The Daily Parker

Politics, Weather, Photography, and the Dog

Public Craft Brewing, Kenosha

Welcome to stop #65 on the Brews and Choos project.

Brewery: Public Craft Brewing, 716 58th St., Kenosha, Wis.
Train line: Union Pacific North, Kenosha
Time from Chicago: 1 hour, 40 minutes (Zone K)
Distance from station: 800 m

As our music director sometimes says with a pained look on his face, "there were a lot of good things in there." So with Public Craft Brewing, which seemed entirely the opposite in many ways from Rustic Road just around the corner. The high ceilings and well-lit seating area felt a lot less intimate than Rustic Road, for starters, though I complement Public Craft on keeping the music low enough that no one had to shout.

I spoke to one server who said the space felt like a furniture store. And then I spoke to another server who said the space was a converted furniture store. They even kept some of the furniture, which looked quite comfy.

I sat at the bar, however, and had a 4-beer flight while chatting with the bartender and his partner. They do make good beers. The Reality Czech Pilsner (5.0%) had more hop flavor than I expected, but still kept the light, clean feel and finish of a good Pils. Strangely, I had no first impression at all of the Bits & Pieces Mosaic IPA (6.1%), but on second tasting I got plenty of hops (but not the hop porn I've come to hate) and a good fruity flavor balance. The Lakeshore Haze New England IPA (5.4%, 14 IBU) had good citrus as one would expect, and a surprising amount of malt flavors. Finally, the Chocolate Birthday Cake Imperial Stout (9.5%) lived up to its name. Wow, that one was a lot of flavor, and like Rustic Road's porter, a good dessert beer.

Beer garden? Sidewalk patio, seasonal
Dogs OK? Outside
Televisions? None
Serves food? Yes, specializing in tacos
Would hang out with a book? Maybe
Would hang out with friends? Yes
Would go back? Maybe

Rustic Road Brewing, Kenosha

Welcome to stop #64 on the Brews and Choos project.

Brewery: Rustic Road Brewing, 5706 6th Ave., Kenosha, Wis.
Train line: Union Pacific North, Kenosha
Time from Chicago: 1 hour, 40 minutes (Zone K)
Distance from station: 900 m

Kenosha, Wis., is the end of the line for the Metra Union Pacific North Line. It takes a while to get up there, longer than to any other Metra station. (The South Shore Line isn't a Metra railroad.) Plus, the weekday train schedules make a day trip nigh impossible Monday to Friday. So yesterday I left Cassie to her own devices and hauled on up to the Badger State.

I really liked Rustic Road. The brewery moved into its current downtown storefront in 2018, and seems to have gone out of its way to hire quirky and fun servers and bartenders.

I tried a $9 flight and a decent chicken Caesar salad. First, the Helles Belles Lager (5.1%, 18 IBU) had a not-too-syrupy, well-balanced malt profile and a clean finish, a good expression of the Helles style. The Haze Craze #10 New England IPA (6.1%, 35 IBU) had a slow build to real fruit flavors, some of which came from their experimental BRU-1 hops. The latest Haze Craze (#11, Triple New England IPA, 6.24%, 40 IBU) had tons more hop flavors than #10, and really exploded on the palate. I wound up getting a full pint of it with my salad, because after tasting the Highland Porter (9.1%, 32 IBU) and its huge coffee , vanilla, and chocolate flavors, I realized I had to save that one for dessert.

If I visit Kenosha again, I'll stop in.

Beer garden? Sidewalk patio, seasonal
Dogs OK? Outside
Televisions? Three, avoidable
Serves food? Yes, full menu
Would hang out with a book? Yes
Would hang out with friends? Yes
Would go back? Yes

Winter is coming...

...on Wednesday. And to remind us of this, yesterday didn't get above freezing at my house. It finally went above freezing at 3:04am, according to my thermometer. And at Chicago's official weather station at O'Hare, yesterday was the coldest day since February 21st.

Today won't get too much warmer. Still, in about 90 minutes, I'm taking the Brews & Choos Project out of Illinois for the first time. Kenosha, Wis., has two breweries within a couple of blocks of each other and the Union Pacific North Line's northern terminus. Cassie had a stomach issue on Thursday, which for reasons I won't explain but you can infer, turned out to be a hunk of one of her toys. So she will have a quiet day at home while I almost finish all the stops on the UP-N.

Overdue shifting of externalities in the UK

Fed up with manufacturers releasing Internet-connected products for the home with inadequate security that puts everyone in the world at risk, the UK has finally cracked down:

Default passwords for internet-connected devices will be banned, and firms which do not comply will face huge fines.

The Product Security and Telecommunications Infrastructure Bill lays out three new rules:

  • easy-to-guess default passwords preloaded on devices are banned. All products now need unique passwords that cannot be reset to factory default
  • customers must be told when they buy a device the minimum time it will receive vital security updates and patches. If a product doesn't get either, that must also be disclosed
  • security researchers will be given a public point of contact to point out flaws and bugs

The new regime will be overseen by a regulator, which will be appointed once the bill comes into force. It will have the power to fine companies up to £10m [$1.3m] or 4% of their global turnover, as well as up to £20,000 [$26,700] a day for ongoing contraventions.

About bloody time, I say. Yes, people should know better than to connect open Internet ports to their home networks, but most people in the world do not understand what any of that means. We don't make people mix their gasoline with air when driving anymore for the same reasons.

Stewie

The stew turned out fine, except I used just a touch too much chipotle powder:

I also made a lot. Including what I ate, I made about 4½ liters, including the one jar (front row, second from right) of just stew broth:

So, two notes to self:

  • Upping the herbs and spices worked fine, except for the chipotle powder. Keep that under a teaspoon next time.
  • Use less liquid. Remember that mushrooms are mostly water.

Still, it tasted great, and I get to have it six. More. Times.

Productive day so far

Having a day off with no real responsibilities gives me the space to take care of some niggling projects I've put off for a while. First, I finished updating a document for the Apollo Chorus that lists every sit and stand cue and every score marking for our Messiah performances. That took about 8 hours altogether.

I also updated my main NuGet packages to .NET 6. As a nice bonus, because of a quirk in how .NET assemblies get versioned, today's release is version 4.2.8000. (I kept the previous release active just in case someone needs it for an existing .NET 5 project.)

Oh, and I've got a pot of stew going that should finish in about an hour. I made a lot of it. I hope it freezes all right. Good thing I have tons of Mason jars. It looked like this at 3½ hours:

Professional vs amateur

John Scalzi is a professional writer, and I am not. That's why he can encapsulate the past year in one paragraph better than I could do in three:

Biden’s not perfect by any stretch, and clearly his current approval ratings are, uhhhhh, not great. That said, he is performing pretty much to my expectations, and as well as he can, considering the 50 Democratic senators he has for his majority are actually 48 Democratic senators, one clearly-a-Republican-but-pretending-to-be-a-Democrat-for-lulz, and one chaos agent, considering the opposing political party has lost its mind and would rather burn the country to the ground than do anything useful, and considering that, like every other Democratic president in recent memory, Biden’s first job out of the gate was dealing with all the disasters and time bombs the previous administration left behind. One works with what one has, and Biden’s doing all right with that. Even if he wasn’t, he’s still better than what we had. Thanks for letting me not think about you, President Biden. I surely appreciate it.

Yes. I am glad I don't have to think about the White House every day. That was exhausting. And I'm certain, on the flimsiest of contemporary evidence but troves of historical data, that the President's approval ratings will go up next year. A lot.

Short-term license agreements

Today is the 50th anniversary of DB Cooper jumping out of a hijacked airplane into the wilds of Washington State. It's also the day I will try to get a Covid-19 booster shot, since I have nothing scheduled for tomorrow that I'd have to cancel if I wind up sleeping all day while my immune system tries to beat the crap out of some spike proteins in my arm.

Meanwhile, for reasons passing understanding (at least if you have a good grasp of economics), President Biden's approval ratings have declined even though last week had fewer new unemployment claims than any week in my lifetime. (He's still more popular than the last guy, though.)

In other news:

Any moment now, my third DevOps build in the last hour will complete. I've had to run all three builds with full tests because I don't always write perfect code the first time. But this is exactly why I have a DevOps build pipeline with lots of tests.

New brewery opening Saturday

I had planned for Saturday to cap off the Union Pacific North Line segment of the Brews & Choos project with a trip up to Kenosha. I'll still visit the now-infamous city this weekend, but it turns out, I'll have one more spot to visit before completing the first entire Metra line:

Elements of Cultivate by Forbidden Root, which opens Saturday, will seem familiar to anyone who set foot in Band of Bohemia during the six-year run for the Michelin-starred restaurant and brewery that carved out one of the most unique niches in American dining before declaring bankruptcy last year.

But Forbidden Root’s second Chicago location aims to create a unique niche of its own after owner Robert Finkel acquired the airy Ravenswood location and everything inside earlier this year at auction.

The makeover for Cultivate by Forbidden Root (4710 N. Ravenswood Ave.) also includes an adjacent taproom and private event space expected to open in December with another 16 draft lines, half of which will be guest taps. Snacks will be served there, but no full meals.

Since the new brewery is directly adjacent to the Ravenswood Metra stop just over a kilometer from my house, I expect to stop in early next week.