Grab a beer with Chef Kevin Hickey and you’ll quickly learn two things about rhubarb: 1) it can be tough to grow, 2) grab it while you can because we’re at the end of the rhubarb season.
The same can be said about his new rhubarb-based collaboration with Begyle Brewing, Clark Street Tart. The Belgian-style saison is lighter and brighter than most craft beers and was brewed with Chicago’s July and August heat in mind.
“I love it. It came out exactly how I wanted,” said Chef Hickey after his first glass of Clark Street Tart. “I look for beers that are very drinkable. Beers you can drink throughout the meal.”
Begyle Brewing has worked with rhubarb a few times in the past but this beer is Hickey’s first brewing experience with rhubarb and it’s quite impressive.
To produce the beer, the Bottlefork team juiced more than 250 pounds of rhubarb - about 6 cases if you go to a farmer’s market - and inserted the juice into the brew kettle shortly before fermentation stage.
The result is a “springy” and tart beer that would contrast well with the Mexican flavors of Bottlefork’s Pork Belly & Sausage Porchetta “Pastor” and compliment the rich sweet flavors of the lobster-based Rich Man Po’ Boy.
Main course aside, grabbing a glass of the Clark Street Tart and enjoying Bottlefork’s new patio should be on your summer bucket list.
A glass of Clark Street Tart is $9 and growlers $46. Bonus: Most growlers have a screw top, but Bottlefork’s wide-mouth growler has a European-style ceramic swing top. If you like it, you can purchase one for $29.