HQ Hub 5/5/14: Cinco de HQ

assault-n-pepper-2ADMIRE: We gave our hqbeercade.com home page a new look and we’re pretty proud of it. Take a look.

BELIEVE: Terminator + Dr. Who might actually happen. Thoughts?

DRINKO: It may not be traditional, but the house-infused strawberry jalapeño tequila and house-made citrus chili salt in our Assault & Pepper cocktail says Cinco de Mayo to us.

PLAY: The next time we go to Hong Kong, this is all we’re taking with us.

TEAM UP: Whether you’re a competitive badminton player or prefer synchronized baton twirling, HQ wants to sponsor your team! Email Brandon@CapacityBars.com for all the details.

Want more info on #HQLakeview and #HQRiverNorth? Follow along on FacebookInstagram and Twitter.

HQ Hub 4/28/14: Talk Derby to Me

KENTUCKY DERBYBACK THE RIGHT HORSE: We’ve got $5 mint juleps all day Saturday to celebrate the Kentucky Derby. But floppy hats are NOT allowed.

BLOODY, SO BLOODY: Game of Thrones is even bloodier and we’re more addicted than ever, so we found this mash-up particularly amazing.

GET READY FOR RN: We have some incredible things in the works for #HQRiverNorth so start preparing your livers and your gaming fingers…now.

MAKE WAY: Capacity Bar Group is growing, and we’re happy to welcome Chris Colker to the family. Stay tuned for what he’ll be doing (hint: it’s big).

MAY DAY: A new month means new seasonal cans, like Half Acre’s Akari Shogun, a great wheat beer to get us through the excruciating wait until summer.

Want more info on #HQLakeview and #HQRiverNorth? Follow along on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Brew & A: Sam Ruppert, Beverage Director of Capacity Bar Group

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When planning an ever-changing craft beer list, it’s helpful to have a certified beer expert on tap with an eye for detail and a taste for the finest. Sam Ruppert, the Beverage Director of Headquarters Beercade, definitely fits the bill. He took the time to share his favorite beers and what he’s learned from his years in the industry for our very first “Brew & A” feature. Stay tuned as we interview local and national craft beer experts & lovers every month!

Q: How long have you been in the craft beer industry?

A: Just over three years.

Q: What was the first craft beer you ever tried?

A: I drink way too much beer to remember something like this, but let’s say Unibroue Ephemere.

Q: In your opinion, what gives the craft beer industry its die-hard fan base?

A: I think it’s really because beer people, brewers, reps, etc. are just regular people.  Beer is very community based. Further, I think a lot of people are over these fad, low carb, how-much-can-we-do-to-make-these-beers-not-taste-like-beer beers. Beer goes well with any food (better than wine, by the way) and has a great history. It brings cultures together, and is ever evolving!

Q: Who are your mentors in the industry?

A: I am constantly learning from a lot of people. That’s the beauty of the industry: Everyone is friendly and always there to answer any questions you may have.

Q: What is your favorite beer that you’ve ever brought in to HQ (or the one you most want to bring in)?

A: I’m crazy about Belgian beer. If I could make the whole list just lambics and saisons I totally would. It is really tough to pick a single favorite. We recently got an excellent saison from Brasserie à Vapeur called Saison de Pipaix. Just an amazing farmhouse ale with loads of fresh pear, dough and pepper. The beer I am most excited about bringing in is actually a mead. I just had the pleasure of tasting it this past week. It is a South African Chili mead from Iqhilika. The flavor has this amazing balance of honey and pepper. And, of course, Headquarters would be the only bar in Chicago drafting it. We will also be the only bar in Chicago to draft a California exclusive brew from an awesome California brewery, so be on the lookout!

Q: What do you think sets Headquarters’ beer list apart in Chicago and in the craft beer bar industry?

A: As with our cocktails, I try to be creative, whimsical and unique with our draft list. The beauty of a rotating list is freedom. I am able to do a lot with only 16 lines. Further, we are not afraid to try anything. Our drafts are essentially part draft and part exclusive bomber program. Since we do not carry any bottled beer, we are able to draft a lot of interesting and rare beers that may get lost on another bars extensive bottle list. We are constantly learning and exploring, doing our best to bring the area the best draft list we possibly can.

For more info from Sam, keep an eye out for his #HQBeerDirector hashtag on the HQ Twitter page.

HQ Hub 4/7/14: Happy National Beer Day

craft beer chicagoB is for Brooklyn Brewery: Our second #FlightClub drawing is tomorrow night – this time we’re sending the winner on a plane straight to New York for a free VIP tour of the epic Brooklyn Brewery. Sign up HERE for a chance to win.

E is for Extra Hoppy: As the days get longer, we’ve got a hankering for hops. Some of our favorite IPAs are here.

E is for Every Can Sold: We’ve sold more than 200,000 cans alone at HQ. Now, where can we find a gigantic can crusher?

R is for Rewind: We’re still reeling from last week’s incredible Firkin Fest – top names in the industry like Randy Mosher and Pat Fahey were rubbing elbows with the craft-loving crowd of Chicago. We can hardly wait for #whatthefirk2015.

For all the latest on our draft and can list, follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

HQ Hub 3/31/14: Seasonal Fridays Are Here

SEASONAL FRIDAYSCUT OUT EARLY: Spring is sort of, kinda, almost here so we’re opening our doors at 3 p.m. every Friday starting this week. Cheers to two extra hours of beer and games!

DRINK IT DOWN: This beer is made with brains. We repeat, brains. Get your inner zombie on and report back to us – we’re not sure we could go there yet.

FLY WITH US: Straight to Brooklyn Brewery. We’re giving one lucky winner two free round-trip tickets to NY for a brewery tour they’ll never forget. Seriously – we wish we could win. Join the flight club here.

LIFE IS LIKE A BOX OF CHOCOLATES: Well, it’s more like a great draft list, but we’ll take any excuse to quote Tom Hanks before International Tom Hanks Day comes back to HQ on April 12th.

WHAT’S YOUR DAMAGE?: Today marks the 25th anniversary of Heathers, one of our favorite sick-and-twisted movies from the ‘80s. We’ll be celebrating with a big cup of liquid Drano.

For all the latest #HQLakeview and #HQRiverNorth news, follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

HQ Hub 3/24/14: It’s Finally FIRKIN Here!

WHAT THE FIRK BANNERFIRK: Our “What The Firk?” Firkin Fest is this Sunday, March 30th at noon for VIP tickets and 1 p.m. for regular admission. Still haven’t bought your tickets? What are you waiting for?!

GAME: We’ve got three new epic pinball titles, all ranked Top 15 in the world: The Wizard of Oz, Theatre of Magic and Cirqus Voltaire. We will soon be launching high score tournaments for these three pay-to-play heavyweights…are you ready?

LOOK: The more we hear about Gotham, the more into it we are.

SPRING: What does spring mean to us? It means open windows in the Pincade. It means fruit beers and lambics and IPAs (oh my). It means another Flight Club brewery drawing on April 8 to Brooklyn Brewery. And it means #chiberia is finally gone.

WATCH: Future Cinema needs to come to Chicago. Right now.

For all the latest #HQLakeview and #HQRiverNorth news, follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

HQ Hub 3/17/14: Luck Of The Chi-rish

1238805_603557759718460_1497906469_nCELEBRATE: Don’t expect any green beer at HQ on St. Patrick’s Day – we’re continuing the festivities from Saturday with classic crafts and free games.

FIRK: We’re gearing up for a coast-to-coast battle come Firkin Fest on March 30th. Who will take the crown? Get your tickets here before they sell out!

LISTEN: Tune in to Q101 all week to hear HQ shout-outs. Now we know we’ve made it.

REMEMBER: Between Sbarro and Radio Shack, the biggest hangouts of our childhood are closing. A moment of silence, please.

RUN: We’re officially scared of Alien again.

For all the latest #HQLakeview and #HQRiverNorth news, follow us on FacebookInstagram and Twitter.