Weekday Planner: Mikkeller Spontan Tapping, CH Distillery's 2016 Guest Bartender Series, Chef "Roast" at River Roast, Croatian Wine Dinner

Villains Taps Mikkeller Spontan

Lovers of rare beers, take heed. Villains is tapping into some particularly rare brews on January 12, as the South Loop bar and restaurant christens its Mikkeller Spontan series. It all starts at 5:00 p.m., wherein attendees are able to sip 4 oz. tasters for $5-$8, and 10 oz. pours for $10-$16. On tap for the occasion is a slew of Mikkeller Spontan beers, spontaneous fermented lambic-style beers barrel-aged in oak in Belgium. The lineup for January 12 includes SpontanPassionfruit, SpontanSourCherry, SpontanMango, SpontanWatermelon, SpontanDoubleBlueberry, SpontanCassis, and SpontanGreenApple. Beers will be available through January while supplies last, but act fast because these rare gems aren't likely to linger long. 

CH Distillery Kicks Off 2016 Guest Bartender Series

It's time once again for CH Distillery's annual guest bartender series. This year's lineup of monthly mixologists is a pretty impressive roster indeed, and it all starts with 2016's inaugural event on January 12. The guest bartender for the evening? None other than Abe Conlon of Fat Rice. The evening will double as a unique launch party for Onu Tuica Romanesca CH Plum Brandy, a collaboration between CH Distillery, Fat Rice, and Michigan's Seedling Farms. The cocktail lineup for the evening features The Firebird (bourbon barrel-aged rum, kalamansi, palm sugar, pineapple, CH Amaro, and Aperol), The Green Goblin (CH Key Gin, "Fatreuse," Maraschino liqueur, lime, house-cured cherry), You Filthy Pig You (CH Vodka, CH Peppercorn Vodka, fino sherry, Jamon Iberico tincture, Portuguese olive juice), Onu You Didn't (Onu Tuica Romanesca CH Plum Brandy, CH Vodka, bubblegum plum shrub, umeboshi plum "vinegar"), and Fernet pepper bombs, made with Fat Rice's house "Dr. Pepper" and CH Fernet-Dogma. Pork chop buns from Fat Rice will also be available on the menu for the evening. All cocktails cost $11. 


Beer taps at Villains

Chef "Roast" at River Roast

Everyone with a good sense of humor loves a good roast. Some of Chicago's top-tier chefs step into the comical spotlight for good-hearted roasting at, aptly, River Roast on January 12. What's even better is that the event serves to raise funds for the Greater Chicago Food Depository. Chefs Jimmy Bannos and Takashi Yagihashi are the guest chefs for the night, joining up with John Hogan and Tony Mantuano for a four-course dinner followed by a bit of roasting. The roast will be hosted by WXTY Radio's Lin Brehmer, and it all kicks off with a cocktail reception at 6:00 p.m. Reservations for this offbeat affair are required and can be made by calling River Roast. Tickets are $75 and can be purchased here

Croatian Wine Dinner at Publican Quality Meats

After you've had your fill of rare beers, cocktails, and roasts, make your way to Publican Quality Meats the following night, January 13, for a special Croatian wine dinner. The event is a four-course meal featuring wines from Zlatan Otok vineyard in Croatia, presenting a unique opportunity to sample Croatian wines in a variety of styles. Menu items to be served include spicy coppa with persimmon, chicories, and mustard; grilled branzino with clams, mussels, squid, potato, and pepper sofrito; leg of lamb with delicata squash, merguez caponata, rosemary, and ricotta salata. Each course is paired with wine, and there's also a raffle for a three-night stay at the vineyard's bed and breakfast. Dinner starts at 7:00 p.m. and costs $85 per person. Call Publican Quality Meats to make a reservation. 

- Matt Kirouac