Tonight is a very special Thirsty-Third Friday here at MBIP because it’s not only the third Friday of the month, it’s the day before my friends Amber and Joe’s wedding! Tannins & Hops recently honored me by naming a signature drink after me and it’s called, “The Wombacher Sour.” I thought tonight would be a perfect night to toast the almost married couple and wish them a lifetime of happiness and fun together with this signature drink! But first, it all starts off with a wedding gift at MBIP Headquarters!
The Wedding Gift
George Harrison’s wife, Olivia has a great quote about how she and the former mop-top stayed married for so long and you can listen to that quote by clicking right here. I wanted to turn that quote into a wedding present for Amber and Joe, so I commissioned Peoria’s best hand-lettering artist, Chelsie Tamms to create a piece of art using the quote and she did a fantastic job! You can read all about Chelsie at this post I did on her a while back. After I got the finished art from Chelsie, I took it to my friend Colleen Kimball from Technicraft who’s the official MBIP framer! She always does fantastic work and this was no exception! It really turned out nice and there’s Amber and Joe at the MBIP World Headquarters opening up their gift! Cheers and a one-day early congratulations to both of you! Now on to this evening’s pre-wedding party at Tannins & Hops Speakeasy!
Here we are at Tannins & Hops on Water Street. There’s no sign outside, since this is a speakeasy, you just walk around the corner, ring the bell and there’s Bernardo letting us in after we told him the secret password to get inside. The password is, “I hear this plays in Peoria.” But don’t tell anyone, it’s a secret! Before we start the festivities, I thought we’d take a tour around Tannins & Hops!
Tannins & Hops Tour
This is such a unique bar and I love the atmosphere in here. Bryan Harlan, the owner, designed it to resemble a speakeasy from back in the prohibition days and he certainly did a great job. It’s like walking back in time coming in here and it’s got a welcoming charm to it. You feel like part of an exclusive club while drinking and dining in here. I love all the wood from the ceiling to the highly polished bar. There’s vintage tools from the prohibition era on the walls as well as a Devon McGlone prohibition mural. A piano is tucked away in a corner and there’s some of the bottles of wine from their vast inventory. There’s a comfortable corner with a working fire place over here and there’s a shot of Tannins & Hops from the back. The large communal tables are made from wood that was originally the bowling lanes at Town & Country bowling alley! Very cool!
And speaking of tables, there’s our table for the evening and our pretty waitress is Kyley, who we met on our last trip here. There’s the owner of Tannins & Hops, Bryan posing with Kyley. Bryan’s a great guy and he’s done a wonderful job with this place! Okay, we’re all settling in, so now let’s take a proper portrait of the guests here for Amber and Joe’s pre-wedding party!
Here’s everybody, from left, Jon, Ryan, Danielle, Brent and Amber and Joe...wait a second, I sense this photo isn’t complete! I turned around and there’s Bekah and Andrew and now we can let this party start!
Bridesmaid, Best Man and Groom Gifts
Ryan’s the Best Man in the wedding and he got some socks and underwear and this undergarment theme carried on to Joe’s gift! Then Danielle, who’s the Maid of Honor opened up a trifecta of gifts and at the bottom are the Maid of Honor and the Best Man for the wedding tomorrow!
Lucas is the Executive Chef here and he and Bryan have planned a tasting dinner for us tonight and we’re starting off with a Charcuterie assortment of meats, cheeses and fruit. It was delicious and so many flavors on one tray!
The Wombacher Sour
As I mentioned in the introduction, I’m honored that they’ve named a drink after me and it’s on the menu! The drink is based on the New York Sour cocktail and they’ve named their version, The Wombacher Sour! I went back to the bar, said hello to bartender Nick who was with Bryan and then I saw Thomas, who created The Wombacher Sour and here he is getting the specially crafted ice for a batch of the drinks!
As you can see, a lot of time and effort goes into creating The Wombacher Sour! After carefully adding the ingredients and shaking things up, The Wombacher Sour is ready to be served!
After the drinks were handed out I gave a toast to Amber and Joe and we all clicked our glasses and had a congratulatory drink in their honor! Cheers to Amber and Joe!
The Tasting Menu
Then it was time to eat and boy oh boy did we ever eat! The food just never stopped coming! Chef Lucas and his team in the kitchen really outdid themselves and we had their signature tomato soup, bison bites, crispy pork belly, macaroni and cheese, potato skins, tacos and flatbread! Everything was so tasty and delicious and just when we thought we couldn’t eat any more...
Chef Lucas brought out a plate of T&H burgers and then Bryan appeared with two plates of the signature grilled cheese sandwiches! If you like grilled cheese (and who doesn’t?) you have to come and try their different styles of grilled cheese, they are amazing as is the rest of the food on the menu! And the beer selection and craft cocktails are unbelievable as well! This was such a fun party and a great way to kick off Joe and Amber’s wedding weekend!
And check it out, they even put Amber’s name on the wall for the occasion! Thanks to Bryan, Kyley, Lucas, Thomas and everyone at Tannins & Hops Speakeasy for such a wonderful night! If you’re thinking about having a holiday party, I highly recommend Tannins & Hops! Cheers to Amber and Joe, happy pre-wedding day and I can’t wait for the big event tomorrow!
619 S.W. Water Street