In a press conference at the Green City Market last week, Brewmaster Jared Rouben of Moody Tongue Brewing Co. announced the Tasting Room at Moody Tongue, located alongside the brewery in the historic Glass Factory in the Pilsen neighborhood of Chicago. The 75-seat space plans to feature up to 12 taps of Moody Tongue’s year-round beers and limited-edition special releases alongside a curated food menu in an intimate, mid-century modern atmosphere, elevated with service one would expect from a fine-dining establishment.
“The number one differentiating factor in our tasting room will be hospitality,” explained Rouben, who trained at the Culinary Institute of America and has experience working in Michelin-starred restaurants such as Martini House in Napa, Calif., and Thomas Keller’s Per Se in New York City. “We’re creating something elegant yet approachable.”
The Tasting Room at Moody Tongue will offer a menu with distinction — one savory dish and one sweet dish. Rouben wants guests to enjoy an experience that elevates their interpretation of pairing and introduces the possibilities of incorporating beer in a dining setting. The curated menu will feature a daily selection of fresh oysters, as well as slices of cake.
“Oysters and cake are indulgent yet in completely different ways — and enjoyable without overwhelming the palate,” Rouben says. “These two opposite ends of the flavor and taste spectrum can naturally be brought to together by beer in a way that is fun for your tongue. If I had my way, I’d eat oysters and cake with beer every day.”
At the Tasting Room at Moody Tongue, guests can enjoy the brewery’s four year-round beer offerings: Applewood Gold, Steeped Emperor’s Lemon Saison, Sliced Nectarine IPA and Caramelized Chocolate Churro Baltic Porter — plus a selection of special releases unique to the Tasting Room, some that are only a single barrel of beer. Moody Tongue will announce these limited-edition beers as they become available. Beers come in full pours and in flights. Moody Tongue continues to bottle and keg its beers out of the adjacent production brewery.
The design and décor
At the intersection of mid-century modern and industrial, the 75-seat Tasting Room at Moody Tongue utilizes the raw bones of the historic Glass Factory, including the original windows and white brick, while adding contemporary touches. Moody Tongue worked with designers Jesse and Colleen Neuhaus of Mo Faux Studio.
The four separate seating area vignettes include:
- A 25-seat, white marble-topped, U-shaped bar, the focal point of the space—with globe lighting overhead, a beveled mirror behind, and matte white subway tiles along the sides;
- Corner fireplace seating next to the original bookcases and a collection of books from the Siebel Institute, which recently moved its legendary brewing school to Kendall College;
- Two intimate, inset leather booth areas; and
- Several rich, walnut dining tables.
The classy, sophisticated and timeless design features a polished look of white wood and finished concrete floors. In addition to the tall, original windows of the space, Moody Tongue extends its aesthetic to the interior windows providing a view of the brewery.
The Tasting Room plans to open five days a week to start, with exact hours to be announced closer to opening. Moody Tongue will also begin offering tours with beer education and tastings led by the brewing team on a first-come, first-serve basis once the Tasting Room launches. Moody Tongue Brewery and Tasting Room are available for buyouts for private parties and corporate events.