Open Bottle in Tinley Park to unveil 4th annual special brew this weekend

Julia and Patrick Bisch will unveil their fourth special holiday brew, Santa’s Cookies & Milk Stout, on Nov. 30. (Photo by Bob Bong)

By Bob Bong

The Open Bottle craft beer shop and taproom in Tinley Park will unveil its fourth annual holiday collaboration beer with Hailstorm Brewing this weekend.

Open Bottle will donate $1 for every four-pack sold to Tinley Wish, a local charity that raises money for Tinley Park families in need. Last year, they raised $1,500.

All three earlier versions of the special brew were named after cookies. The tradition continues this year with the release of Santa’s Cookies & Milk Stout, which will go on sale at noon Saturday, Nov. 30, at both the Open Bottle and Hailstorm Brewing. Previous versions were named Snickerdoodles, Peanut Butter and Samoa (after the Girl Scout cookie).

“We’re excited to release our annual collaboration beer with our friends and neighbors at Hailstorm Brewing,” said Patrick Bisch, co-owner of The Open Bottle with his wife, Julia. “For the past four years, we’ve made this beer, and this year we took inspiration from one of our favorite cookies, hot chocolate cookies. So, we added hot chocolate mix, marshmallows, and vanilla to this imperial milk stout.”

The new brew will be available in two versions on draft and in cans at both locations. There will be a traditional stout called original and a special batch aged in old bourbon barrels.

“We aged a portion of the beer in bourbon barrels to give it an even more complex and richer flavor,” said Bisch.

“Like the past three years, this year we are donating $1 from every four-pack sold to Tinley Wish,” said Julia Bisch. “Their mission and execution on giving back to the community is commendable, and we always support them with our annual Santa’s Cookies & Milk Stout release with Hailstorm.”

Santa’s Cookies & Milk Stout has a bite. Besides being on the sweet side because of the hot chocolate mix, the original version has an alcohol by volume of 11 percent. The bourbon barrel version has an ABV of 12 percent.

Patrick Bisch said the special brew goes fast and when it’s gone it’s gone.

“We brewed 30 barrels of the original but only seven barrels of the bourbon barrel version,” he said.

The Manhattan couple opened the Open Bottle in January 2015 at 7101 W. 183rd St. in a retail strip at the entrance to the Holiday Inn. The store is open from 3-9 p.m. Mondays, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday, and from noon to 7 p.m. on Sundays.

For information, call The Open Bottle at 708-263-0449.

Hailstorm is located at 8060 W. 186th St. in Tinley Park. Hours are from noon to 8 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday, noon to 9 p.m. on Thursday, from noon to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday, from noon to 8 p.m. Sunday and closed on Mondays.

For information, call Hailstorm at 708-232-8072.

Kernel Sweetooth open again in downtown Frankfort

Kernel Sweetooth is open again in downtown Frankfort at the Grainery. (Photo by Bob Bong)

Kernel Sweetooth, the snack and sweets shop that was booted from its longtime home in the Trolley Barn in downtown Frankfort back in October, has resurfaced in the Grainery building at 10 Elwood Ave. in downtown Frankfort.

The new location is about a block away from the Trolley Barn.

The shop opened in early July and then was forced to close for a couple of days as a result of the July 15 fire that has shuttered the adjoining Durbin’s pizzeria.

The shop features a variety of sweets including gourmet popcorn in eight flavors, hand-dipped ice cream, Hawaiian shaved ice, homemade chocolate, cotton candy, bulk candy, cookies, cakes and other snacks. It also offers doggie ice cream treats.

Kernel Sweetooth offerings are also available at the Frankfort Farmer’s Market and at the Cross Street Grill in downtown Joliet.
The new location is open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday to Saturday and from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Sunday.

A second Kernel Sweetooth location at 17258 S. Oak Park Ave. in Tinley Park remained open while owners Gary and Debbie Kovarik searched for a new Frankfort location.

A call for comment to the Kovariks was not returned.

It’s the second sweet shop to open this year in downtown Frankfort.

Raffy’s Candy Shop opened a second location in May at the Trolley Barn.

Tinley McDonald’s closed for remodeling

McDonald’s at 171st and Harlem in Tinley Park is closed for remodeling. (Photo by Bob Bong)

The McDonald’s restaurant near 171st Street and Harlem Avenue in Tinley Park will be closed for remodeling for several weeks.

A sign at the restaurant said it would close at midnight Sunday, April 1, and be closed for between 12 and 16 weeks.

A manager said the remodeling would include new equipment and the installation of a double drive-through lane.

Mickey D fans were urged to use the location at 159th Street and Harlem Avenue.