Monthly Archive: August 2012



August 2012



Three Floyds Brewing Co

Written by , Posted in Chicago, Restaurants

Microbrewery.  Craft Beer.  Two terms that, until the last decade, weren’t all that common in the world of Beer.  Growing up, our parents and grandparents savored the pale, yellow brews of Anheuser-Busch, Schlitz, Pabst, Coors, Miller, and Hamms…the lighter, the better!  (see for stats)

Fast forward to 2012.  The same major players are still in the game and going strong, but the beer scene in America has gone through a major facelift.  Despite the best efforts of the “big boys” to introduce new gimmicks in their packaging and marketing, beer drinkers in America aren’t settling for the transparent, tasteless beers of yesteryear.  Consumers want more.  Enter:  the art of brewing beer.

Microbreweries and Craft Breweries have emerged on the scene with a new attitude towards the production of beer.  By definition, microbreweries and craft breweries produce A LOT less beer per year than their well-known counterparts  in St. Louis and Milwaukee.  This smaller output gives these “little” guys more time to  put into the quality and uniqueness of their product.  Microbreweries are able to experiment with new recipes and combine new ingredients in smaller batches.  The standard beer recipe of yeast, water, malt, and hops has been vastly diversified to include things like fruits, nuts, herbs, spices, and to use a variety of yeasts, malts, and hops from all over the world.  Brewers have also started aging their beers in different types of barrels-whiskey, bourbon, wine-giving the beers an even wider flavor profile and increasing the alcohol content in the process.  The result-a seemingly endless number of combinations that stops only with the brewer’s imagination and ends with exactly what the beer drinker of today wants-More.

Beer Flight from Rattle ‘n Hum-New York, NY

That shortened history of the microbrew (Lauren’s Version 1.0) brings me to the main topic of my post-3 Floyds!  Three Floyds Brewing Company is a small craft brewery in Munster, Indiana-just a hop, skip, and a jump from Chicago.

Mike and I first discovered Three Floyds several years back when we started wanting more from our beers and  3 Floyds was emerging in the Chicago market.  I actually remember the first time I tried one of their beers-it was at dinner in Lincoln Square and the beer was Gumballhead-their ever popular wheat beer with a smoking cat on the bottle-still one of my favs to this day.

Since Three Floyds started back in 1996, they’ve grown quite a bit, both in production capacity and popularity.  Now distributing to Chicago, Indiana, Milwaukee, Madison, Louisville, and occasionally Ohio, and operating a Brewpub at their production facility in Munster-Three Floyds hasn’t let this boom in popularity negatively affect their product-even with lines like this when they open on Saturdays…

Along with their year rounds beers (Alpha King, Robert the Bruce, Pride & Joy, Gumballhead, Dreadnaught, Jinx Proof, Arctic Panzer Wolf, and Zombie Dust), Three Floyds also puts out seasonal beers (usually releasing one each month) and other special, limited release beers such as collaborations with other breweries.  These are the beers you can buy for at-home consumption, if you’re lucky.  They’re also always brewing small batches of new stuff that is only available to sample at their brewpub…this, along with their fantastic food menu, is what brings us to Munster, IN whenever we get the chance (it helps that most of my family lives out here -more opportunity to visit!).

Yesterday I stopped in at Three Floyds on my way to my grandparents’.  I arrived right at noon when they open and found the line in the picture above waiting for me.  It took about 30 minutes to get to the door, where I was seated at the bar right away.

The first beer I tried was, of course, one of their only-available-in-house beers-Zes Zes Zes (666 in Dutch, they’re a tad bit dark here), a saison.  I LOVED this beer!

Three Floyds-Zes Zes Zes

I also tried the RisGoop-a collaboration with Mikkeller, and Busy Boyz-a Dortmunder-style lager.  Needless to say, I thoroughly enjoyed both (I even brought home 2 bottles of the RisGoop, along with a 6-pack of Zombie Dust!).

I also tried a couple of their small bites-their Scotch Egg is always a favorite of mine and the Whitefish Croquette was a new and exciting plate for me.  I’ve tried LOTS of dishes at Three Floyds over the past few years and have never been disappointed.  Fun fact:  they have their own herb and vegetable garden out back!

The bottom line is this:  if you’ve never tried Three Floyds’ beers, or worse-you’ve never even heard of them (gasp!), I highly recommend making the trip to Munster, Indiana to see what all the fuss is about.  Fight the crowds  and take one of their brewery tours on a Saturday or stop by for lunch during the week for a little more breathing room.  Try as many beers as you can, ask your bartenders and servers for recommendations, and just take it all in-if Three Floyds is one thing, it is definitely UNIQUE!

Taps at Three Floyds

Once you’ve crossed Three Floyds off your list, branch out and give some of the thousands of microbreweries out there a try-exciting things are happening in the world of beer and you don’t want to be left behind!



August 2012



GT Fish & Oyster

Written by , Posted in Chicago, Restaurants

So this past Wednesday I turned the big 2-9.  For the first night of my last year in my twenties I chose to {finally} dine at GT Fish & Oyster in Chicago‘s River North neighborhood.  Weekend reservations are hard to come by so I figured that a Wednesday night outing would be perfect!

From the moment we walked in the door I knew I was going to love this place.  The decor is modern and stylish but it has a little east coast fish market flare.

As we approached our table I was excited to see a birthday card waiting there for me-last year we ate at Capital Grille and they did the same, I just think it is such a great personal touch when restaurants go even that extra little bit to make you feel special.  I was even MORE excited when I opened the card to find a $20 gift card inside to use on my next trip to the restaurant-as if I would need an excuse to return!

We ordered a couple fancy cocktails (which were excellent!) and started trying to decide what we wanted to order from a menu where everything sounded amazing.

Mike’s bourbon cocktail-the Old Money

Obviously with a name like GT Fish & Oyster, oysters are going to be a big part of the menu.  I’ve only had oysters once when we were in Scotland and I’m just not quite sure about them yet-I think I just need a little more oyster exposure!  I wanted to try them here, but there were so many other exciting things on the menu I decided I would save the oysters for my next trip.  After 10pm oysters are 1/2 off…so maybe I’ll make it a late dinner next time 🙂

All of the dishes on the menu are meant to be shared-some are smaller than others but our waiter recommended that we order 2-3 dishes per person and he let us know which items would be larger.  We ended up ordering 5 dishes-Baja Shrimp Bruschetta, Oyster Po’boy Sliders, Clam Chowder, Lobster Roll, and the GT “Mac and Cheese”.  We were also surprised with an order of Fish Tacos, courtesy of the chef for my birthday, and their Key Lime Pie for dessert.

Baja Shrimp Bruschetta-avocado, toasted pistachio, grapefruit, cilantro

Oyster Po’boy Sliders-kimchi,peanuts

Clam Chowder-Neuske’s bacon, house made oyster crackers

Fish Tacos-garlic marinade, chipotle aioli, chicharron

Lobster Roll-lobster salad, pickled vegetables, fried onions

GT “Mac and Cheese”-lobster, english peas

Key Lime Pie-deconstructed

Is your mouth watering yet??  Mine is just thinking about our delicious meal!  Everything was fantastic and both Mike and I agreed-everything just had such a great depth of flavor!  Both mine and Mike’s favorites were the Baja Shrimp Bruschetta, Clam Chowder, and the Oyster Po’boy Sliders (in order of favorites).

I don’t think I could have asked for a better birthday this year.  Mike and GT Fish & Oyster really know how to make a girl feel special 🙂  I’m already looking forward to our return visit!




August 2012



Friday Favorites!

Written by , Posted in Beauty, Shopping

I decided I needed to bring Friday Favorites back!  (mainly because I found some favorites this week that I want to share!)  Happy Friday 🙂

Paris in Color by Nichole Robertson-I found Nichole through an @Etsy tweet about her shop, The Paris Print Shop.  This then led me to her blog, Little Brown Pen, and her new book which will hopefully be making its appearance on my doorstep via very soon!

Banana Republic’s new Ashley Ballet Flats…so cute!

OPI’s Every Month is Oktoberfest from their new Germany Collection.  See swatches of the entire collection at Beauty Junkies Unite.


Natural Light

This joie de vive pull over from Kate Spade

GT Fish & Oyster….I had my birthday dinner here this past Wednesday and it was fantastic…post coming soon 🙂

These delicious looking Zucchini Whoopie Pies from the Iowa Girl Eats blog.  I LOVE Kristin’s blog, she has tons of awesome recipes coupled with great pictures-what’s not to love?!

Peonies!!  These may be making an appearance in my wedding bouquet!

Southern Tier Brewing Company’s Pumking!!  My absolute favorite fall beer!  We picked up a bottle at Binny’s today so between that, my dark nails, and the cool weather tonight-I think I’m ready for fall!

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