The Daily Parker

Politics, Weather, Photography, and the Dog

Industry Ales

Welcome to stop #106 on the Brews and Choos project.

Brewery: Industry Ales, 230 S. Wabash Ave., Chicago
Train line: All of them
Time from Chicago: not applicable
Distance from station: 100 m from Adams/Wabash, 1.6 km from Ogilvie Transportation Center

Chicago's newest brewery opened in April in what used to be Kramer's Health Foods next to the 125-year-old Central Camera store in the Loop. I am impressed.

My Brews & Choos buddy and I went there Wednesday directly after visiting Chicago's oldest continuously-operating brewery around the corner. She had a light lunch earlier in the day so she could save room for the vegetarian pierogis on Industry's all-day menu, which were definitely worth the wait.

We shared a flight of four beers. We both found the Zeal for Zielke New Zealand pale ale (5%) surprisingly bitter, but very clean for a pale, with along finish, an even palate, and no big flavors. The Out of Focus hazy IPA (5.5%) was lighter than expected, with some melon and orange notes. The County Clare Irish dry stout (4.6%) had a very dry, light mouthfeel, with coffee and chicory flavors that I loved and she did not. Her pick, the Hinomaru Japanese red ale (6.0%) was surprising (I don't typically like red ales), dry, light, balanced, with a quick finish. ("Light" came up in every discussion; maybe the pierogis affected our perceptions?)

The only odd note to the late-afternoon visit was the armed guard at the door. I asked co-founder Dan Rook about it, and he reminded me that the Loop has had some incidents in the last few years, not least of which when rioters burned out the Central Camera store next door in 2020. Fair point; but I can't imagine Spiteful needing that kind of security.

Still, we both liked Industry Ales a lot, especially its vegetarian-friendly menu. Given its proximity to Symphony Center, the Auditorium and Studebaker Theaters, and Millennium Park, I expect we'll get a bunch of people over there soon.

Beer garden? Sidewalk patio under the El
Dogs OK? Outside only
Televisions? Yes, avoidable
Serves food? Yes, full menu
Would hang out with a book? Yes
Would hang out with friends? Yes
Would go back? Yes

Adams Street Brewery

Welcome to stop #105 on the Brews and Choos project.

Brewery: Adams Street Brewery, 17 W. Adams St., Chicago
Train line: All of them
Time from Chicago: not applicable
Distance from station: 100 m from Adams/Wabash, 1.3 km from Ogilvie Transportation Center

The Adams Street Brewery traces its history back to 1887, and has existed in the same location in the Chicago Loop since 1898. It stopped brewing during Prohibition, but the Berghoff Restaurant above the brew works remained open throughout. I doubt much has changed in the past 126 years except the prices and the clever beer names.

I decided against having lunch there when I visited yesterday, only because I had plans to meet friends later in the evening and I didn't want to gorge on the authentic German food from the Berghoff. Who doesn't want a $26 Wiener Schnitzel on a hot July day?

Instead I tried two beers, and a sip of my Brews & Choos buddy's as well.  The What-Duh Helles Lager (5.3%, 24 IBU) was a solid Helles, light, with banana notes, a long finish, and a malty but not too sweet body that would have gone great with the aforementioned Schnitzel. The Dat's Da Joose New England hazy (6.2%, 25 IBU) Definitely juicy, not particularly hoppy, and not much of a finish. My friend ordered Da Drizzly dry-hopped sour (4.0%, 10 IBU), which surprised me, as I don't typically like sours. It was clean and refreshing, not too sweet or sour, which my friend declared "very exciting." I thought it was OK.

I didn't find any mention of flights on the menu until after I'd ordered, when the bartender mentioned it in passing. (It's actually one of the only breweries I've been to that offers beer by the liter.) I might have tried a couple of others had I known. But given the brewery's location, and how long it has been there, I think I can find a way back...say, in mid-September?

Beer garden? No
Dogs OK? No
Televisions? Yes, avoidable
Serves food? Yes, full German menu
Would hang out with a book? No
Would hang out with friends? Yes
Would go back? Yes

Good morning, United Kingdom!

The UK general election is going on right now. UK law prohibits editorializing or publishing poll results while polls are open. The major exit polls will come out at 22:00 BST (4pm Chicago time), at which point I will be madly refreshing The Guardian.

For now, if you live in the UK, just vote. No matter which way it goes, I'll still visit.

Holiday weekend

I'm about to leave the office for the next 4½ days. Happy Independence Day!

And who could forget that the UK will have a general election tomorrow? To celebrate, the Post has a graphical round-up of just how badly the Conservative Party has screwed things up since taking power in 2010:

There’s a widespread feeling among voters that something has gone awry under Tory government, that the country is stagnating, if not in perilous decline.

Nearly three-quarters of the public believes that the country is worse off than it was 14 years ago, the London-based pollster YouGov has found. More than 46 percent of people say it’s “much worse.” And to some extent, economic and other data back that up.

Before Brexit, a different word hung over Conservative policy: “austerity.”

Cameron pushed spending cuts intended to reduce government debt and deficit. The goal was never achieved — public debt this year hit its highest rate as a percentage of economic output since the 1960s — but austerity had many side effects, including huge cuts to local governments that hit services such as schools and swimming pools.

Britain’s beloved National Health Service was one of the few places to see funding rise in real terms during this period, but it mostly failed to match pre-2010 trends, let alone keep up with spiking inflation, immigration and the needs of an aging population. Under the Conservatives, waiting times for treatment have surged.

I'm sorry I can't be there tomorrow, but I will be there in September, eagerly questioning my friends about the election and its aftermath.

For this weekend, though, expect some Brews & Choos reviews, and probably some blather about other things as well.

You heard it here first, folks

I linked to an op-ed by Lawrence Tribe earlier today in which the constitutional scholar argues for something that first appeared right here in the Daily Parker in June 2020:

To repair the profound and growing problem of presidential unaccountability, we must dare to design a separate branch of government, outside the existing three, charged with investigating and prosecuting violations of federal criminal laws.

Yes! Just as I said, four years ago: we need an elected Attorney General, beholden only to the voters, and not to the other branches of government.

Whoo boy

Apparently everyone else got over Covid yesterday, too. Or they're just trying to make deadline before the holiday:

Finally, the Post analyzed a ton of weather forecasts and determined that forecasting Chicago weather is a lot harder than forecasting Miami's. The only glimmer of good news: today's 7-day forecasts are at least as accurate as the 3-day forecasts from the 1990s.

Right-wing power grab

Well, the Republicans sure did pack the court well, didn't they? The Supreme Court's term finally ended today with another apparent success for the convicted-felon XPOTUS. All three Justices he appointed plus Thomas (R) and Alito (R) agreed with the Chief Justice (R) that, despite the actual words of the Constitution and everything that the Federalist Papers warned us about, some actions by a president during his or her time in office cannot be prosecuted:

The U.S. Supreme Court, in a 6-3 decision along [partisan] lines, ruled that a former president has absolute immunity for his core constitutional powers — and is entitled to a presumption of immunity for his official acts, but lacks immunity for unofficial acts. But at the same time, the court sent the case back to the trial judge to determine which, if any of Trump’s actions, were part of his official duties and thus were protected from prosecution.

That part of the court’s decision likely ensures that the case against Trump won’t be tried before the election, and then only if he is not reelected. If he is reelected, Trump could order the Justice Department to drop the charges against him, or he might try to pardon himself in the two pending federal cases.

Monday’s decision to send the case back to trial Judge Tanya Chutkan all but guarantees that there will be no Trump trial on the election interference charges for months. Even before the immunity case, Judge Chutkan indicated that trial preparations would likely take three months. Now, she will also have to decide which of the charges in the Trump indictment should remain and which involve official acts that under the Supreme Court ruling are protected from prosecution.

All of this stands in stark contrast to the way the court has handled other presidential power cases. In 1974 the justices ruled against President Nixon just 16 days after hearing oral arguments. The vote was 8-0, with Justice William Rehnquist recusing himself because of his close ties to some of the officials accused of wrongdoing in the case. And this year the court took less than a month to rule unanimously that states could not bar Trump from the ballot.

That's right, in 50 years the Republican Party has managed to crater the legitimacy of the Supreme Court, which in turn has saddled us with a seemingly never-ending stream of bad decisions that will take two generations to fix.

And they will get fixed, eventually. We fixed Dred Scott by amending the Constitution—after a bloody civil war that killed 600,000 Americans, and we remedied Plessy by passing the Civil Rights Act—80 years later.

So it's not that I have lost hope in the United States, it's just that I'm old enough that I don't believe I'm going to see the right-wing grinding down of the country reversed before I'm too old to enjoy it.

Nice day for a long walk

Cassie just got a personal record for longest single walk by distance: 11.07 km in 1:39:51. I had to go back all the way to the week I got her to find the preceding longest distance, which turns out was also (and remains) the longest single duration without stopping: 9.62 km in 1:41:12 on 21 March 2021, two days after her Gotcha Day.

Our very longest single logged walk (2:31), which included a 58-minute, 4 km meander through Lakewood-Balmoral to Puptown, thence the dog beach, then a 5 km amble home, was this past October when Hazel was visiting. That was also the longest single-day walkfest, 3 hours and 7 minutes.

Most recently on June 9th we did 1.5 km before breakfast, 7.23 km around the Skokie Lagoons, then 3.92 km on up to Spiteful, plus another 1.25 km home from Spiteful: total 13.9 km, 2:47 for the day.

Finally, in putting together this post, I discovered that Cassie and I have logged 1,337 hours over 4,734 walks, with an average duration of about 17 minutes per walk. Such a good girl!

Feeling a little better, weather a lot better

A cool front came through last night and I no longer want to take a shower every 45 minutes:

The dewpoint also dropped, from a sticky 26°C yesterday afternoon to a comfortable 13°C right now. Cassie and I will take advantage of this delightful development in about half an hour. I'm hoping we get a good 10-12 km in over two hours or so.

Speaking of weather, the WGN Weather Blog reminded me this morning of the twin derechos that tore through Northern Illinois 10 years ago today. And Facebook reminded me that I got drenched in the first one. Parts of Chicago got 100 mm of rain in as many minutes, while a poor town in Iowa got 207 mm in the storm. That's a lot of rain.