via Cait Barnett
The Listing Loon in Northside is everything you’d expect from a bottle shop and bar in this neighborhood: mellow, fiercely original, and anything but stuffy. Co-owners Beth Harris and Dave Mikkelsen (henceforth referred to as “The Loons”), started selling wine and beer for takeout in April 2012 and serving it in March 2013. Though their shop is small at 795 square feet, the selection is mighty. On our last visit, we counted more than 100 six-packs and bottles, from Founders Brewing Co.’s trusty session ale, All Day IPA (which, at $17.99 for a 15-can case, is a no brainer for spring camping trips) to sour brews like New Belgium’s Lips of Faith La Folie wood-aged sour brown ale, to local offerings like MadTree Sprye, a prickly spring ale made with rye. Just as extensive is their wine selection, and craft hard cider gets some love too.
Mikkelsen says he’s into IPAs right now, and if sales are any indication, so are his customers. He’s onto something though. With spring in the air, now really is the perfect time to trade in toasty stouts for crisp IPAs and IPA-like styles. Mikkelsen recommends Tröegs Nugget Nectar, technically an imperial amber ale (imperial IPA’s smooth-talking cousin). The higher malt bill stands up to the five hops used in the beer, which Mikkelsen describes as big and hoppy but not palate-destroying. He’s also a fan of Fat Head’s Hop JuJu, an explosive 9 percent ABV imperial IPA. For a solid IPA at a value, he suggests New Belgium Ranger IPA.
Order a drink at the bar to sip while you shop, plop down in an armchair and soak in the scene on Hamilton Avenue, or usher in patio-sittin’ season out back. The Loons have three beer taps that constantly rotate (or you can order any of the cans or bottles they’ve got cold), pour wine by the glass, and serve the hard stuff too (straight up or in classic, simple cocktails, though they do host the occasional cocktail night for you mixology minded).
Like any proper bar, they have happy hour (Monday-Friday, 4-8 p.m., $1 off wine glass pours and draft beers). Currently on tap are Fifty West Roam pale ale and Roadbock maibock, and New Belgium Slow Ride session IPA, with Rhinegeist Uncle English mild and Fifty West Coast-to-Coast IPA on deck. As for wines, Harris says her current faves are the La Storia red zinfandel from Trentadue in Sonoma County, Casa Silva Reserva Cuvée Colchagua Carmenère from Chile, Domaine des Baumard Savennieres chenin blanc from France, and Von Schleinitz Nitor dry riesling from Germany.
The Listing Loon, 4124 Hamilton Ave, Northside, (513) 542-5666