Jim Beam’s Basil Hayden Rye Bourbon on the rooftop on the Civic Lyric Opera House rooftop

Chicago’s Skyline is a sprawling, majestic masterpiece, but the hidden gem when experiencing our quaint, Midwestern town is viewing it from the Chicago River. If you’ve ever cruised a water taxi you know that this is where buildings come to life.

The Civic Opera House sits just a few blocks south of Wolf’s Point along the river (home to Chicago’s first three taverns). With the annual gala Chicago Gourmet in town recently, the good folks from Peapod partnered with Jim Beam and Boars Head to showcase their Fall seasonal tailgate offerings on the rooftop of the Civic Lyric Opera house.

Illinois is the only state where Chicago based Peapod’s online grocery delivery service will include booze with your order (for now). Full service delivery options like this one are perfect for event planning on any scale. Recently both Beam Suntory and Peapod relocated their respective headquarters into downtown. Not just any locations, but two of the most stylistically impressive buildings in the entire city.

Beam moved in from north suburban Deerfield to Merchandise Mart last year. The same architect firm designed both the Mart and Lyric Opera just two years apart (1929-31).

The Fall Cocktail Kit
Pregame, Bobby Gleason holding court before the public arrives
the Effen Rosemary Lemon Fizz
Chicago River

Master Mixologist, Bobby Gleason walked us through a trio of cocktails that will be offered as kits this Fall. Basil Citrus Smash, Maker’s Cider Manhattan and the Effen Rosemary Lemon Fizz. Education and knowledge transfer are the focus when you get to the Master level of mixology. During his whirlwind Chicago visit Bobby also visited Madison for a tailgate presentation at University of Wisconsin as well as the aforementioned Chicago Gourmet festival at Millennium Park.

Only those at Buffalo Trace rival Jim Beam’s devastating lineup of bourbon whiskeys. Makers Mark, Knob Creek, Bookers just to name a few. Not to mention the namesake being one of the most recognizable spirits on the planet. This a family that started distilling in 1795 and never looked back. There are no signs of slowing down, since 2012 they’ve grown from selling 300,000 bottles of Jim Beam annually to an estimated 8 million bottles in Japan alone next year.

Bobby Gleason shared some fun facts about the real life Basil Hayden being the gent you see on bottles of Old Granddad. It was Raymond Hayden, a second-generation distiller that named the whiskey after his grandfather Basil. Jim Beam introduced this rye whiskey, the lightest brand they offer back in 1992.

Maker’s Cider Manhattan.
@afrobeerchick enjoying the festivities
the northwest view from Wacker+ Madison

The Peapod Ultimate Tailgate with Beam and Boars Head makes for a righteous combination when event planning. We’d recommend if you’re downtown to experience the Boars Head Café near Lake and Wacker for breakfast or dinner and see for yourself. They even have vegetarian options.




Other Notes:
– When Osaka, Japan’s Suntory acquired Jim Beam in 2014 the deal was worth approximately $16 billion.
-Beam President, CEO and management team continue to run the business after the deal.  
-Every Master Distiller in the history of Bardstown, Kentucky’s Heaven Hill Distillery has been a member of the Beam family. This includes the seventh-generation currently lead by Craig Beam.
-Attendees all received a Maker Mark ink pens hand dipped in their signature red wax.
*photos courtesy of Beam Suntory

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