Moody Tongue

WHAT IS CULINARY BEER?

Who are we?

At Moody Tongue, our goal is to create thoughtful, exciting beers that blend familiar flavors and quality ingredients.

As a former cook, our Brewmaster Jared Rouben approaches every new beer like a chef develops a new dish: from sourcing the finest ingredients to designing the most innovative recipes. Rouben taps his culinary background to develop exceptional beers by cooking with grains, seasoning with hops, and enhancing flavor profiles with fresh produce, herbs and spices.

What is Culinary Brewing?

Moody Tongue defines its style as “culinary brewing,” a new genre that forges a connection between brewing and cooking. These beers share many of the flavor and aromatic characteristics found in wines and ciders, but are balanced with a variety of hops and malts found in traditional beer styles.

Great beers come from great ingredients. We pair simple, balanced ingredients with familiar recipes that won't overwhelm the palate as the base of our beers. Then, we create innovative flavors that build upon popular beer styles using culinary techniques such as steeping tea, baking chocolate, brewing coffee and brandying fruit.

Beer is our food. We look forward to feeding your moody tongue.

OUR BREWMASTER'S STORY

After working as a cook in several kitchens and transitioning to the brewing world, Moody Tongue Brewmaster Jared Rouben realized that the lessons he learned while working alongside chefs could be applied in a meaningful way to the brewing process: evaluating the addition of each ingredient, tasting beers throughout the creation process, challenging palates to combine new flavors and, most important, never compromising on quality. As Rouben began his brewing career in Chicago, he also started exploring and combining a variety of local ingredients from farmers markets to inspire and enrich his beers.

Watermelons, raspberries, chocolate, coffee, teas, honey, rhubarb and even peas now find their way into his beers. Rouben began updating traditional beer styles such as wits and kolsches with the addition of local, seasonal produce. He began thinking like a chef and using methodologies he had learned in kitchens to prepare and create beers. In contrast with the slower brewing process, Jared began to work faster, spurred by the bustling kitchen environment of his culinary upbringing. He began to think again more like a chef: multitasking, taste-testing, and constantly taking notes on what and how to improve.

As Rouben continued to integrate different styles into his brewing, he soon realized that his culinary education was far from over -- and particularly for cuisines and flavors which he hadn’t encountered while a cook. He started to invite chefs into the brewhouse to teach him the latest culinary trends, and he has since participated in over 50 chef collaborations. Rouben began exploring unconventional combinations of ingredients to find which best enhanced traditional beer styles. Brewers and chefs use their senses and hands to build something beautiful; and, the beers Jared made alongside chefs were not only tasty, but approachable. The goal was to make something everyone could enjoy.

This brewery is now Rouben’s kitchen and the beers are his “liquid dishes.” At Moody Tongue, we aim to use both innovative and traditional cooking styles to create beers which best showcase seasonal flavors and aromatics. We start with an ingredient in mind and let the flavors guide our recipes. The beers are created with simplicity and balance, and can be enjoyed both on their own and in the company of food.

BEHIND THE BEER

Jared Rouben

Jared Rouben is responsible for the creative and technical development of Moody Tongue’s portfolio of beers. Jared is a graduate of Washington University in St. Louis, the Culinary Institute of America in New York and the Siebel Diploma course in Chicago, where he is now a faculty member. After culinary school, Rouben worked as a cook at the Michelin Star Martini House in Napa and as Expeditor at the three Michelin Star Thomas Keller’s Per Se in New York City.

Jared moved to Chicago to begin his brewing career as a member of the Rock Bottom brewing team and shortly thereafter joined Goose Island Clybourn in 2009. In January of 2010, Jared was promoted to Pub Brewmaster, where he created Goose Island’s Chef Collaboration Series and Farmers Market Series while focusing on experimental brewing.

Jared has spent the past several years brewing, pairing, and collaborating with a number of the most celebrated culinary minds in Chicago. His passion for both beer and food is infectious.

Jared

What People are saying

  • “There was a time when chefs bought their ingredients – beets, precut pork loins, artisanal bread. Now they're collaborating with brewers to tailor-make beers to pair with their food. […] All of them brainstorm with Rouben, a former chef who brews single-batch beers with whatever's freshest at the farmers' market every week it's open – from rhubarb in the spring to bell peppers in the summer.”

    — Food & Wine Magazine
  • “Rouben is most at home concocting beers from spices, herbs and seasonal produce. Rouben hits Green City Market weekly, finds uberseasonal ingredients like green strawberries, then concocts a limited-edition beer that goes on tap Sunday and is typically gone by Monday – keeping with the tradition of the chef’s special.”

    — Time Out Chicago
  • “Rouben's weekly experimentation has resulted in more than 30 beers made from more than 30 fresh Midwestern ingredients, like a baby carrot Belgian wit, a rhubarb saison and a helles lager infused with apple tree wood that Rouben smoked himself.”

    — Chicago Tribune and L.A. Times
  • “Rouben focuses on experimental beer making, with two wildly successful brewing programs that highlight the best of Chicago’s food world. In his Farmers’ Market series, Rouben selects one ingredient each week from a single farmer to craft a distinct seasonal beer. And for his Chefs Collaboration series, Rouben has partnered with the city’s culinary elite – Rick Bayless and Paul Kahan, and Rising Stars Mindy Segal, Dirk Flanigan, Chris Pandel, and Stephanie Izard, to name a few. After meeting with the chefs, Rouben – who has a degree from the CIA and expedited in the kitchen of Thomas Keller’s Per Se – helps design a custom beer that fits their specific cuisine, selecting the hops, yeast, malt, and produce to craft a personal reflection of the chef in a (highly) drinkable form.”

    — Starchefs.com