In the spirit of full disclosure, I would like to start this Mystery Diner review of an eagerly-awaited new local craft beer tasting room and bottle shop with a few points:
While I am always game for trying new beers, I am not an official beer connoisseur. I brought along a guest who also would not consider themselves a beer connoisseur, but they were also game for trying new beers and for trying out an experience like this with me.
My bottom line is, I was kind of out of my element when it came to trying some beers I generally wouldn't go out of my way to try. However, I'm pretty appreciative of staff at Flight Tasting Room and Bottle Shoppe in Yorkville, for being super patient and knowledgeable in the business's craft beer selection while my guest and I tried to figure out which beers we wanted to try.
The main focus of Flight Tasting Room & Bottle Shoppe is to carry craft beer that you wouldn't ordinarily find at your local bar or neighborhood liquor store. We decided on tasting these four beers, which came in little 5 oz glasses each: The Tangled Roots Scandinavian Beachfront Property porter, the BrewDog USA King of Eights India pale ale, the Collective Arts Guava Gose sour and the Tandem Ciders Smackintosh apple cider.
For starters, I was immediately smitten by the type of flight that staff used to bring our selections to us. The flight was in the shape of a propeller and definitely in keeping with their overall "flight" brand.
To move on to the drinks we tried, the Tangled Roots Scandinavian Beachfront Property porter was a little bitter, with a nutty or coffee-like taste to it. To draw a parallel to a commoner's beer, this beer kind of reminded me of Guinness.
For someone who is usually not about IPAs, I really liked the BrewDog USA King of Eights India pale ale. It wasn't too hoppy and it had some nice citrus notes, almost reminding us of Blue Moon – despite Blue Moon not being an IPA.
Similar to how I'm usually not one to reach for an IPA, I'm also not someone who would usually go out of their way to order a sour. However, the Collective Arts Guava Gose sour was not as tart as I was expecting and surprisingly refreshing to me, with more citrus-y notes here as well.
The Tandem Ciders Smackintosh apple cider came highly recommended by staff, and there's a reason for that. While I truly liked different aspects of each beer I tried, this was by far my guest and I's favorite taste test out of the flight. This was crisp, not too sweet and tasted especially great with autumn starting to descend upon us.
What I really appreciated about Flight Tasting Room is not only how we could taste a variety of beers for just less than $12, but patrons are able to bring in their own snacks or food. For the record, we brought in carry-out Suzy's Pizza from Yorkville and our medium pepperoni pizza paired nicely with our beers.
Not only did I enjoy the beers that I tried, but my overall experience with Flight Tasting Room & Bottle Shoppe was a fun one. I know I'll definitely be back again soon to try more beverages I missed this time around.
• The Mystery Diner is a newsroom employee at the Record Newspapers. The diner’s identity is not revealed to restaurant staff before or during the meal. The Mystery Diner visits a restaurant and then reports on the experience. The Mystery Diner is not intended to be a restaurant critic, but does highlight the parts of a dining experience that he/she can recommend.