Born and raised on the southwest side of Chicago, I love to explore Chicago's great breweries, have a great craft beer while watching sports, listen to good music while having a brew, and finding the best food and craft beer combinations.
Besides this blog, you can find my musings in Chilled Magazine, PorchDrinking.com, Thrillist-Chicago, and Sommbeer.com. Sometimes I write non-beer related items for other publications, too, but that's for another blog, I suppose.
I'm a former meteorology and tornado chasing nerd turned writer and historian. Which, of course, makes me a a multi-faceted nerd. Just ask my kids who are sure to explain how weird I am.
My love affair with the craft brewing industry started in the early 2000s when many of my meteorology friends embraced the Colorado craft beer movement, notably because they worked for places like the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder. For the first ten years, or so, of the this new 21st century, I relied on those friends to be my mule – they brought the beer to Illinois. In fact, it became such a big deal that their arrival in Illinois inspired beer-tasting parties at my apartment. You know you are a bachelor when your fridge has room to stock enough beer for 20 people – just move the ketchup and leftover pizza and you’re fine. In fact, six-pack cardboard carriers adorned every wall in my kitchen from floor to ceiling, which I referred to as my “bachelor wallpaper.”
In 2010, I took a hiatus from storm chasing and life in meteorology and decided to return to college and study environmental history, which I then continued through graduate school. Although I did a few typical research projects, my largest project included – belch – the study of American beer culture. (Of course, my fellow grad students regularly offered to help me “research.”) My pursuit of beer history involved more than just the beer, itself. I went on a quest to discover how American beer had changed, how beer culture represented broader aspects of history, why beer resonated with Americans, and how the current craft beer revolution evolved (and what it meant).
Part of this blog involves me hunting for the ideal beer, just as I used to pursue the picture-perfect storm. It turns out; I am not the only one on a quest to find an amazing brew. Americans are in the midst of a craft beer craze — the number of U.S. breweries rose from less than 100 in the early 1980s to more than 3,500 in the 2014, including close to 90 breweries near Chicago – I no longer need mules.
Feel free to chat with me anytime. I love beer. I'm a serious researcher, but I'm not a serious guy. I love to laugh. Beer brings joy. And, if all else fails, it gives me something to cry into when our teams lose - except the Blackhawks, of course, who never lose!