Tighthead Brewing’s Scarlet Fire Red Ale

2500 beers in 28 countries. Except for North Korea, who reportedly makes one of the best beers on the planet, there isn’t a beer producing nation on earth I haven’t sampled. I’ve had beer on the frontlines around Sarajevo, with Gypsies in Romania, with brewers in the Czech Republic amid Roman ruins on the Dalmatian Coast and in a castle in Germany, and it all began in a small bar in Brookfield Illinois, sitting beside my father at the age of 7 sipping a small glass of Schlitz. I won’t divulge how long ago that was. After all that, I still get surprised by the amazing spectrum of beer styles and flavors. While others have moved off to whatever drink is fashionable this week, I remain loyal to that first taste of beer so many years ago.
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Friday night was a special occasion. It was my wife’s birthday. We’d decided on a perennial favorite restaurant in the neighborhood to celebrate with a romantic dinner. Taste of Peru, which has been featured, and for good reason on shows such as the Cooking Channel’s Diners, Dine-in and Dives, easily won the toss. We arrived just after 6, and despite the cold and Super Bowl weekend, the restaurant was already packed. That says quite a lot in a neighborhood with perhaps the most diverse cuisine in the city, and a phenomenal number of competitors. That also says quite a lot about owner and Peruvian native Cesar Izquierdo. Add to that, the restaurant, at 6545 North Clark Street is unambiguous in a tiny strip mall beside a Dollar store, Laundromat and fast food place. You have to want to find Taste of Peru.

The same is true for the beer I brought along that evening. Out of Mundelein Illinois, Tighthead Brewing Company’s Scarlet Fire Roasty Red Ale promised the elements I was looking for to pair with Peruvian cuisine, which blends a variety of influences, from European and West African to traditional Incan. Here hearty sauces, rich spices, grilled meats, sea food and those eclectic influences are married under Peru’s truly unique culinary umbrella. I wanted something with a bit of sweetness and smokiness in the beer pairing. Scarlet Fire promised, now it remained to be seen how well it delivered.

There is an ambiance to Taste of Peru; a certain family quality and a community one might expect to find in a closely-knit barrio. Conversations overflow from table to table, feeding moments, all of it lofted upon the scents of grilling meats, warming bread and warmed Peruvian spices. The lighting is suitably low, the tables near enough to underscore the sense of community imbued within the cuisine. Amid all of this Scarlet Fire poured to a twilight red color with a full creamy head. The aroma was fruity. I’d ordered Aji de Gallino(Ah-gee day Guy-yeeno), a rich and creamy Chicken and walnut sauce served with rice, a deep-fried potato wedge and half a hard-boiled egg; the odd combination works in only a way Peruvian cuisine can.IMG_1841

At a modest and comfortable 5.6% ABV (Alcohol by Volume), the beer was light and pleasant, with smoky caramel notes and a neatly balanced sweetness that paired wonderfully with the food. This was the sort of beer that would work well on its own, and stands among some of the best local beers in and around Chicago. Also recommended by Tighthead Brewing is their Hat Trick Belgian Tripel, which stands up nicely to traditional Belgians.

It really is about the community, and like a great meal, the right beer really can play a powerful part in constructing that ambiance. I found both of those that night at Taste of Peru and with Tighthead’s Scarlet Fire Red Ale. Cesar, the owner of Taste of Peru, ultimately stopped by our table, the effort feeling more like a gesture of hospitality rather than one of obligation. He took one look at the beer and asked whether or not I’d ever had Peruvian beer. Obviously the gauntlet has been thrown, and for that challenge I am only too happy to pick it up. But that is another story.


Listen Saturday’s from 11am-1pm to WC Turck, Brian Murray and guests on Chicago’s real alternative media, AM1680, Q4 radio, streaming at www.que4.org.
CAM00236WC Turck is an author, artist, playwright and talk radio host in Chicago. He has been called the most dangerous voice on the Left. His new book “Shoot Down: is an unflinching look at the events leading up to the shooting down of Malaysia Air Flight 17.” His first novel, “Broken” was recommended by NAMI for its treatment of PTSD. In 2006 he published “Everything for Love,” a memoir of his experiences during the siege of Sarajevo. He wrote and produced two critically acclaimed plays, “Occupy my Heart” and “The People’s Republic of Edward Snowden.” He works with the homeless and foreclosure victims in Chicago. He partners in a weekly radio show dedicated to issues, society and politics with cohost, activist and artist Brian Murray For more information, past shows, videos and articles, visit www.revolutioandbeer.com


The Illinois Policy Institute (IPI) is a conservative think tank with offices in Chicago and Springfield, Illinois, and member of the State Policy Network. IPI is a member of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) as of 2011. IPI is also a member of ALEC’s Health and Human Services Task Force and Education Task Force. Senior Budget and Tax Policy Analyst, Amanda Griffin-Johnson, presented model legislation (the “State Employee Health Savings Account Act”) to the HHS task force at ALEC’s 2011 annual meeting.[4] Collin Hitt, Director of Education Policy, is a private sector member of the Education Task Force representing IPI. He sponsored the “Local Government Transparency Act” at the ALEC 2011 States and Nation Policy Summit. In its 2006 annual report the Cato Institute states that it made a grant of $50,000 to the Illinois Policy Institute. The Cato Institute is a libertarian think tank founded by Charles G. Koch and funded by the Koch brothers.

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Run Chris Run: A Stone Soup Theatre Project World Premier

Produced by Stone Soup Theatre as part of an ongoing anti-violence campaign, RUN CHRIS RUN tells the true story of Chicago native and community organizer Christopher Patterson.

CHICAGO – On October 3rd, Stone Soup Theatre Project brings Run Chris Run to the Wilson Abbey stage as part of its ongoing anti-violence campaign. Artistic Associate Katie Angelica Abascal adapted this lyrical drama from the memoir 21: The Epitome of Perseverance by Chicago native Christopher Patterson. Run Chris Run is co-directed by Stone Soup’s Managing Director Alexandra Keels, and Artistic Director Whitney Kraus Jones.

PRESS PERFORMANCE: Press opening for Run Chris Run will be at 8:00 Friday the 10th. Please email ArtisticStoneSoupTheatregmail.com to request complementary press tickets.

Based on a true story:
Run Chris Run follows the life of Chicago-native Chris Patterson and his quest for love, family, and acceptance. His journey begins in the foster care system, leading him to gangland, imprisonment, and ultimately deliverance. This “theatre project” tells the story of human perseverance and the individual strength it takes to change a life path.

Show Schedule
October 3rd- November 8th
Doors Open 7:30 PM Fridays and 3:30 PM Saturdays
Wilson Abbey – 935 W Wilson Ave
Tickets:
Tickets are always only $5
& can be purchased online at Artful.ly/StoneSoupTheatreProject or at the door.


CAM00236WC Turck is an author, artist, playwright and talk radio host in Chicago. He has been called the most dangerous voice on the Left. He is currently working on a new book “Shoot Down: An unflinching look at the events leading up to the shooting down of Malaysia Air Flight 17.” His first novel, “Broken” was recommended by NAMI for its treatment of PTSD. In 2006 he published “Everything for Love,” a memoir of his experiences during the siege of Sarajevo. He wrote and produced two critically acclaimed plays, “Occupy my Heart” and “The People’s Republic of Edward Snowden.” He works with the homeless and foreclosure victims in Chicago. He partners in a weekly radio show dedicated to issues, society and politics with cohost, activist and artist Brian Murray For more information, past shows, videos and articles, visit www.revolutioandbeer.com

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Revolution and Beer Foodie Corner! Try this one out for Brunch, a delicious bit of extravagance and modest excess. A little sin can be a great thing!

121_0191Experimenting with beer Batters lately, from Pilsners to stouts and everything in between. 2 weeks ago Brian and I reviews Mad Town Nut brown Ale by Madison’s Ale Asylum. It quickly became my favorite Nut Brown Ale, as it isn’t watered down like the Iconic International by the same name. This one is rich in flavor.

So I decided to try a bit in a beer batter mix and it was perfect! It added a bit of nuttiness and sweetness I was looking for in the batter. It was precisely the flavor I was looking for to batter a homemade Monte Cristo sandwich. This is a perfect Brunch offering. I use hearty Italian bread layered with Colby cheese and Mesquite shaved Turkey and a smoky Gypsy Ham with a nice cream sort of sliced white cheese. I used a nice local farmers cheese I picked up at the Glenwood market Sunday mornings in Rogers Park. I have also used Havarti, Emmenthaler and baby Swiss.

Batter the health out of the sandwich, covering the top, bottom and sides. Deep frying is best in a good hot oil. Can be done in a skillet French Toast style, but I like that middle nice and warm and gooey with melted cheese. Cook until golden brown, slice into 4s, sprinkle a bit of powdered sugar and chopped Cilantro. Serve with a raspberry/Jalapeno and cilantro jam for dipping. Stone ground honey Dijon mustard is an alternate.

We used Cilantro and the first ripe jalapeño from our garden and some local raspberry preserves. The honey for the Stone ground honey Dijon mustard was from local bees

WC Turck is an author, artist, playwright and talk radio host in Chicago. He has been called the most dangerous voice on the Left. He is currently working on a new book “Shoot Down: An unflinching look at the events leading up to the shooting down of Malaysia Air Flight 17.” His first novel, “Broken” was recommended by NAMI for its treatment of PTSD. In 2006 he published “Everything for Love,” a memoir of his experiences during the siege of Sarajevo. He wrote and produced two critically acclaimed plays, “Occupy my Heart” and “The People’s Republic of Edward Snowden.” He works with the homeless and foreclosure victims in Chicago. He partners in a weekly radio show dedicated to issues, society and politics with cohost, activist and artist Brian Murray For more information, past shows, videos and articles, visit www.revolutioandbeer.com .

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BREAKING: Rogers Park Murder: The confluence of tragedies

Revolution and Beer was on scene shortly after a fatal shooting in Rogers Park Saturday afternoon. The shooting occurred around 3:30pm. A 28 year old man died in the incident that took place at the intersection of Glenwood and Devon in front of the Uncommon Ground restaurant along a normally quiet and busy block. The unidentified man later died at St. Francis Hospital in Evanston. 2 people, a man and woman, were taken into custody. Unconfirmed reports indicated that the weapon was found with the woman.

A police technician gathers evidence following a fatal shooting in Rogers Park. Photos by WC Turck

A police technician gathers evidence following a fatal shooting in Rogers Park. Photos by WC Turck

Witnessed said they thought it was firecrackers. They said the victim was standing at the corner when at least one of the suspects approached and began firing along the busy street. The victim turned but was struck in the back at least once. The wounds proved fatal.

The shooting disrupted businesses along Devon, rattled residents and rerouted the Number 36 bus. Predominantly gang violence has spilled out across the city apparently and shows no sign of slowing. Edgewater and Rogers Park have seen an increase in shootings in just the last week. A police source who asked to remain anonymous said that guns are now more readily available to gangs across the city.120_0776

Some blame gun advocates and pro-gun proliferation activists who challenge any effort at reasonable oversights and controls. Media hysteria about guns may be driving the precipitous influx of guns, as dealers and opportunists fear controls might curb straw purchases. According to the FBI and Chicago police, most guns that wind up being used by gangs are purchased legally. Very few guns recovered by police were stolen. Chicago is ringed by gun stores, although, for now, guns sales in Chicago are prohibited. In neighboring Indiana, where gun shows are prevalent, guns can be purchased without the normal waiting period. A number of recovered weapons on the streets of Chicago were purchased legally at gun shows and then sold to gang members; so called “straw” purchases.

Local groups like Ceasefire and OneNorthside have been working to step the violence in Rogers Park. As the violence grows they can use the public’s help to get involved in their community. For information on how the public can help visit : http://onenorthside.org/ or visit http://cureviolence.org/post/rogers-park-uptown-ceasefire-on-anderson-cooper-360/

One resident of the neighborhood cited the proliferation of guns, lack of opportunity in critical neighborhoods and the dismantling of CHA projects that scattered gang members throughout the city and suburbs.

It’s the system, man,” he said candidly. “You throw away a generation of young men, criminalize race and blame the symptom instead of the disease, then throw in gun and drugs, and something bad is going to happen.”

WC Turck is an author, artist, playwright and talk radio host in Chicago. He has been called the most dangerous voice on the Left. His first novel, “Broken” was recommended by NAMI for its treatment of PTSD. In 2006 he published “Everything for Love,” a memoir of his experiences during the siege of Sarajevo. He wrote and produced two critically acclaimed plays, “Occupy my Heart” and “The People’s Republic of Edward Snowden.” He works with the homeless and foreclosure victims in Chicago. For more information, past shows, videos and articles, visit www.revolutioandbeer.com

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Second Annual Non-violent Direct Action Workshop for Students and Youth, Saturday, July 12th.

On my summer vacation I changed tomorrow!

Please join Occupy Roger’s Park, now the Chicago Light Brigade for the second annual non-violent direct action workshop for students and youth Saturday July 12th. It’s free and travel assistance is available for those who might have difficulty attending. Lunch will be provided.
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Weather permitting the workshop will be held outside. Location details to be announced, so stay tuned, but slated to be in a public park in or near Roger’s Park. A crowd-sourced campaign to fund the training passed its goal, so they will have lots of materials to work with as well as the above mentioned option of travel assistance.

If you know any youth that might be interested, please pass the message along! Also feel free to forward it to anyone you think would know interested youth.

Check out a video of pictures from last year’s awesome event: http://vimeo.com/95148126
Please RSVP if they would like to attend, and contact David Orlikoff, or Kelly Hayes (https://www.facebook.com/hayeskelly?fref=nf)

Or the Chicago Light Brigade (https://www.facebook.com/chicagolightbrigade)

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Astor House, Sohrab Saadat Ladjevardi, and Joe Fedorko

We sat down for a very informative and urgent conversation with a member of Astor House in Roger’s Park related to fair housing and a pending eviction; an eviction that falls like a guillotine just in time for the holidays. This was happening just a couple of hours before a planned vigil in support of the rights neglected residents to stay in their neglected homes during the holidays.

Then, we moved on to some brilliant jazz saxophone, performed by Sohrab Saadat Ladjevardi. Sohrab took us through his development and travels into the realms of Akido, and on to his obsession with the power of music and the saxophone. We learned about his multi-faceted heritage, and how that heritage, combined with his experiences abroad, lead him to become a strong advocate for musicians rights.

I the last third of the show, Joe Fedorko of Democracy Burlesque took a break from a crammed schedule of recording for their upcoming Christmas show, “Frack The Halls,” to join us for a beer. He guided us into another level of conversation around satire, art’s roll in society, and how artists get by.

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Revolution and Beer Episode 9 – Evictions and Bad Landlords – How to Handle It

Eerily, only a couple of weeks after this taping, and one day after our launch party; we helped Maria Dolores and her family move their things out of their home:

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Revolution and Beer Episode 7 – Peoples Theatre Part 1

Find out what happens when Jesus and Caeser meet face-to-face. ALSO, find out what kinds of good things happen when some of Chicago’s most enlightened theater groups apply their creativity to their desire to inform and support communities in need. We’re joined by Joseph Fedorko of Democracy Burlesque, as well as Mallory Green and Whitney Jones of Stone Soup Theatre Project. This was filmed at Lost Eras in Rogers Park, Chicago.

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