IPA Salami? You Would, Chicago.

By

Kerry Jepsen
Lagunitas IPA Salami from Artisan Gregory Laketek of West Loop Salumi in Chicago
Lagunitas IPA Salami from Artisan Gregory Laketek of West Loop Salumi in Chicago

Salami must be fermented. In order to ferment something, you need a carbohydrate source. This source could come from sugar, dextrose, juice, wine, and yes, even beer. At Chicago’s West Loop Salumi, 2015 Rising Star Artisan Gregory Laketek uses dehydrated and blitzed spent grain from select Chicago breweries, and mixes it along with a featured IPA into his blend of pork and spices.

Laketek was trained in the classic, Italian tradition of charcuterie, but his offering of Lagunita's IPA salami is “definitely an ode to America,” says the man who's had beer on his mind since the very beginning of his salumeria. “I've never had beer salami from any other producer. Nor have I ever heard of it being produced before.” The team at StarChefs hasn’t either.

“It seems that we've had the best flavored beer salami with IPAs. The subtle hoppy flavors really shine through, and the bitter aspects are diminished. It's much lighter in color and in flavor compared to a salami traditionally fermented with wine,” says Laketek, who's experimented with several different batches featuring Chicago's own Goose Island, Moody Tongue, and Lagunitas. With the ever-growing craft beer scene in Chicago, lovers of beer and charcuterie, rejoice! Cheers to Laketek and beer salami.  

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