Goose Island is keeping busy. This weekend brewmaster Greg Hall teams up with Lawry's the Prime Rib executive chef Patrick Stewart (no not that Patrick Stewart) for an afternoon tasting that pairs the brewery's craft beers with artisanal cheeses. As with wine, the guidelines for pairing beer with cheese are pretty simple: you basically want to keep your stronger beers mated to cheeses that can stand up to them. But they're also pretty loose, and sometimes opposites attract. I have a vague recollection of being served a mild, fresh goat cheese with a nutty brown ale this summer and registering surprise at how good the combo was, the lightly tangy cheese cutting through the full-flavored beer.
As if the one-two punch of beer and cheese weren't enough, for some reason this event is also a book-signing party for Tribune columnist Rick Kogan, who's flogging Sidewalks: Portraits of Chicago, drawn from his Sunday magazine column of the same name. The connection between Kogan and the beer and cheese? Who cares--there's beer and cheese.
It's this Saturday, December 16, at Lawry's, 100 E. Ontario, and it's $25. Call 312-787-5000 for reservations.