• The obligatory tasting-glass shot. This is Sun Goddess, a wheat ale with lemongrass and tarragon.

In my capacity as the Reader‘s music editor, I’ve gotten to know Jamie Proctor, director of marketing and digital media at Thrill Jockey Records. Last week I learned that Proctor is a member of a local home-brewing collective called CHAOS Brew Club, and has been since fall 2011 (“CHAOS” allegedly stands for “Chicago Homebrew Alchemists of Suds,” but I suspect a backronym). How did this come up? Aware of my propensity to write about beer in public, he invited me to the CHAOS Summer Brew-BQ this past Saturday—the club’s final event at its current location behind 1329 W. Grand Avenue. The lot has been sold, and the building CHAOS uses is due to be demolished.

CHAOS members poured more than 26 of their own beers at the Brew-BQ (as well as commercial beers donated by Aleman, Atlas, Haymarket, Spiteful, and Beverly brewpub Horse Thief Hollow). Burnin’ BBQ—aka Rabid Rabbit drummer Mike Tsoulos (also of Brimstone BBQ) and pastry chef Rae Hill—carved and served nearly 100 pounds of smoked brisket and pork shoulder, plus some nicely spicy coleslaw and alarmingly bacony barbecue beans. It was a private club event, but civilians could register for a $25 two-month trial CHAOS membership to attend.

Philip Montoro

Philip Montoro has been an editorial employee of the Reader since 1996 and its music editor since 2004. Pieces he has edited have appeared in Da Capo’s annual Best Music Writing anthologies in 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, and 2011. He shared two Lisagor Awards in 2019 for a story on gospel pioneer Lou Della Evans-Reid and another in 2021 for Leor Galil's history of Neo, and he’s also split three national awards from the Association of Alternative Newsmedia: one for multimedia in 2019 for his work on the TRiiBE collaboration the Block Beat, and two (in 2020 and 2022) for editing the music writing of Reader staffer Leor Galil. Philip has played scrap metal in Lozenge, drummed with the Disasters, the Afflictions, and Brilliant Pebbles, and sung for the White Outs. He wrote the column Beer and Metal from 2012 till 2015, and hopes to do so again one day. You can also follow him on Twitter.