Sarsaparilla Six Stout @ City Provisions

One of the best delicatessens in the city is slowly becoming one of my favorite places to enjoy amazing small batch craft beer collaborations. City Provisions in Ravenswood is run by chef, brewer, entrepreneur Cleetus Friedman. Cleet’s latest creation is a wonderful stout made with Madagascar vanilla beans and sarsaparilla(one of the main ingredients found in root beer)

The Sarsaparilla Six Stout on tap till January at City Provisions

Inspired by the dessert floats he made in college using North Coast Brewing’s Old No.38 Stout w a splash Lion’s Pride Dark Oat Whiskey & ice cream, he wanted to create a beer that reminded him of those days. This stout is an interesting blend, the components struck a balance that gave it an almost creamy, bakers chocolate feel. The Sarsaparilla Six Stout was created at Dark Horse Brewing , the Michigan based company traditionally releases a series of holiday stouts-5 in total. The name makes sense as this collaboration beer is the sixth stout of the 2011 season series for Dark Horse. At 8%ABV this beer is smooth and firm bodied with earthy notes from the sarsaparilla. I really enjoyed it because the vanilla wasn’t too overpowering , nor was the beer too sweet like I feared it might be. I would love to see what this beer would taste like on nitrous pour….the next best thing was to pair it with local gourmet ice cream. We decided at Cleet’s request to try a sample of the beer from a frosted Dark Horse pint glass with a scoop of Madagascar Vanilla Bean Ice Cream from Chicago’s own Ruth and Phils…the combination was awesomeness!!

3 of City Provisions' Collaboration Beers


As a chef Cleetus’ approach toward beer collaborations give craft beer visibility with regards to how great a partner it can be with food. The Terminator X American Strong Ale (w Black Strap Molasses) easily paired great w/ petite St Louis style bbq brisket sandwhiches & apple cupcakes at Festiv-ale this year. I think his creations along with those from Goose Island Pub Brewmaster Jared Rouben are some of my favorites, these are beers that change the perception of what beer can be for many Chicagoans bold enough to try something different. One of the 1st collaborations City Provisions participated in was the Carburetor Rye with his friend Doug Hurst from Metropolitan Brewing. Its a Rye Bock aged 6 months in Templeton Rye Barrels. The experience was so fun Cleet found himself partnering with other local breweries on small batch creations. All 3 of his collaborations – Finch’s Cleetus Slackjaw Dunkel, Flossmoor Station’s Kirsch Von Blucher (a sweet cherry dunkelweis) and Greenbush’s Terminator X American Strong Ale will all be on tap at Fountainhead and Hopleaf in the near future. Saraparilla Six Stout will be on tap at City Provisions Deli till January.

Here are some of beer collaborations in the works for the Cleet and the City Provisions crew.

– A Blood Orange Wit beer w fennel (Greenbush)

-A Chocolate Malt Milk Stout (New Holland)

-A Sweet Potato and Fig Scotch Ale (Two Brothers)

City Provisions is a delicatessen and catering service located at 1820 West Wilson Avenue Chicago, IL They also have a one-of-a-kind supper club/ farm dinner series. For more information visit their webpage.



Beverage Consultant, Co-Host of the Chicago Beer Pass Podcast, The Neat Pour Podcast, Co-Founder and heartbeat of the Chicago Beer Geeks..@nkosio on twitter

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