By Joshua Riley

The Untappd Challenge is back with a slight twist. Most often, the Untappd Challenge focuses on a particular beer style, but I wanted to do something different.

I wrote about Chicago’s Country LakeShake and recommended a few beers available at that particular venue. If you checked in those beers at that venue, you would have gotten one tick toward the Untappd Venue badge, Taste the Music.

This badge requires users to check into five music venues with their craft beers. If Untappd had been around in my college days, I’d be at level 1 million of this badge. Nevertheless, I thought I’d recommend some music venues this week that serve high quality beer for the summer time.

I saw one of my favorite bands, As Cities Burn, at The Beat Kitchen on a Tuesday night and had a 3 Floyds beer I hadn’t had before —Pride and Joy 3000 — and my wife, Sam, had an Old Rasputin she hadn’t had yet either.

So, I wanted to recommend The Beat Kitchen as a rock ‘n’ roll club on the city’s northside. If I kept up with current music now, I wouldn’t have been at The Beat Kitchen, but it was a solid place to see a show.

They had a daily beer special, and Tuesdays were $3 Surly Xtra Citra 12-ounce cans, which is a steal of a deal at any bar — even in Kankakee County. I was thrilled about this. Again, Sam got North Coast’s Old Rasputin, which fit well with a heavy rock show.


The next venue you could check in at is our own Merchant Street MusicFest next weekend at the Kankakee Depot. If you check into both the festival and the location, you technically could get two check-ins toward this badge — but who’s counting.

If you’re looking for craft beer, look no further than our very own Brickstone Brewery, which will be pouring excellent beers for this festival. You could try their new hazy series beer, Oh Mega Haze, or their new Tangerine and Passion Fruit Milkshake IPA, which will match perfectly with high-quality local bands such as Carrying Torches and Matt Yeager and the South Side Social Club.

I personally will be in attendance July 26 taking tickets at the front gate, so stop by and introduce yourself and cheers me. Look out for Bell’s Official, their newest beer addition to the hazy IPA craze.


Next in the set list is the Metro on North Clark Street in Chicago. The next show I’d want to see at the Metro is Aug. 1 when Death Cab for Cutie is doing a Lollapalooza Aftershow. I don’t know if I could stay up until 11 p.m. for the start, but I’d make it to 10 p.m. when doors open and have a craft beer.

I’d snag a Pony Pils from one of my favorite Chicago breweries, Half Acre Beer Company. I saw Death Cab for Cutie in 2003 at Metro Chicago, where Death Cab opened for The Decemberists.

I didn’t know who The Decemberists were then and feel like a fool saying that today. Sam had an asthma attack at the Metro when we went to see Yellowcard headline a show when Matchbook Romance was opening for them. I went down to buy some merch when it was still in a closet just inside the entrance.

I came out wearing a new T-shirt, when I saw her being carried out limp in a humongous security guard’s arms. I thought she might have gone too hard in the paint in the mosh pit. Turns out, she needed her inhaler, and she was fine.


If you grew up going to Vans Warped Tour every summer similar to myself, then you know the ins and outs of the Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre in Tinley Park. This summer, the biggest act I am looking forward to seeing come through is the indomitable Iron Maiden on Aug. 22. I have been a longtime fan of the Maiden and would love to attend this show.

I even might think about bringing my daughter, Penelope, if I think she would be able to handle the noise level. I would recommend grabbing a giant can of Two Brothers Pinball APA and enjoying the classics Iron Maiden will be playing, such as “Run to the Hills,” “Flight of the Icarus,” “2 Minutes to Midnight,” “Fear of the Dark” and the rest.


The last venue is one of my favorite places to bring Penny to see a show in the area, Steam Hollow Brewing in Manteno. Last weekend, I saw Petty Cash, a Tom Petty and Johnny Cash cover band, perform some excellent covers.

They had a Mega Dog food truck come through and serve up some tasty treats, and I got to try Steam Hollow beers I haven’t had before. I got the Kranky Ogre Kolsch and the Desert High IPA, and Sam had a blackberry cider. Steam Hollow isn’t listed as a music venue just yet, but if you get the two ticks from Merchant Street, then it’ll work out for you.

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