Tag Archives: beer

Meet La Guardia, Our New Flagship Beer

Bier1Arriving in Mexico City in the mid-19th Century, French brewer Emil Dercher brought with him an Alsatian willingness to experiment with flavors and aromas expressed by a wide variety of unique local ingredients.

Sold under the Cruz Blanca label, Dercher’s beers were decidedly populist. This guy seemed to make beer for everyone, not just Mexico’s political and privileged elite.

It is in that spirit we announce the tapping of  La Guardia, the first beer to be served at Chef Rick Bayless’ soon-to-open brewery on Randolph Street, called Cruz Blanca.

Chef Bayless collaborated with brewmaster Phil Wymore from Perennial Artisan Ales in St. Louis to create La Guardia, a biére de garde-style brew inspired by Dercher, considered one of Mexico’s most adventurous brewers.

“We’re going to work in this style because we love it. This is the beer I like to drink. It’s rounder, fuller and goes well with food,” Bayless said. “For me it’s very exciting to go back to some of the roots of the people who brewed what may have been Mexico’s first beers.”

Brewed with hominy, epazote, lime peel and coriander, La Guardia will be the flagship beer for Cruz Blanca, which is slated to open later in 2015.

Details are still getting ironed out, but the brewery will include a tasting room, food service, a growler program and the sale of large format bottles. It will be equipped with a 10-barrel brewing system.

Wymore, formerly of Goose Island and Half Acre Beer Co., is serving as the brewery’s consultant.

For now, La Guardia will be available on draft at XOCO Bistro in Wicker Park and soon it will be available at Frontera Grill. We’d really love for you to try a glass.

Rick to Host “Fonda Fridays” in Wicker Park

Chef Rick Bayless is headed to the kitchen in Wicker Park making some amazingly tacos for the “Fonda Fridays” series.

“Occasionally, it’s nice to get out of downtown and just have fun in the kitchen.  I can promise some different, delicious and downright joyful tacos. These tacos will be unlike any thing else I’ve done,” Bayless said.

The “Fonda Fridays” series takes place beginning at 6:30 p.m. on Nov. 10, Nov. 17 and Nov. 24 at Fonda Frontera, 1471 N. Milwaukee Ave.

In addition to Fonda Frontera’s full array of Mexican comfort food, the menu for Nov. 10 includes three mouthwatering taco specials: Octopus CarnitasSmoked Brisket with Salsa Negra and Roasted Chicken with Maitake Mushrooms and Jalapeño Crema. (Other tacos in the series might include crispy sweetbreads with tomamole, lobster with esquites, tongue two-ways with foie gras crema, dry-aged beef with salsa huevona and lamb birria with Chicago-style giardiniera.)

Fonda Fridays will also mark the first time beer from Cruz Blanca Cervecería, Bayless’ brewery in the West Loop, will be served in any of his restaurants outside the Randolph Street locations. First up? CDMX, brewer Jacob Sembrano’s  bright pilsner with a delicate fruity German hop aroma balanced by a smooth, clean and soft bitter finish.

Good food, plus guests can also use the dinner series as an excuse to get a jump on holiday shopping – Rick will be signing cookbooks when he jumps off the line.

The launch of the Fonda Fridays series coincides with other changes at the restaurant, including a move toward Friday brunch, the debut of a new catering service and the introduction of a fall menu, which includes seasonal stars like Roasted Butternut-Bacon Tlayuda and a Spiced Tres Leches Cake with Red Chile-Apple Salsa.

The beer revolution is happening. And it’s happening at Xoco.


There’s sort of always a beer revolution happening at Xoco—we’ve got 30 craft beers available all the time, and that’s not for nothing, you know? But in May we’re going next level. On May 7th at 5pm we’re hosting Kevin Kuzlik from Revolution Brewing to come in and give you free beer (and because fair is fair, we’ll give you free food to go along with it). Following that, we embark on a full month of Revolution madness, an entire menu of Revolution beers paired with new, seasonal additions to Xoco’s already extremely beer-friendly menu. Finally, you should probably know about Craft Beer Week, because it means that from May 15 through May 25, we’re selling Revolution beers for $4. That’s almost cheaper than water. But hey, it’s not called a revolution for nothing…