8 Perfect Pairings

Locally owned restaurants need all the help they can get right now. Even if you can’t visit in person, there are plenty of ways to still enjoy an exciting new dish and a creative pairing with an alcoholic drink. We found eight local choices that are too tempting to resist.


There’s something special about a great, hearty meal. Maybe it brings back childhood memories or maybe it’s the right combination of delicious flavors. Regardless, a great meal simply makes everyday problems and stresses disappear. The only thing that makes it better is a cold alcoholic beverage sitting next to it.

We’ve searched the area and found some of the best food and drink combinations around. Just be sure to have plenty of napkins ready.

Two Brothers

Smoked BBQ Wings, generously covered in Memphis barbecue sauce, combining smoke and a sweet bite. Paired with Two Brothers Bourbon Manhattan, with traditional bitterness and herbal undertones and a smooth, caramel, toffee and vanilla bourbon brewed at Two Brothers’ Warrenville tap house.

Two Brothers Roundhouse, 205 N. Broadway, Aurora, (630) 264-2739. Also at 30W315 Calumet Ave., Warrenville, and 16 W. Jefferson Ave., Naperville. Dining rooms/tap house temporarily closed; order to-go drinks at twobrothersbrewing.com.

(Rush Creek photo)

Rush Creek

The spirits at this homegrown distillery can pair well with any meal. The vodka is odorless and made with grains harvested by an area farmer.

Enjoy it on the rocks or in a mixed drink, such as a hometown mule, with a lime and ginger beer.

Rush Creek also sells a light and earthy botanical gin and two types of whiskey: American Gold, a whiskey sourced from Kentucky, and Trophy, a barrel-aged spirit.

Rush Creek Distilling, 1501 W. Diggins St., Harvard, (815) 943-7874.

Wild Onion Brewery

A loaded 8-ounce burger piled high with American cheese, bacon, jalapenos, lettuce, tomato, onion and avocado. Served with a pickle and a side of onion rings.

Pairs well with Oktoberfest, a very smooth German pale lager that’s only available in the fall.

Wild Onion Brewery, 22221 Pepper Road, Lake Barrington, (847) 381-7308,
onionbrewery.com. Food and beer can be ordered to-go or for delivery.

(Stockholm’s photo)


This Reuben sandwich is made with lean corned beef, sauerkraut, Swiss cheese and Thousand Island dressing stacked on toasted marble rye, and served with fries and a pickle.

Pair it with an apple cider mule, made with homemade ginger syrup, apple cider, soda and vodka from Kennay Farms Distilling, in Rochelle.

Stockholm’s, 306 W. State St., Geneva, (630) 208-7070, stockholmbrewpub.com. The heated patio is available with limited seating; the full menu is available for to-go orders.

(Shadowview Brewing photo)

Shadowview Brewing

This margherita pizza is a fan favorite, and it’s served with mozzarella cheese, tomato and basil. Wash it down with a Ponysoldier, a West Coast IPA that’s brewed locally an dloaded with plenty of bitter hops.

Shadowview Brewing, 2400 Lake Shore Dr., Woodstock, (815) 308-5600. Order food and beer to-go at shadowviewbrewing.com.

(More Brewing Company photo)

More Brewing Company

The Nashville Hot Chicken Sandwich, topped with coleslaw and pickles, brings the spicy taste of the Music City up north. It pairs well with Morever, a New England IPA that’s a staple at the brewery. This smooth and hazy beer has intense tropical, citrusy notes in both flavor and aroma.

More Brewing Company, 13980 Auto Mall Dr., Huntley, (847) 310-7530 and at 126 S. Villa Ave., Villa Park, (630) 501-1519. Order food, beer and wine to-go at morebrewing.com.

Slyce Coal Fired Pizza

In front, an original charred pizza with tomato sauce, diced pancetta, garlic, spinach, Calabria chili and mascarpone. In back, a pizza Bianca with cream, prosciutto, Gorgonzola cheese, Italian figs and balsamic glaze.

Slyce Coal Fired Pizza, 127 N. Main St., Wauconda, (847) 469-8840, slycecoalfiredpizza.com, available by delivery or to-go. Paired with a brew from Side Lot Brewery, 110 Slocum Lake Road, Wauconda, (847) 865-0281, sidelotbrewing.com. Reservations required.

Side Lot Brewing

These pizzas pair well with Side Lot Brewery, located next door. Pictured with Jimmy the Weasel, a Belgian-style Tripel with aromas of banana and apricot (left) or the Tone Deaf IPA, made with three types of hops (right).

Georgio’s Pizza

Authentic, Chicago-style deep dish pizza, available in eight specialties or with custom toppings. Pair it with Wake Maker, a session IPA that bears notes of bitterness and citrus, made by Crystal Lake Brewing, in Crystal Lake.

Georgio’s Pizza, 75 E. Woodstock St., Crystal Lake, (815) 459-8888, and 100 W. Higgins Road, South Barrington, (847) 844-1988. Order online at georgiospizza.com.