Midnight Pig Tap Room celebrated its Grand Opening on Thursday, May 3, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony, bringing to Evanston a sophisticated self-serve tap offering beers from the brewery of the same name. The craft tasting room features 30 taps that include Midnight Pig beers (brewed in Plainfield, IL) and other local brews, as well as cocktails and ciders.
Showcasing a state of the art system from a company called PourMyBeer, customers come to the bar and after showing their proper identification, obtain a preloaded Midnight Pig card. The card is waved in front of the selected tap and the customer pours his or her own beer by the ounce in old fashioned ball jars with handles. If beer is not your thing, the taps also include ciders, wine, and cocktails like margaritas. Safeguards are in place to ensure that customers only have access to a certain amount of alcohol at a time. The most exciting aspect of the self-serve system is that customer can sample many different flavors of beer, cider, wine and cocktails and pair different flavors with different food items. Brilliant for someone who is just learning to navigate the craft beer waters.
Midnight Pig is a reference to prohibition days. Establishments seeking to circumvent the restriction on alcohol sales would charge customers to see an attraction such as a striped pig and then would give away a glass of rum. Many of the Midnight Pig brews are cleverly named with a nod to prohibition: the Snitches Get Stitches porter claims “If you were a rat during prohibition, you were lucky if all you got was stitches, you’d most likely get zotzed. Chocolate, coffee and hints of dried fruit and molasses will leave you tongue-tied” and the Good Governor IPA Red says “Illinois Governor Henry Horner gladly announced prohibition’s repeal in 1933. This American Double Red salutes a monumental moment for the country with toasty, fruity malts to compliment the pine and citrus hop flavors.”
Complimenting the beers is a menu from Executive Chef Marcus Mooney that is, not surprisingly, pig-inspired. The offerings include the Notorious P.I.G. Burger (a half-pound Angus beef burger, Tillamook cheddar, bacon, BBQ pork, Mac N Cheese & pickled chiles), the Porchetta Baguette (roasted pork porchetta, Manchego & Provolone cheeses, garlic rapini, pesto, Tuscan baguette and garlic pork jus) and Pork Confit Poutine.
The space is warm and inviting and right in the middle of the vibrant downtown Evanston area. Midnight Pig Tap Room is open Monday through Thursday from 3:00 p.m. to 12:00 a.m., Friday from 3:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m., Saturday from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 a.m. and Sunday from 11:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.
Midnight Pig Tap Room, 1557 Sherman Ave, Evanston, IL.