Band of Bohemia is the world’s first Michelin-starred brewery. Situated in an old warehouse, it’s designed like a Fibonacci spiral with a mix of materials and natural elements: wood, brick, glass, stainless steel, fire, and water. There are leather bar stools and velvety private booths. It’s plush and comfortable; open collar. There’s informally formal
smile. The 10-barrel brewery is behind the bar, with serving tanks sending the beer straight to the taps. The brew space leads through—physically and creatively—to the open kitchen.
Band Of Bohemia The World’s First Michelin-Starred Brewery Photo Gallery
There are five beers on tap, each with a foodie inspiration or basis and a mix of edible ingredients. Kitchen and brewery work together, with the food reverse-engineered to match the beers; the brewer makes something new, details the beer to the chef, who then has a few weeks to come up with the right dishes. Neither the kitchen nor brewery are restricted to particular cuisines or styles, and instead come up with flavor combinations that work, with menus that change constantly.
There’s a finesse and precision to the beers, with a subtle use of spices, fruits, teas, flowers, and herbs. Taste them properly and you know these guys really understand food and beer together, as all the beers hit a food-friendly sweet-spot, a range between 6.0-8.0% ABV, giving enough depth without being too much, all with a rich texture and a round, wine-like softness. Plus, they all have a clean dryness with low bitterness; they are considered beers, beers brewed to be drunk both with food and also just by the pint (and the bar seating is ideal for simply having a few beers). Have the beers with food and follow the suggested pairings, that’s where you’ll find the experience is elevated. It’s not just that they work very well, or that they make you think more deeply about beer and food. It’s actually simpler than that: you can drink great beer with great food that’s designed to go with it.
The front men of Band of Bohemia are Michael Carroll and Craig service with a friendly Sindelar. Michael started as a chef and baker, including three years at Chicago’s three Michelin-starred Alinea restaurant, before going across town to brew at Half Acre—he’s the Band’s head brewer. Craig is the wine guy and a whole lot more. He was Alinea’s head sommelier for almost a decade before he and Michael banded together with the goal of elevating brewery food beyond typical brewpub fare. It’s this fusion of a fine-dining pedigree with a chef-trained, brewery-raised consideration for beer that makes the culinary brewhouse work. Band of Bohemia is the first brewery to get a Michelin star and, as of spring 2018, they are still the only ones.
Band of Bohemia represents a new chapter in the relationship between beer production and food appreciation.
WHAT: Band of Bohemia
HOW: Open Tuesday to Sunday (times vary, so check the website first), but closed Mondays (www.bandofbohemia.com).
WHERE: 4710 N Ravenswood Avenue, Chicago, Illinois 60640,
Not your standard taproom food.