There will always be a part of me that appreciates the craft beer movement for embracing their social responsibilities. Friends of McPherson threw a holiday party/ silent auction to support their cause and, invited one of Chicago’s newest breweries Lake Effect Brewing to participate in the festivities. The team of Clint Bautz and Lynn Ford met in the Lincoln Park area last year. The guys served as kegmasters at the 1st event for a group of parents and teachers that support McPherson Elementary School in Lincoln Square. This party was really fun, it took place at the old Stefanos. There are new owners now and the space has become this very cool makeshift banquet hall. Over 100 tickets were sold as the event was catered by both Calo Ristorante and TYA Pizza Co. Supporters were able to bid on items, dance and, celebrate the holiday season while getting a sneak preview of this as-yet-unnamed neighborhood venue. 3 super fresh kegs of Half Acre offerings were on tap. Gossamer, Daisy Cutter and, Over Ale. These are the 3 flagship beers from the crew that has 11 specialty brews in their arsenal. The brews on tap were distinctly different (a golden ale 4.7%, a west coast pale ale 5.2% and an American brown ale 6%) All three were really good, especially the rich, brown appearance and molasses aroma of the Over Ale.
Due to a last minute snag the Lake Effect beers did not make it to the event. We hung out with the newly formed company and discussed their partnership for nice chunk of the evening. Clint is the CEO and Co Founder, Lynn is President and Co Founder. The duo have been friends for 5yrs and are looking in the Ravenswood area for spaces to call home for the brewery. Lynn is from Southern California, Clint is from the Lincoln Park, they both have roots in homebrewing and believe that the start of each season should be celebrated with a style of beer. The company plans on releasing beers around that philosophy in the near future. Pale Ales, ESBs and Porters will be the focus of the brewery
The Friends of MacPherson did a nice job hosting an event that had a great deal of energy from start to finish. Friends dined in booths and enjoyed the sounds of an eclectic DJ that played everything from Billy Idol to The Cha Cha Slide. Calo Ristorante set up food in a separate room game room in the rear, Neil from TYA Pizza made sure everyone was able to try samples of his delicious thin crust pies. Desserts like red velvet cupcakes and gourmet chocolate brownie balls were very popular on this evening. The goal of Friends of McPherson is to have after school programs that focus on the arts for students of the school. The team also has a goal of building a science lab as well. As an IT professional myself I had a great time conversating with Clint, Lynn (Lake Effect), Neil (TYA Pizza) and Denise (Friends of McPherson) as they all have ties to the field of Information Technology. After much of the party cleared out, we stayed and gather near the bar with staff, friends, parents and let the good vibes roll long past the scheduled 10p closing time. This event was a very cool way to start the weekend.
It was nice to see the Lincoln Square neighborhood come out and support its local Middle School in this fashion. For more scenes from the Friends Of McPherson Holiday Party and be sure to visit our facebook page (dont forget to hit the like button)