Welcome to stop #66 on the Brews and Choos project—and the final stop on the Union Pacific North Line!
Brewery: Cultivate by Forbidden Root, 4710 N. Ravenswood Ave.
Train line: Union Pacific North, Ravenswood
Time from Chicago: 19 minutes (Zone B)
Distance from station: across the street
Until July 2020, Band of Bohemia occupied the space directly across from the Ravenswood Metra station that Forbidden Root has taken over. Band of Bohemia became the world's first Michelin-starred brewpub in 2018, so its abrupt closing and subsequent bankruptcy saddened Chicago restaurant aficionados. Since then, Moody Tongue has become the world's second Michelin-starred brewpub, earning not one but two stars in 2020.
Cultivate by Forbidden Root seems to want to follow in their footsteps. I snuck in after getting off the train from Kenosha on Saturday and got to see the new space on its opening night.
I only experienced one minor opening-night oddity, when the hostess said yes, I could take the open seat at the bar, and she hoped I would come back soon. I couldn't tell if she were suggesting I come back another night or not, but they served me beer and house-made potato chips, so I guess the latter.
Since I had spent the afternoon on a Brews and Choos Project excursion, I really a couple of tastes. I tried the Footwear Connoiseur, which I found well-made and well-balanced with a long finish, but I can't really say much else about it. The Abstract Concepts had lots of orange and grapefruit flavors; my notes say "not a lot of depth but the surface is great." The Back to the Golden Ale tasted a bit more syrupy than I prefer, but was still not a bad beer.
I will try more of their beers in future.
I get what they're trying to do, and I hope they succeed at it. Looking at the menu, though, after reading each description I found myself saying "but why?" But of course, because they want a Michelin star (or at least a Bib Gourmand placard).
Like I said, I'll revisit them soon. This summer I'll even take Cassie to their 30-seat beer garden when it opens.
Beer garden? Yes, no reservations
Dogs OK? Outside
Serves food? Yes, full menu
Would hang out with a book? Yes
Would hang out with friends? Yes
Would go back? Yes