AROUND TOWN: Frozen In The City

Updated: Mar 16, 2020

It might be cold, but that doesn't mean it's time to hibernate; gear up and head out. —INGRAIN, Winter 2018

goose island 312 urban wheat ale frozen during a chicago winter

We are Chicagoans. The cold doesn't scare us.


What’s all this talk about not grilling? Don’t people still love brisket and steak in the winter

(Get over those tears from the wind freezing to your face.) Keep your charcoal dry, and you’re good to go. You can still use the same lighting process, and you’re pretty safe using your gas grill as well (the freezing temp of propane is -188°C). Consider investing in a meat probe thermometer to minimize how many times you open the grill. Oh, and oven mitts make great winter gloves.

NECESSITY ThermoPro TP-16 Large Meat Probe Thermometer, $18,


Music Frozen Dancing was started out of spite by then Goose Island Experiential Manager Todd Ahsmann (now the president) after he was given grief for scheduling the party on a busy city-wide event day. Ahsmann retaliated, vowing to schedule a block party when there “wasn’t anything else fucking going on so no one could complain.” Goose partnered with cool kid venue Empty Bottle, and Music Frozen Dancing was born. (Naturally, March 1, 2014 happened to be the day the Blackhawks played their annual outdoor game AND the weekend Jimmy Fallon and Mayor Rahm Emanuel did the Polar Plunge in Lake Michigan.) Music Frozen Dancing is still going strong. Shake your frozen booty.

NECESSITY Suzy Kuzy Beer Mitt (a knit Koozie), $20

goose island concert during a chicago winter


In Chicago, the number of people facing the frozen streets and icy city winds on their winter ride to work is on the rise, from corporate lawyers commuting to the Loop to elementary teachers headed to school. The roads (and bike lanes) out there have gotten better, too, with more options like digital bike-share rentals, so you can dirty up someone else’s ride in those melted snow-filled gutters. (I always honk encouragingly when I pass them in my warm and

cozy car.)

NECESSITY Buff Reversible Polar Headwear, $40


The best waves on Lake Michigan break in the winter, from November through April. Not for the faint of heart, the frigid waters require a full five-millimeter-thick neoprene wet suit. Sure, freshwater surfers don’t have to keep an eye out for sharks, but shredders do have to watch for icebergs. There’s also that issue of changing out of wet clothes in below-freezing temperatures. But hey, don’t let fear guide your board. Suit up, grab a buddy, and throw a hot water bottle in your dry underpants to shred the gnar this winter, dude.

NECESSITY O'Neill 7mm Round Toe Booties, $65


We all know that homebrewers are a little, well, OFF (a compliment). Their dedication has no bounds, and dammit, a little cold weather is not going to stop them from boiling wort in a propane turkey fryer in their driveway. Once it’s up to boil in icy outdoor temperatures,

you’re golden, then throw the hot kettle into a snowbank to get the wort down to pitching temperature (no need to use tons of water in a heat exchanger). You still have to determine evaporation rate (directly affected by environmental temperature), so sit back, make a Hot Scotchie, and give it a good think.

NECESSITY Goose Island Speckled Camp Mug, $12

Still have energy to burn? See what else is happening Around Town.