A toast to a dear friend...
Hey, its Taylor here. Thanks for coming to check this out.
I first met Garth when he and one of my wife's friends were dating. My wife and I had a newborn baby at the time and were still nervously trying to figure out exactly how all this parenting stuff worked. We were at a backyard BBQ and Garth had 2 school aged children of his own who he'd brought to the party. I noticed how much fun he was having playing with his kids and all of the other kids at the party -- and how much fun they were all having with him -- and thinking to myself, "Man, I hope I end up being as cool of a dad as this guy."
Garth had a lust for life, and it showed in everything he did. If something interested him, he made it his business to learn everything there was to know about it. He was the kind of guy who knew more than just "something" about pretty much everything. But not the kind of guy who made you feel like he was better than you for it. You couldn't help but pick up his passion for whatever it was he was talking about or doing.
One of his biggest passions was home brewing beer. And like most things he did, he was really good at it. His beers regularly won competitions. In fact the one we're featuring this fall was a recipe that got him some of his highest accolades.
Fast forward to now; One day I was out having a couple of beers with our general manager, Carlos Ortiz, and I came across a beer from Aleman Brewing on the menu which sounded good. Carlos mentioned that he knew the guys behind the brewery and that they make really good beer.
I ordered a pint of "The Man" -- their flagship IPA. It was incredible. So, I did what I normally do when I discover something interesting or enjoyable -- I pulled out my phone and Googled it instead of just continuing to enjoy it...
What I found though was pretty cool too, though. The names of all Aleman's beers were a variation on the word "man". Soul Man, Wo-man, The Man, Ladies Man, etc. This reminded me of Garth's old nickname: "G-man". I asked Carlos to set up a meeting with the guys from Aleman to discuss collaborating on a beer from Garth's repertoire.
When we all sat down to meet, it became clear that this was a collaboration that needed to happen. The guys from Aleman shared a similar passion and learning experience about brewing beer as Garth had, and the style of their beers was very similar to many of Garth's best creations.
We decided on Garth's 2008 Porter recipe, not only because of its success in national brewing competitions, but because of its robust, toasty, slightly nutty, and overall approachable character. If I didn't know better I would think I was describing Garth himself.
Garth passed away in July of 2014 from a rare form of Leukemia. Since then his family and friends have found many ways to honor and remember him, including participating in the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's "Light the Night" walk which happens every October in Chicago. The team "Lust for Life" was created in memory of Garth and continues to be one of the top local fundraisers for LLS.
Charitable giving is a very personal decision that everyone should make on their own. For me, aside from the personal connection with Garth, I think that LLS is a great way to give because while a lot of other groups raise money for "cancer awareness", LLS invests the money they raise into researching, developing, and broadening access to treatments that save and improve lives. If you'd like to learn more about LLS' mission please click on their logo.
For our part, we've registered The Pasta Bowl as a member of Team: Lust for Life and we will be making regular donations throughout this fall and winter based on the sales of G-Man Porter. We will donate $1 for every G-Man beer we sell -- but during the month of October, we will double this amount to $2 per beer. You can find G-Man exclusively at both of our Pasta Bowl locations as well as at The Other Side Bar.
We will be hosting a keg tapping event at our Wicker Park location on 9/30 and an after-party at The Other Side Bar on 10/21 following the Light the Night walk downtown. Check out events page for details on these.