Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Tighthead Brewing and Bill's Pizza

The first house we owned was in Mundelein, Illinois. At the time, it was a growing suburb with lots of new development homes built on former farm fields. When we lived in Mundelein there wasn't much shopping or dining. We would go to nearby Vernon Hills or Libertyville for those luxuries.

We haven't lived in Mundelein in 11 years. Little has changed since we left except for the big Target/Home Depot shopping center and the opening of Tighthead Brewery.
We first learned of Tighthead Brewing at (where else) a local bar. They had 3 of their beers on tap: Comfortably Blonde, Scarlet Fire, and Irie IPA. We both took a liking to Scarlet Fire and would order it whenever we found it. Tighthead's been in operation since 2011 and currently produces 3,500 BBLs a year. Distribution is limited to kegs for local restaurants and their tap room.

The tap room operates mostly on weekends. It's tucked into the corner of a newly built light industrial building. There are about a dozen seats at the bar and another 6 tables that can seat and extra 24 people. Windows behind the bar look into the brewery. They don't serve food, but they do encourage guests to bring in their own, or order it in from local delivery menus. We opted to bring in our own lunch to enjoy with their beer.

We picked up a pizza from an iconic Mundelein eatery: Bill's Pizza and Pub. We ordered a small double decker - which is esentially two pizzas stacked ontop of each other. When we first moved out to Illlinois this was one of our favorite pizzas, mainly because it was the closest thing we could find to NY style pizza in this area (we are not fans of Chicago deep dish and don't prefer the thin crust options over NY style). It's still a quality product, but given the huge changes we made in our eating habits over the years, it was not a favorite anymore. What we didn't eat that day took Dave 2 lunches to power through.

Bill's Pizza is still worth a visit. It's been around since the 50's and has a hunting lodge feel. Lots of wood tables, peanut shells on the floor, and a bunch of taxidermy animals.

The first surprise was the number of beers on tap at one time for such a small brewery. There were 11 to choose from. The tabletop menus gave you enough information about the beers to make an educated choice.

We decided to start with samplers. We went with the porter, oatmeal bourbon barrel stout, scotch ale, and dry sout. All were very good. We were surprised at how light the scotch ale was. Usually you get a heavy malt taste with an alcohol after-taste. Not here....

From their website:
Scottish 70 /- (Scottish 70 Shilling): ABV – 3.7% , IBU - 17.9, SRM – 13.2
The 70/- is a Scottish style session ale that is low in alcohol and has a nice malty sweetness and creamy texture. Using English base malt, Carmel, Chocolate, Munich malts and flaked barley, the beer uses East Kent Golding hops, but in very low quantities and are barley noticeable. Scottish Ales are named for the price paid per barrel in shillings and was based on the alcohol level.

After the samples Dave ordered a pint of Scarlet Fire and a sample of doppelbock. Holly re-ordered the Double Barrel Oatmeal Stout. That one came in a snifter. Either the waitress messed up our samples or the snifter brought something more out in the beer - she didn't enjoy it as much as she did in the sample glass.

The only way to bring any of their beer home was in a growler. Shirts, hats. and glasses were available for purchase. Prices on drinks were hit or miss. Most samplers were under $2 with a few getting as high as $3.50. All our drinks were $24 before tip.

Overall we had a fun lunch there and if we were in the area, or had an interested house guest, we'd stop there again.

No comments:

Post a Comment