Mystical Brews

Appears in the April 2024 issue.

By Peter Gianopulos

How the new Miskatonic Craft Kitchen works its magic

Food at Miskatonic Craft Kitchen

For Josh Mowrey, co-owner of the new Miskatonic Craft Kitchen (47 E. Chicago Ave.) in downtown Naperville, brewing beer is one part science, one part technique, and one part pure sorcery. How else could you explain Miskatonic’s latest Russian Imperial stout, which tastes like liquefied Italian tiramisu? Or the brewery’s On a Mission From Grod, a smoked beer that begins as an expression of smoked apples and pears and finishes like a bouquet of dried wildflowers.

Some might chalk up Mowrey’s obsession with mystical brews to his love of H.P. Lovecraft, whose works inspired the brewery’s logo: a dashing silhouette of a Mary Poppins–like damsel, who happens to have tentacles for legs.

Inside Miskatonic Craft Kitchen

Truth is, the only thing that fascinates Mowrey more than magic is earth’s natural bounty. His menu celebrates global pub fare and exotic condiments. Executive chef Daniel Davies, former of Publican Quality Meats in Chicago, oversees an ever-evolving list of gourmet sausages, each served on Portuguese milk rolls. We’re talking Merguez links slathered with mango ketchup and coriander-tomato chutney and Nurnberger brats gussied up with carraway kraut and burnt apple mustard.

You’ll also see Filipino dishes, including lumpia spring rolls and short ribs, inspired by his mother-in-law’s cooking, plus other globetrotting sides and sauces, from zhoug, a Middle Eastern chimichurri, to a house-fermented sweet chile sauce. “We like the idea of things that look normal,” Mowrey says, “but surprise as you go along.”


Photos: Mike Talladen@thejunglebranch