Small Bites: A farm built by sheep, and craft beers team up with a food truck

by Terry B on July 13, 2011

The unexpected making of Mint Creek Farm is the subject of my latest USA Character Approved Blog post. And Half Acre Beer Company and Gaztro-Wagon team up for one delicious night.

We’ve been buying lamb (and on occasion, mutton and goat) from Mint Creek Farm for a couple of years now. Mostly, we pick it up at farmers markets here in Chicago and always seem to get into great conversations about the farm with whoever’s working the booth. Still, when I decided to write about their certified organic farm in downstate Illinois for the USA Character Approved Blog, I thought it would be worth checking in with someone at the farm to see what was new. As luck would have it, soon I was on the phone with Harry Carr. He and his wife Gwen started the farm almost 20 years ago, and Harry has a reputation for having a way with a story.

This particular afternoon, Harry and I got into a good discussion about a piece he’d written for the farm blog. It concerned moving 800 head of sheep from his farm to that of a friend who wanted his organic fields grazed (and, well, fertilized) by Mint Creek’s sheep before he replanted. Turns out sheep are just as reactionary as little kids—mess with their routine and they can go a little nuts on you. Harry’s story is quite amusing, probably more so in hindsight than when it was going on.

Even funnier is the fact that Harry and Gwen didn’t set out to raise sheep when they bought the farmed-out land that became Mint Creek Farm. To find out how they accidentally got into the sheep business and where it’s led them, check out my latest post on the USA Character Approved Blog.

Beer Pairing Event at Logan Square Kitchen this Friday

Wine pairings have been around for a while, but pairing craft beers with great food is a delicious, relatively new development. This Friday, Chicago’s Logan Square Kitchen is matching up beers from Half Acre Beer Company with food prepared by Gaztro-Wagon’s chef Matt Maroni at the Brewer’s BYO. Instead of his food truck’s popular naan-wiches, Matt will be pairing delectable treats like beer battered trout, stewed mussels with crawfish sausage and smoked pork shoulder with Half Acre’s Daisy Cutter Pale Ale, Gossamer Golden Ale and Half Acre Over Ale.

As the event name implies, you’re also welcome to bring your own home brew—or other store-bought beer. But with Half Acre in the house, why would you? Buy your tickets here. And do it now—they’re going fast.
Brewer’s BYO

Friday, July 15, 7pm – 10pm
Logan Square Kitchen
2333 N. Milwaukee Ave.


{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

altadenahiker July 14, 2011 at 3:40 pm

Enjoyed the piece on CAB. Isn’t it funny how we think we’re going in one direction but then life takes over?

Terry B July 14, 2011 at 4:08 pm

Very philosophically put, Altadenahiker. I sometimes think about what I thought would be my totally cool grown-up life when I was a teenager and am so happy it took many different turns. Can’t even remember now what those dreams were. I’m glad you liked the Cabo piece. The trip was a cool, totally unexpected opportunity—I’m sure at least one more story will come from it.

san francisco tours July 19, 2011 at 7:53 pm

Fantastic story and the beer pairing event sounds like a must-attend!

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