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Forbidden Root, Botanical Brewpub, Aims to Open February 18

By Alisa Hauser | January 25, 2016 12:10pm | Updated on January 26, 2016 10:21am
 Some food and drink photos shared by the Forbidden Root team in advance of its Feb. 18 opening.
Forbidden Root Photos, 2016
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WEST TOWN —  After two years of planning —  which also included getting liquor and manufacturing bans lifted — craft brewer Forbidden Root will open a brewpub at 1746 W. Chicago Ave., in the former Hub Theater, it was announced Monday.

Set to open on February 18, the spot will feature Forbidden Root’s line of botanic brews including Forbidden Root, Sublime GingerShady Character and WPA.

The brewpub will be making elixirs "allowing guests to experiment with flavoring syrups that can be added to some of Forbidden Root's beers or sodas," the company said.

“We hope our pub serves as a focal point for our neighborhood," founder and rootmaster Robert Finkel said. "West Town and the surrounding community have been so warm and welcoming to us since the very beginning."

Finkel added, "We will provide our guests with a comfortable and unique experience and bring the community together for a meal, snack and to drink some great beer.”

A food menu will be created by Chef Dan Weiland, formerly of Trencherman, Blackbird, Avec, Isabella’s Estiatorio and Custom House Tavern. Described as "American Rustic"  it will include fried giardiniere with black garlic ranch; charred carrots with curry yogurt, pistachios and preserved kumquats; Forbidden Root cured lamb jerky; and toasted malt rubbed hanger steak with onion crème and potato pancake.

Described "as a comfortable space with a farmhouse feel," Forbidden Root will be open for dinner seven days a week and will add lunch "in the near future."

Guests can purchase a double steel walled, vacuum sealed 64 ounce growler for $35 or a 32 ounce "howler" for $25. A retail store will sell both glass and metal growlers and 4-packs and cases. All profits from non-consumable items will be donated to the Green City Market, the company said.

The brewery is touting two flavor infusers to "extract the maximum flavor from the unusual and often expensive ingredients the brewery uses, from nuts to spices, flowers roots and more," the statement said.

Head brewer BJ Pichman said the team behind Forbidden Root is "striving to give our customers a unique and surprising experience."

Part of that experience will include tours of the 7,000 square-foot facility, so guests can see the brewery process step-by-step, from picking out the ingredients to deciding on the beer to making the beer, Pichman said, adding, "We love sharing what we do with the people who have made us a successful botanic brewery.”

Billing itself as one of the first commercial botanic breweries in the country, Forbidden Root says it "aims to bring the rich American tradition of brewing with natural ingredients into the modern craft brewing scene" by sourcing sustainable ingredients when possible.

Brewpub hours will be daily from 4 p.m. to midnight with the kitchen closing at 10 p.m.  Ph: 312-929-2202.  To stay updated, visit Forbidden Root’s website or Facebook page, or follow the company on Twitter at @ForbiddenRoot.

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