Forbidden Root, Chicago’s only botanical brewery, has named Dan Weiland, formerly of Trencherman, Blackbird, Avec, Isabella’s Estiatorio and Custom House Tavern, the executive chef of its new West Town brewpub, which is set to open this winter at 1746 W. Chicago Avenue. Chef Weiland, will create a menu composed of American rustic fare which emphasizes and complements the flavors in Forbidden Root’s beers.
“Dan really blew us away with his talent," said founder and rootmaster, Robert Finkel. "We knew right away that he was the right choice to create a menu that will really bring out the flavors in our botanical brews, giving customers a well-rounded dining experience.”
Chef Weiland is in the process of creating the menu for the brewpub. He is spending time with the Forbidden Root brewers as they create the brews, tasting ingredients and tasting the finished products to gain a better perspective on the direction of the menu. In addition to matching food and beer ingredients, he will also broaden the spectrum by using ingredients to directly highlight and accompany the Forbidden Root line.
"I was excited when I met the Forbidden Root team,” says Weiland. “Their approach to brewing parallels my philosophy of cooking. They source only the best ingredients and they respect tradition while implementing their unique and diverse style. We all understand our final product is a direct result of attention to detail."
The brewpub will open in the long vacant landmark and former Hub Theater in West Town. The brewpub will pour Forbidden Root’s line of botanic brews including its flagship Forbidden Root, Sublime GingerShady Character and WPA, as well as seasonals such as its Heavy Petal (the first in its Divine Mud cacao series), the forthcoming Hive Minded honey series and many more newly crafted beers. Metal growlers, 4-packs, glassware, bottle openers and more will be available in the Forbidden Root store and all profits from non-consumable items will be donated to charity, including $15 from every large metal growler sold.
Forbidden Root is the one of the first commercial botanic breweries in the country and aims to bring the rich American tradition of brewing with natural ingredients into the modern craft brewing scene. Sourcing sustainable ingredients when possible, Forbidden Root’s mission is to provide a unique fermented beverage experience by designing brews around ingredients that are not usually found in beer.