Countdown to Ignite Ep. 8: The One About Rocking Out at the HOB, Craft Beers & Bacon, and the Best Hamburger in Chicago

Countdown to Ignite Episode 8It’s time for one more trip to Chicago for Rick Claus and Joey Snow this week. They’ve saved the best for last, so you won’t want to miss this episode. They also answer some questions from the forums. Keep reading for my summary, but make sure you click over to the Ignite blog for the video and full blog post.

The complete agenda for the week of Ignite is on the website if you haven’t noticed. If you look on Monday night you’ll notice something called Ignite Rocks. Ignite Rocks is the reborn Jam Sessions from TechEd. If you’re a musician or a singer or just enjoy good music performed by your fellow attendees, stop by the House of Blues starting at 9 PM Monday night.

Want to avoid lines when you pick up your conference badge? Ignite is offering several badge pick-up locations away from the convention center. You can pick-up your badge at any of these locations on Saturday May 2 and Sunday May 3. Please note that this is only for your badge. Materials pickup (a.k.a the bag and other goodies) is over at McCormick Place. Since you’ll already have your badge though, you should be able to get in and out quickly. I’ll do that on Sunday first thing in the morning to get that out-of-the-way. Here are the locations:

  • Chicago O’Hare International Airport
  • Microsoft Retail Store – Shops at North Bridge
  • Palmer House a Hilton Hotel
  • Hyatt Regency Chicago
  • Hotel Chicago Downtown, Autograph Collection
  • MileNorth Hotel
  • Drake Hotel

No matter where you’re staying, you can probably a nearby location (and there’s always the airport if you’re coming in to O’Hare). Check the Ignite blog post for a list showing which hotels are near each of the pick-up locations.

  • Paddy Long’s – A beer and bacon pub open since 2007. They have 18 beers on tap and feature all kinds of bacon. Chicago Eater named Paddy Long’s one of ,the top ten places to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in Chicago. They’re known for the bacon and beer pairings, but note that they are now only offered on Saturdays and not on Sundays as mentioned in the video. These pairings book up, so book online now if you’re interested. Several Ignite Roundtable members attended the tasting shown in the video (I spy Michael Bender, Nick Lagalante, and Ed Liberman in the video), and they all raved about it when we were in town in December.

    Twitter: @PaddyLongs

  • Revolution Brewing – Revolution Brewing opened in 2010 and their production brewery and tap room opened in 2012. They produce ~50 different styles of beer each year, so chances are you’ll find something you like if you visit. I caught up with folks at Revolution Brewing the night they filmed but arrived too late to sample any of the food (and I definitely didn’t sample any beer). I could really go for some of that bacon fat popcorn right about now however.

    Twitter: @revbrewchicago

  • Rockit Burger Bar – I’ve never been to Rockit Burger Bar, but I really want to go now after watching the video and checking out their website. I haven’t had breakfast yet, and the pictures of burgers and onion rings and patty melts and fried mac and cheese and… Sorry, but I have to close the browser. I just can’t take it anymore. I want a burger, and I want it now, but we still have 41 days to go.

    Twitter: @RockitBurgerBar

  • Lagunitas Brewing Company – Originally founded in 1993 in Lagunitas, California, Lagunitas moved to Petaluma in 199 and has been growing strong ever since. They expanded to Chicago in 2014 when they opened a brewery and taproom. Lagunitas took over a warehouse that was part of a complex that housed Ryerson Inc., a steel company. Ryserson vacated the facility in 2012, and Cinespace took over converting it into a place where TV shows like Chicago Fire are filmed. The warehouse couldn’t be used for filming, however, due to vibrations from trains on the nearby tracks. It turned out to be perfect for beer, however, so Lagunitas moved in.

    The space looks amazing. They offer tours during the week and on weekends, but only the weekday tours are tasting tours, so check the taproom site for more info.

    This little bit of history came from a three-part series on Ryerson and Lagunitas on the Metal Miner website by Taras Berezkowsky. Definitely check out the story “Corner of Lagunitas Chicago and Ryerson Inc.: Where Steel Meets Beer”.

    Twitter: @lagunitasbeer

That’s it for this week. Check out the episode below and enjoy a look at some of the best spots in Chicago.

You can watch the show over on Channel 9, but why not just watch it here?

If you haven’t registered yet, head over to the Ignite website and register now. You might need to be creative with your lodging, however, as the conference hotel lists appears to be sold out. You can check out my post showing hotel availability (as of March 16). Also read my post Need a Hotel for Ignite? Don’t Worry if you’re starting to panic.

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