Monthly Archives: February 2014

Good Beer, From Here

I enjoy the microbrewery boom. My wife and I try lots of beers, rate them, and form an opinion about various little breweries. When we travel we always include microbrewery stops wherever we’re at. Last year we sampled in Asheville North Carolina, Cincinnati, Traverse City Michigan and around Madison.


Until recently we haven’t had a microbrewery within 10 miles of home. There was no brewery to call our own. That has changed. Now Chain of Lakes brewery is open in McHenry, Light the Lamp (a hockey themed brewery) in Grayslake, and Tighthead Brewing in Mundelein. I am happy to have them all,


Tighthead is special. Tighthead refers to a position in rugby. From what I gather the picture in our heads of Offensive Lineman is similar to a Tighthead. The big uglies. Anyway, names of beers at Tighthead are a glossary of rugby terms. They always have a lot of beers on tap, from common styles to real experiments. I tend to stick with ales, have had several there, and they are all good. On a recent stop they were touting being named “Best beer in Chicagoland.” I can believe it.

Tighthead is a convivial bar, with an efficient, friendly staff. The place was packed on my recent Sunday afternoon visit, so they have been discovered. The owner (a former Tighthead) was organizing a tour of the brewing operation. They don’t serve food at Tighthead, but they encourage you to bring in your own or have something delivered. It is not uncommon to see a table with sandwiches from Subway, and carry-out pizza at the next table.

My wife is all about IPA, the super hoppy ales modeled after beer brewed in England for shipment to India. She loves the IPA at Tighthead. I think we have found our home brewery.


Embracing Winter

It has been a brutal winter. It seems to me we have two choices: embrace winter by getting outside and doing something, or be apart of the majority that seems to wallow in complaining about it. I suppose a third choice is to go somewhere warm, but when you are a working man that option is not so readily available so…….

I am choosing to embrace it the best I can. Two weeks ago I got out ice fishing for the first time in years. The focus on a seven inch hole is not the same as open water fishing, but it will do as a substitute. It would have been more fun if I had caught some fish, but I discovered that a cold beer tastes great even when you’re sitting on a block of ice. My neighbor/friend Greg Battle caught a couple of nice bluegills. I’ll post a pick of Greg, but he has got to learn that fish look bigger when we hold them out toward the camera. This was a very nice bluegill he is holding.


I have gotten out several times on the cross country skis, usually with Bonnie, but there is so much snow I can just step out the door and ski away. I tried to return to a state park where I used to ski challenging trails 25-30 years ago. Evolution has taken place, however. I saw no skiers on the trails, but there were several people snow shoeing. Years ago the area would have been crowded with cross country skiers of all skill levels. The snowshoes had completely matted the snow on the trail making it difficult to ski, so it was back to the picnic grove in our neighborhood. Bonnie and I have a well worn ski rut to follow in a large oval. Two times around is about 30 minutes of exercise.

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Think spring. Until then I’ll try to keep finding ways to embrace it.