Markets have been around since the beginning of establish civilizations. They are meeting places where people from all corners of the earth can come to exchange goods, news, and ideas. These markets can take many forms. There are traditional ones that still exist today like supermarkets or farmer’s markets, or the advent of the internet has led to the rise of the all powerful online marketplace. Along with markets, alcohol has been the cornerstone of most nation states throughout history. Whether that be airag, the milky spirt sipped on by one Ghengis Khan, or the wine that filled the goblets of the Caesars throughout the history of the Roman Empire, alcohol has been a double edged sword that has existed for man’s pleasure or survival in the case of areas where watersheds were too polluted to drink from. Given all of this information, it would only seem natural to place both of these concepts together into a market that sells beer or today’s restaurant: Beer Market.
They have many different locations throughout the Chicagoland area, but my parents and I visited the franchise branch in Bolingbrook’s Promenade shopping center. It wasn’t too busy when we walked in since we eat dinner earlier than the average bear or bird in this context. It was like any other modern American gastropub with exposed brick, dark accents, wooden chairs, and random neon beer signs. We sat down and were greeted with a monstrous beer menu. As I leafed through the 25 pages of beers, I was overwhelmed with making a selection. However, once I was finished reading the tome, I settled for a kolsch to go along with my bratwurst entree. What better than a German beer to accompany a German meal? My mom got the cole slaw burger which I had a natural aversion to since it was carrying the stepchild of potato salad in my eyes when it comes to picnic side dishes. When all of it came out, it didn’t look like the most appetizing meal in the world, but I’d let the flavors do the talking. Kolsch or Kölsch beer is a German beer that was invented in Cologne in English or Köln, hence Kölsch. It is a light yellow, pale ale which is quite rare in the land of lagers, but thankfully the hops are not over the top. Instead, it has a bit more body than your average lager and a more floral/fruity quality to it. Definitely more of a summer beer if you’re looking for something light and crisp. It paired very well with my bratwurst. The word bratwurst comes from the German words “brät” or “finely chopped meat” and “wurst” or “sausage”. They were actually made popular throughout the USA compliments of the Milwaukee Brewers baseball franchise where even today brats still outsell hot dogs. Beer Market’s take on the bratwurst had slight riffs on the original sausage. First, it was soaked in beer to give it even more flavor and seal in the juiciness. Then, it was buried in a heap of grilled onions that were great, and the brown mustard had a kick to it that was an homage to another ballpark staple. The sausage and onions were not served on your typical white bread bun or roll but a pretzel bun. So, the pretzel-mustard-brat combo in short was a home run. My mom’s cole slaw burger seemed ok presentation-wise, but she wasn’t too satisfied overall. She said it was average at best, so I think you should check out their other menu items. So if you’re a beer lover or are looking for a more upscale, solid but not spectacular bar and eatery than the dive on the corner, then check out Beer Market.