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Friday, January 25, 2013

Saddle Up: One Trick Pony

One Trick Pony
17933 Chappel Ave | Lansing, IL | Cash Only

I had heard of this new brew pub during my Beer 101 class last May. Sources said it was pretty good. I kept planning to go over to see it for myself. It's less than a 10 minute drive from my home. But for some reason, life perhaps, I just never made my way out there. With The Bulldog in Whiting and other less-than-impressive pubs popping up, I wasn't quick to go. Seems like everyone is trying to sell their homebrew these days.

I tried a couple of their beers (Kisber Felver and Brabrant) at Beer Geeks this past NYE. They didn't make me want to run out to the pub that minute, but it definitely piqued my interest. I thought that with drinkable beer, they might become my new neighborhood pub. Who knows, they might have something earth-shattering hidden away.

So finally, after a long week of meetings, I ventured out to the pub. I was not disappointed. The beer was good, the prices were reasonable, and the staff was awesome. It was a tiny spot. I'd love to go often, but I may have to abandon them when they get noticed and have lines out the door!

Notes: This spot is cash only with no ATM. I didn't mind, just be prepared. They also don't serve food. It's a tasting room only. They do have jars of pretzels around, but don't come hungry. I went to Mishkenut afterward!

The Beer
When I walked in I could clearly see what they had on tap. The staff was extremely friendly and honest. The man at the window told us what he knew about each brew as he poured a touch for Mr. K and I to sample. He joked around as we went through the list. They had an ESB, two Ambers, an APA, a Stout, and three IPAs (standard, imperial, and rye). It was a good selection. Some fit their styles well some were not quite hitting the mark. But all were good. The beers on tap ranged from lighter (5.9% ABV) to a boozy 10%. The prices were great. A half pint was only two bucks. Some higher ABV brews were a bit more.

They are still experimenting with ingredients. Altering one component (hops) and seeing what they like best. It's a fun stage of development. They seem to be having a good time doing it.

The Atmosphere
I always look straight at the board; beer is the priority. After I ordered a brew, I sat down and took the place in. At the window and at my observation point it was hard to miss the stink of these Pier One potpourri bags they had hidden in the corners. Not sure if I'm overly sensitive or what, but I had to move them. I'm hoping that was a short-term fix or something. 

The music was incredibly loud when we walked it. It was a mix of records on the hi/fi record player. From old country to Elvis Costello, it kept me entertained. The volume was lowered at some point. 

The furniture is something out of a country grandma's estate sale. To add to that, they have vintage beer-related memorabilia (signs, bottles, and crates) on the walls and around the room. Records were scattered around the player. A large map of Illinois was on the wall. All of the breweries were marked. Little frames beside it mapped out some of Northwest Indiana's gems. 

It was clean, including the bathroom

The clientele was a mix of fixtures and newbies in every age range. The loyal patrons seemed to invite the first-timers to the table. The conversations inevitably centered on every beer they've drank and every brewpub they've been to. Mr. K and I talked about life and the muses. In this cozy setting, it was nice to be surrounded by nice people.

I'll Be Back
I'll definitely be going back. I'll be visiting tonight to grab a growler to share at the dance studio. This place makes it a pleasure to support local businesses. 

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