At about 6:30 last night, an email went out from City Provisions, informing the world that the well-known Ravenswood delicatessen best known for their sustainable and local focus had closed for good. On this site, however, City Provisions and its proprietor Cleetus Friedman is best known for the series of brewery collaborations that created unique and tasty brews including Testudo with Two Brothers, Anaphylaxis with Solemn Oath, and most notably for me, the Sarsaparilla Stout with Dark Horse that topped my list of the best beer I drank in 2011.
We recently noted Friedman’s efforts in our 2012 Craft Beer awards, stating that 2012 “saw more and more restaurants and bars creating their own collaboration beers, and those can be traced back in a straight line to the beers that started appearing on draft at City Provisions over the last two years.”
After the news broke, the reaction on Twitter from fans, friends and collaborators was immediate. An outpouring of disappointment, appreciation , thanks and good wishes for Friedman’s efforts ensued, from industry peers like Phil Kuhl, the folks at Brew Camp, Death’s Door Spirits and more:
— Trenchermen (@Trenchermen) January 29, 2013
— Solemn Oath Brewery (@solemnoathbeer) January 29, 2013
— FestivAle for CF (@ChiFestivAle) January 29, 2013
— Phillip Foss (@PhillipFoss) January 29, 2013
— Jess dba Anhalt (@Anhalt) January 29, 2013
— Michelle Dietzler (@DietzlerFarms) January 29, 2013
— TheLocalBeet Chicago (@thelocalbeet) January 29, 2013
Goodbye, @cityprovisions. You made us think. Cleetus, we can't wait to see what comes next.
— Brew Camp (@brewcamp) January 29, 2013
— Phil Kuhl (@BeerDudePhil) January 29, 2013
— Andrew ✶ Huff (@me3dia) January 29, 2013
— Janet Rausa Fuller (@jrfull) January 29, 2013
— Death's Door Spirits (@deathsdoor) January 29, 2013
In the email, there was no mention of any plans for Friedman’s upcoming collaborations – of the beers in the pipeline, his recent visit to Dark Horse where he live-tweeted about what they were calling a “Hundred Grand Stout” is highly anticipated (at least by me). We’ve reached out for comment on the status of those releases. Friedman promised info about his next moves will follow shortly, saying he looks forward “to keep pushing the boundaries of the local food movement and keeping you excited about the world I am living in…so stay tuned.”
We posited this briefly last night; it might not be in Cleetus’ plans, but if any brewery needs a consultant that could also run one hell of a brewpub restaurant and tap room you owe it to yourself to pick up the phone immediately.
Gapers Block caught up with Friedman last night and confirmed that the brewery collaborations will continue.
His popular collaborations with local breweries will continue, in beer-friendly restaurants and bars like Hopleaf, Fountainhead and Bangers and Lace. “Lillie’s Q is friendly with the Dark Horse guys, so we’ll likely release the Dark Horse collab [‘Hundred Grand Stout’] there.”