It was Thursday night and my wife and I had decided to brave the slushy elements and check out a new pub in town, Geneva Ale House. We were torn between the beer joint or a piping cup of coffee to warm us on this snowy evening, but settled at last on the brew joint. I appreciated my wife’s sacrifice, as beer isn’t her thing just now, and we headed out. After polishing off the last drop of my first selection, Ommegang’s Rare Vos, I picked up the menu to peruse again. After but a moment, however, I was stripped of my decision making ability as my wife snatched the menu and decided she would choose two from which I was to select. Her first pick was a brown ale and as they haven’t cooperated with my palate as of late, I inquired about the second option. It was one I had been eyeing since the beginning of our visit and so I quickly agreed. The server soon brought a glass, filled to the brim with Left Hand Milk Stout.

The brew had a nutty smell at first, teetering on faint wood-like tones. Ironically, it seemed as though I would be getting both beer and coffee this evening, as the remainder of the nose was saturated in burnt coffee beans. It was rich and smooth, as the “milk” suggested it would be, and tasted heavily of dark fruits and coffee. It soured as I sipped, the coffee making me pucker a bit, but being softened by thin layers of chocolate around the edges. With this beer in hand, I approached the owner of the place, Brian, and proceeded to have a pleasant conversation with him, finding out a bit about his story, his background and his love for good beer. Chicagoans, the Ale House is definitely worth a night out, whether your looking for beer…or coffee.