showcase their wares and what better way to show off Bavarian agriculture than bier? This started a tradition of holding an annual celebration because it was such a crowd pleaser.
It took several decades for this celebration to transform from a horse race to what it is now. The demand and importance of beer and breweries grew with every year and soon, the breweries were creating huge tents to make sure they could fit and serve all the thirsty patrons.
The atmosphere of Oktoberfest is electric! I had so much fun during Oktoberfest in Munich learning about all the quirks and traditions. It almost feels like going back in time when you enter the fairgrounds and find a spot at the table. If you have a chance to go, you definitely should. Just make sure you know how to chug properly if you decide to stand on a table!
Without further ado, here are our Oktoberfest beers!
Alter Brewing Co.
“Festbier is THE drink of choice at Oktoberfest festivals around the world, and much like its European inspiration, we brewed this beer to be the life of your next fest. Say “Prost!” with our Festbier.
Beautifully amber and crushable. Delicious and malty. Made with four different malts and noble hopped for a subtle grassy aroma. 5.2% ABV so you can enjoy multiple steins!
Burnt City Brewing
Oktoberfest Märzen celebrates the wonderful German tradition as respectfully as possible. Fancy German malt and hops were used in this flavorful, quaffable amber lager. Malt notes are prominent, but the beer finishes dry. Hop character is subtle, adding a gentle floral aroma.
Goose Island Beer Co.
Goose Oktoberfest is brimming with notes of toasted malt and freshly baked rye bread. This light-bodied German lager is clean and crisp with a fine noble hop character and mild earthy bitterness that is the hallmark of Hallertau hops. Raise a few steins of Goose Oktoberfest this fall and celebrate this time-honored tradition. Prost!
Fest Bier. This clean and easy drinking German style lager has a deep copper color with mild hop flavor, a firm malt middle, notes of toasted malts, cherries and a spicy dry finish. Meant to be consumed with friends during celebrations of all sorts of occasions.
Hopewell Brewing Company
This Märzen-style Oktoberfest lager is built to help you usher in the fall season. Rich and malty at the get-go, kept in balance with a hint of noble hop spice and a clean, effortless finish.
Moody Tongue Brewing Company
In celebration of one of our favorite beer holidays, we are introducing the Moody Tongue Oktoberfest. Every year, the release of Oktoberfest beers inspires us to turn on our grills, watch the leaves change color and enjoy steins of a delicious German amber. The Moody Tongue Oktoberfest is our favorite German-style dark beer to pair with pork – whether roasted, grilled or fried – with a body able to stand up to the rich flavors of indulgent fall dishes while refreshing the palate between bites.
Brewed in the classic Munich tradition with actual German ingredients, this Oktoberfest is made for drinkability. Pour into a stein or use the aluminum one it comes in.
Founders Brewing Co.
Blink and you’ll think you’re in Bavaria. We went all in on tradition with our Oktoberfest, using imported German malts and hops with a beautiful lager yeast for the finish. Pours a gorgeous copper hue with a rich, malty and slightly sweet backbone. Our version is akin to the beer poured in the early days of Oktoberfest and, yes, it adheres to the Reinheitsgebot. Prost!
Golden Road Brewing
A traditional German-style Oktoberfest Märzen (The Southern California Way) with a blend of Vienna and Munich malts as well as German hops. This amber bier has wonderful notes of caramel and a nice smooth, toasty finish.
Partake Brewing (Non-Alcoholic)
Oktoberfest is crafted with Munich and Vienna malts providing a semi-sweet, toasted malt flavor perfectly balanced by German hops. Smooth and easy drinking, it’s reminiscent of changing leaves and autumn crisp air.
Made with the highest quality malts, along with German-grown Hallertau Tradition and Hersbrucker hops.
Surly Brewing Co.
Oktoberfest lagers are the ultimate party beer. Up front, they’re rich, sweet, and malty, but they finish dry and clean with an ever-so-slight touch of hops. Prost!
Specialty for the festival season.
As hearty as a Bavarian beer festival: our ERDINGER Oktoberfest. This masterpiece of the brewer’s art is ideal for parties! ERDINGER Oktoberfest expertly combines smooth malt aromas with a pronounced hop bitterness. This well-balanced flavour is complemented by gently sparkling carbonic acid to give it the typical liveliness of a genuine wheat beer. Smooth, strong and irresistible – brewing tradition at its finest.
As a full-bodied specialty for the festival season, it whets the appetite for Bavaria’s famous drinking song “Prosit der Gemütlichkeit”.
“Bayerische Edelreifung” – for perfect enjoyment. Brewed according to the Bavarian Purity Law.
Brewed according to the Bavarian Purity Law.
World’s First Oktoberfest Beer
The beer of Munich’s famous Oktoberfest: aromatic, savory, gold-colored.
Oktoberfest Ur Marzen. Its impeccable taste balances roasted malt flavor with the perfect amount of hops and an underlying sweetness, true to tradition.
Summer grilling is one of life’s greatest pleasures. It’s primal, a little dangerous, and it creates amazing foods. I like to think of myself as an above average cook but when it comes to grilling, it’s usually a steak, a burger, or some sausages. I haven’t dipped my toes into the world of smoking meats but I always wanted to. Luckily for us, we happen to have an expert at our office.
Rob Chambers, from our HR Department, just so happens to be a professional BBQ pitmaster and we were lucky enough to have him showcase his skills in person. Rob started off like a lot of us – someone who enjoyed BBQ and wanted to learn how to do it. He frequently smoked meat and BBQed.
One day, his friend Jon asked if he would be interested in competitive BBQ. Neither of them had competed before but they wanted to see what it was all about and entered a competition. It’s been about four years since they first competed and they continue to grow and place very highly in the competitions they enter.
I know I’m not the only one who has seen videos online of BBQed meats and wish they could take a bite right then and there. This was my first time being around a pitmaster cooking and he showed me a lot of tips and tricks to get the best end products.
Rob brought in a variety of meats to show what he can do with chicken, pork, and beef.
Chicken is ubiquitous and there are so many different ways to prepare it. When I BBQ though, I tend to stay away from it because more times than not, it turns out to be pretty dry and a little bland. When a BBQ pitmaster does chicken however, it is a flavorful and juicy bite every time. Unlike the one flip method that I’ve always been told was the correct way to grill, Rob lets the smoke do the job and makes sure the heat generated is consistent and at the specific temperature he wants.
Prior to grilling, the chicken is cleaned and trimmed. Meaning, it is rinsed off with water to freshen the meat. Using a knife or scissors, the chicken is trimmed to remove any excess skin or bone. Next, a dry rub would be added to coat the entire piece of chicken to ensure even flavor distribution. It would be preferred to let the dry rub set into the chicken for at least 30 minutes prior to adding it on the grill. There is not much flipping with chicken, however rotation does help.
I have loved ribs since I was a young boy watching the Flintstones car tip over on TV. I will order ribs the majority of the time if they are available. I have had them in all different styles in my travels but there is something very special about BBQed ribs because many times, the sauce is usually the prevailing flavor. The way pitmasters like Rob make them however, has the meat as the prevailing flavor enhanced by the aromas of smoke.
Same process as chicken for clean and trim. However, most ribs have a thin layer of membrane that will need to be removed on the back end of the rib. This can be done by pulling it off with a spoon and paper towel. From there, dry rub would be added to both sides of the meat and smoked with hickory wood. A few flips would help with the ribs, however once they have a good color on them, they would be wrapped in aluminum foil with butter and honey until they are at the right internal temperature.
The skirt steak was chosen because it’s a thinner cut of beef that would cook faster for all the hungry people at our office but many of the principles here work for thicker cuts too. While the chicken and ribs rested, I was able to observe Rob cooking the steak and ask some of the questions that I had.
First, I noticed that he was only using charcoal; I asked why he didn’t use propane (and propane accessories). It’s the kind of grill I have in my backyard and they seemed to be the most popular. Rob really likes the flavors charcoal imparts and he says he can actually taste the gas when it’s cooked on a gas grill. Maybe it’s because I grew up eating stuff made off gas grills but I couldn’t quite put my finger on what gas flavor he was talking about. If you notice those flavors, this may be the method of grilling you’ve been looking for!
Rob also showed me how to cook with an indirect heat method. The meat was never directly above the coals and he tried to keep the lid on the grill closed as much as possible. This ensures a nice even cook through and avoids the dreaded grey layer on steaks. I always liked a nice sear and char on my steaks but Rob’s steaks came out looking very different than what I make at home. It had a very appetizing browning and in certain lights, had the brighter red tones you might see in jerky. This got me wondering, “what do judges at BBQ competitions actually looked for?” Rob explained to me that although taste is very important, they are scored on consistency in competition. They will grill multiple pieces of meat but they pick the best looking piece(s) and send it in for judging. It has to look great, taste great, and have the perfect “chew” on it.
[When it comes to the perfect chew] it would be preferred to have a perfect bite through. This means that once you bite into the meat, there is barely any pull and [for chicken] you are taking skin with you on the chew. Basically like biting into a piece of bread and seeing your teeth marks.
I learned a lot from Rob and after talking to and watching him grill, I am excited to try his methods at home this 4th of July. Although mastering grilling will be very difficult, talking to Rob showed me it wasn’t quite as intimidating to start. It might be a while before I am confident enough to try my hand at the more expensive cuts of meat but I am looking forward to the day when I can smoke me some beef ribs and channel my inner Fred Flintstone.
This Sunday is Mother’s Day – but you knew that already, right? That means flowers and cards and boxes of chocolate for most of you but there are those of us who have moms or partners that are most looking forward to that brunch! Even though Bloody Marys and mimosas are the conventional affair for the occasion, there are those who have different Mother’s Day drink preferences.
This year, I asked our staff about their mother’s favorite drinks and the responses I got were not what I expected at all. It just goes to show you how unique each mom or partner is and why they’re celebrated on this day.
Our sales team members are some of the funniest and wittiest people I’ve ever had the fortune to work with and based on the stories and drink choices of their moms, I think I’m seeing where they get it from.
Scott Z. is a man who loves the classics and is a very “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” kind of person. Loves his bourbon and loves a crisp and chilled Trumer Pils on 9 out of 10 nights. Seeing as his mother was a classic Gin Martini drinker, it sounds like their get-togethers might be more of a black tie affair than not. A Great House Gin Martini is the perfect drink to have with dinner this Mother’s Day.
Then we have Zak B. – easy to pick out from the crowd just from hearing his Boston accent. He’s the life of the party, will make sure your cup is never empty, and will never let you leave early if he can help it. Not a surprise that his mom is a margarita gal. I’ve never met her but I bet I could also pick her out of a line up – no doubt. Next time she’s in town, I’ll make sure to get Zak a 4-pack of the Cutwater Lime Margaritas.
Jeb S. is one of our newer sales reps but he has been in the industry for a very long time. He’s a storyteller with some of the most Midwest intensity that I’ve ever met. He loves to say that since his mother never drank, he’s making up for her share and he sure can put them down. Fastest Beer Shotgun in the (Mid)West. His mother-in-law however loves a Michelob Ultra at the end of a long day and I can definitely relate.
Kyle T., or the mayor of Old Town, as we like to say has also been in the bar industry for years. I actually remember sitting at the bar he managed when I first started and was covering for someone on vacation. He set me up with an amazing Italian dinner (at lunch mind you) and kept the coffee coming as I tried my best to change his mind about one of his three taplines. He told me that his mother’s favorite drink is an Amaretto Stone Sour – very fitting for the place where he was working.
Last but not least – Cayla P. may be one of our newest sales reps in the city but she’s someone who feels like a friend you’ve had for years. When she shared with me that her mom’s favorite drink is a White Russian, my first thought was “that is definitely a choice”. I was very befuddled because I was under the impression that Cayla was from Florida (“milk was a bad choice” – Ron Burgundy). Turns out she’s from the Great White North, aka Canada, and it started to make a lot more sense. I think the next time her mom comes by, she should try one with Sneaky Fox Vodka or grab one ready to go from Cutwater.
I also had a chance to go around our office to ask some of our coworkers what their mother’s favorite drinks were too.
Paul M. is one of our newest managers at Lakeshore but he’s been working in distribution for many years. An avid hockey fan and coach, he manages many of our supplier partners like Spiteful Brewing. Paul told me that his mom’s favorite drink was a grasshopper while laughing. Not a drink I thought anyone would have picked as their favorite but suddenly I’m craving some Frangos…
Jake P. is also one of Brand Managers and manages some of our biggest brands like Goose Island and Stella Artois. His mother is a Bloody Mary drinker and that sounds like a perfect pairing for that Mother’s Day brunch. If they’re not going out though, a Cutwater Bloody Mary is my go to for the morning after. Pour it into a tall glass with some ice cubes and an olive – it’s a lifesaver!
When I first started with Lakeshore Beverage, Tony S. was someone I didn’t directly work with but always saw at every gathering. He manages brands like Guinness and Smirnoff. His mom is a Stella Artois drinker and I’m sure Tony has gotten her a few engraved chalices over the years. His wife, however, is a wine drinker that enjoys white wines like 101 North Chardonnay.
As you can see, we probably carry something that your mom will enjoy this Mother’s Day. If your mom doesn’t like flowers or chocolates, why not spend the day with her and go somewhere to grab her favorite drink instead? Or stay in and bring over a bottle or 6 pack; I’m sure she would love to share the special day with you.
Share with us what your mom’s favorite drink is. I’m very curious to see if there’s a clear winner because there doesn’t seem to be one at Lakeshore Beverage.