At the end of February, American Bocce announced a venue partnership with Old Irving Brewing. Typically, a new league at a new venue takes some time to find its form. Players get comfortable with the rolls, the refs, and the bar staff at a particular venue and regularity can be a very beautiful thing. With Old Irving standing off the beaten path (by Chicago standards), both American Bocce and OIB agreed that an eight-team league would be a win for the first league at the brewery. And then, through a fortunate combination of American Bocce’s rapidly growing success and Old Irving Brewing’s instantly awesome reputation – we booked 15 teams in just two weeks!
Trevor Rose-Hamblin is the head brewer at Old Irving Brewing and knew long before the agreement that American Bocce was the right fit for the sizable space off of Montrose Ave. When he became a partner in the brewpub in September of 2016, he had a vision for a relaxed atmosphere with eclectic beers, a game room, and a warm setting that would fit right into the neighborhood of Old Irving Park.
American Bocce O.G.’s might recall Chef Thomas (Bowman) and his deadly ‘hammers’ from our first year of leagues. It was actually the bocce-player-formerly-known-as-Chef who introduced Rose-Hamblin to American Bocce.
Before taking on the tanks at Old Irving, Trevor was a classically trained chef and he shows off a lot of his knowledge in flavor pairings on the beer list. This season, bocce players will get to experience a wide range of beers brewed by Rose-Hamblin. We’re most excited for the biscotti and coffee stout and the beer inspired by a classic Old Fashioned, but with 7 constants on the menu, and a fun rotation of specialty beers, there should be a little something for everyone.
Usually bocce and beer is all it takes to warm our players’ hearts, but Old Irving Brewing also has Chef Michael Schrader’s wood-fired specialties to look forward to. The food is a focal point at OIB and players will have plenty of game-friendly fare available to them each Tuesday.
Chef Michael and Trevor are also planning on creating an elaborate family-style dinner, complete with beer pairings and off-menu inspirations for the winners of the championship on April 30th.
And just when it seemed like OIB couldn’t be a more perfect fit for American Bocce, we found out that all drafts are $4 on Tuesdays! If you missed out on the Spring session but want to check out our latest venue crush, let us know and we’ll put you on the sub list. Or just check them out on your own time (if not Tuesdays, we recommend Monday nights for their Mario Kart tournaments!)
At the time of print, there was still availability for one more team to register for this league (beginning 3/20). Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or register directly at htttp://www.americanbocceco.com