FEBRUARY 20TH, 2018
In the run-up to our fourth annual Uppers & Downers festival, we once again played host to a coffee cocktail competition where the city's best bar personalities presented their best, or most original, interpretation of Irish Coffee to the public. In collaboration with Powers Whiskey and Counter Culture Coffee, the winning cocktail was featured at the main U&D fest.
On this rainy, chilly Chicago night, Tack Room was transformed into a cozy and bustling hall of Irish Coffee stands. Each both was set-up by a different Chicago bar, serving their own unique concoction—warm and boozy, each drink a variation on the same theme. The stage was set for a night of fierce (but friendly) competition.
Michael Kiser, of Good Beer Hunting, was joined in his judging duties by one coffee expert, and one booze expert—Ashley Rodriguez of Barista Magazine and the Boss Barista podcast and Brenton Engel of Letherbee Distillers. The winning interpretation came from Mark Phelan of Revival Food Hall. Mark's unique twist on the classic cocktail included a passion fruit cream and was garnished with a shaved Tonka bean.
We love this fest because it brings out such a fun crowd. Thanks to all of the competitors, judges, and our hosts at Tack Room. See you next year!
Full list of competitors:
REVIVAL FOOD HALL - Mark Phelan
MONEYGUN/SAINT LOU'S - Donavan Mitchem
GT PRIME - Katie Renshaw (Chicago Speed Rack winner 2017)
TACK ROOM/DUSEK'S/PUNCH HOUSE - Rob Boyd
PINK SQUIRREL/DEADBOLT - Dustin Drankiewicz
THE PROMONTORY - Lisa Brown
THE DAWSON - Aaron Pollack
THE DELTA - Adam Kamin
SPORTSMAN'S CLUB - Brandon Anderson
THE DRINKINGBIRD - Cesar Guzman
Photos from the 2108 Chicago festival
photos by Stephanie Byce