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The Meat Life

ManBQue is a Chicago-based grilling and lifestyle organization for outdoor cooks, music lovers, craft beer obsessives, and all manner of modern urban Viking. Once a month, in cities across the country,  our chapters meet in back yards, back alleys, rooftops, beaches, and anywhere else with room for a grill, a cooler, and speakers at maximum volume.

It’s delicious, it’s messy, it’s loud. It’s ManBQue! 

About Us

Photo by Clayton Hauck for ManBQue

About Us

About Us

ManBQue was born in Chicago – birthplace  of pretty much every delicious idea fueled by beer and self-confidence.  That first night, we were seven guys on a rooftop, realizing we hadn’t been making the time to get together, grill meats, drink beer, and catch up with each other. The idea to do it every month, like all beer-fueled 2 a.m. ideas, seemed fantastic at the time. But for once, the meat-stuffed boozers in question stuck to it. And then we did it the next month. And the month after  that.  Before we knew it, friends were bringing new friends who were bringing their own new friends. The Tribune came calling. Chicago’s Best TV came around not long after. The Today Show shot a segment, and we got the singularly odd experience of hearing Ann Curry and Al Roker say “ManBQue” on air. Their envious faux-horror at our Midwestern eating habits led to a book, which led to another book, which brings us to you today. If you ever need a hilarious fact at a party, mention that Jacques Pepin, Rick Bayless, and ManBQue all share the same agent. It’s true, and it’s just as bizarre to us as it is to you.


The whole time we were bringing in new meat fanatics, we were still MEATing every month (that’s not us being cute – they’re called MEATings) and throwing beer to ice and meat to fire. And we still do it on the last Thursday of every single month. If it’s 90 degrees at night, we grill. If it’s -20 and the weatherman’s calling for an icy hellscape, we’re still grilling. We started ManBQue to cook good food and enjoy great beer, and we’ve  done it every month since we started this thing in 2006. We’ve cooked at Baconfest twice, we’ve catered for Goose Island beer releases, and we’ve even bested a Michelin-starred restaurant in a straight bare-knuckle hot dog cookoff.

(Once. When were were having the  greatest cooking day of our lives. Oh god, we hope he’s not reading this.)


So that brings you to here, scrolling bizarrely far down a rote bio page on a website. Here’s were we mess around, play with new recipes and techniques, and try  to pass on our love of good food and cold beer. Cook something, drink something, and come on out to tell us about it.

Welcome to the cult. Welcome to ManBQue!




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“Feast City”

“Feast City”

Using thorough content aimed to educate, engage, and entertain, Feast City is all about growing community around food and drink.

Our website will be coming soon, so please follow us on social media to stay up to date!





Add yours
  1. Cara Roxanne

    If the smelliness of the five boys (under the age of 22) that stayed at my home this weekend was any indication of what I might have experienced on a mass scale, I feel safer having stayed home.

    Also, when questioned about the most EPIC band performing that weekend? “Ah, man, AFI. TOTALLY.”


  2. Anna

    This is pretty hysterical, I really enjoyed it, thank you. I love that Bikram is mentioned, he really does look like a lesbian woman. You are spot on the 13 year old shithead mentality that he has never evolved from. It is so sad, that someone with his power acts like such a douche.

  3. Egon

    Ohhhh come onnnnnnnnnn How can you possibly hate on Radiohead?

    The best thing about the new style Juke Boxes, its a rich mans game, you pump and dump a touch tunes full of enough play nows and you can right the ship while watching the underlings deal with they’re songs not being played.

    Other songs that should have made this list:
    Mumford and Sons
    anything New Metal or Screamo or “Suburban Punk”

    Great Alternatives:
    To Journey: Sweet Madame Blue by Styx, or anything by Boston
    To Neil: Rod Stewart (other than do you think im sexy) and James Taylor
    Radiohead: Pixies
    Zack Brown Band: IDK i think that song is the alternative for most country music played… basically if country is being played.. hope that song comes on

  4. John

    When I’m drinking metal does it for me… or silence. I try to go to places where the d-bags aren’t putting crap on the speakers and making us all suffer. They should be doused in Malort and set on fire.

    How’ve you been, Jesse?

  5. Patrick

    One time while i was drinking at quenchers someone played the entire Ritual de lo Habitual album. That album is a compilation of 8-minute bummers. I wanted to punch whoever that was in the face.

  6. Chili Powder

    This is why I hate the new digital jukeboxes. Sure you get the ability to search out the song you want, but it allows so much awfulness into the world as well. I love any bar that continues to hang on to the CD jukebox and takes the effort to keep good things in it and bad things out.

    • George

      Can you guys recommend a beer to drink while on a toilet in West Ridge pondering why my toilet still leaks despites efforts at changing the wax ring?

  7. mikejaz

    Hey, I’m a season behind! I had a SKA Autumnal Mole Stout today (SKA BREWING – DURANGO, CO) at Howells & Hood in the Trib Tower (someone else was paying!) It was a sweet stout, I guess…this is their description:

    “The Autumnal Mole Stout is an ale brewed with cocoa nibs, spices and three varieties of chile peppers: Mulato, Ancho and Hatch green chiles, also known as Anaheim Peppers. ”

    To me, it tasted a bit too strongly of cumin and maybe the ancho chiles. I enjoyed it…but not nearly as much as the Unholy Mole! You guys should be proud of that stuff, motherfuckers!

  8. mikejaz

    Thanks, buddy, for eating all these burgers for me…it’s just hard to get away sometimes, but I feel I was almost there reading this review. And I will DEF be going to Tumans with Brett one of these days soon! Oprah, ya got a date!

  9. mikejaz2

    OMG, Hawkwind! Saw them at The Fucking Auditorium Theatre in 1974…first balcony…just totally intense! They had just careened through some long number and then brought it down to a whisper, when some poor young shirtless dude stood up a couple of sections over and yelled “MY GOD, HELP ME!”

    His friends carried him out, flailing, a couple of minutes later…

  10. Mike Janowski

    Thanks for this! LOVE me some raw food, especially proteins. Brett did himself proud with this one (it’s NOT a second place dish anywhere else unless Tomax is there…). And did I mention how beautiful the photo is? Thanks, Aubrey!

  11. Hillary

    Cheers and Kudos to Clint at Lake Effect!! We went through that barrel of Unholy Mole real quick and now people are calling to make sure we still have some of the next stout he created…Espresso gone Stout…We just finished our barrel of Scurry which was on Nitro and we still have just a few BCS Proprietor and barleywine in addition to the coffee, rye and 2013 edition. Come stop by and join me for some real good beers!! Cheers!!

  12. Katy w

    I recommend chasing pepto and ibuprofen with parrot bay instant piña coladas, a frozen 5% malt beverage in Capri sun packaging

  13. Mike Janowski

    Oh, FUCK yeah! I’m old enough to remember when this album came out, and may even have a (uh, borrowed) copy in my LP collection. “Summertime Blues” was an awesome chart hit in a day when AM pop radio could still somehow actually play good songs.

    And btw, the flip side of the 45 release was a song called “Out of Focus”…gee, I wonder what that was about!

  14. Mike Janowski

    I think the first Sabbath album is way overrated, sonically. Maybe the songs are good but it sounds like it was recorded on scotch magic tape through a 100 watt wastebasket, making the songs (no matter how good War Pigs is, which could be debated in this forum…) far less powerful than they ought to be for a band purporting to be the harbingers of the Antichrist.

    How about reviewing The Magician’s Birthday by Uriah Heep?…another band that truly paved the way for metal.

  15. mikejaz

    And may I remind one and all, Prince played that set on an electric guitar in the driving fucking rain. He’s lucky he didn’t turn into Purple Smoke! Simply THE BEST SBHTS evah!

    And, who’s Bruno Mars?

    • The Other Woman

      Agreed! While most halftime shows are whitewashed marketing BS, Prince took things to a whole other level. Amazing how many people forget what a great musician he is! I think he won the Super Bowl that year.

  16. Meg Delcher


    I saw your Manbque Stadium online and I’d love to show it on an upcoming episode of ABC’s The Chew, which would be distributed across our various media platforms.

    Could we get your permission to show your photo on The Chew?

    Thanks in advance for your help!


  17. mikejaz

    Awesome primer for me…in 1992 I had two kids and hadda sneak into the basement to “listen to music” (ahem…cough,cough). Guess I’ll have to git me some o’ this Chronic.

  18. Zark

    Home made sausages are fantastic! Probably since you know what they contain och you have selected the spices yourself 🙂

  19. mikejaz

    Hey, add a shot of gin to that wheatbeer-grapefruit concoction, and now you’ve got a real cocktail. Add a slice of lime to fancy it up a bit. I’ma gonna be experimenting quite a bit this summer with beer/booze combinations…it’s easy to make a cocktail with classic ingredients (booze, sour, sweet, bitters), but will be much more invigorating to use brews in addition to the other ingredients.

  20. Salar Madadi

    Gotta disagree with you about smoking steaks. As a one-step smoke your steak low and slow until done, yes, you are right. But doing a reverse sear on a thick steak by smoking it at 225f until it hits 115f internal, then throwing it on a super hot grill to sear until done is a thing of beauty. You get some smoke flavour and you get a steak that’s done more evenly than just straight grilling.

    Only works with steaks that are 1.5″ and up, but I know you’re not cooking those little steaks anyway.

  21. JB Mays

    A quality steak doesn’t have much collagen and connective tissue to break down at low temperature, so the cumulative effect isn’t nearly as dramatic. Add to that the need to get a butcher to custom-cut 1.5″+ steaks, and it’s pretty clear that smoking is not the best application for a steak. It seems like the effect you’re describing could be achieved with a cold-smoking gun post-sear. Which isn’t to say we won’t give your way a shot. For science, you see.

  22. ROB

    the coolest event I have ever been to…..some many people from all over the world ….hanging out …sharing beer and stories and new friends. #EPIC

  23. mikejaz

    Thank you for reviewing (I would never accuse you of actually listening to) these songs so we don’t have to.

    • Kevin D.

      Just doing my job, sir. Interesting side effect of listening to that much bad music: every time I push the lever down on my toaster now, I hear the screaming of a thousand tortured ghosts.

  24. Gary Hauser

    Great job guys! It seems that Daisy Cutter got lost among the giants. Would not dispute Zombie Dust as #1 it’s perfection in a 12oz bottle. As for the RIS Old Rasputin is best on the nitro pull.

  25. Peter Coffin

    How to fat-wash (side benefit, you get to eat the bacon):

    Vodka goes in a lidded container. Cook some bacon. Eat it. Filter the still-warm pan drippings through a coffee filter or paper towel so they’re nice and clean. pour the liquid filtered drippings into the vodka. Doesn’t take a lot; 5% or so of the volume of vodka is plenty. Lid up, and shake vigorously for about 20 seconds so you get an emulsion. Leave it alone for a day, then pop into the fridge until well-chilled. Run chilled vodka through a fresh coffee filter or paper towel in a funnel back into its original bottle or other suitable container for storage.

    Works nicely for whiskey too. Ham fat is awesome in a sweetish rum.

  26. mikejaz

    Awesome! I especially appreciate tip #4…this whole “searing in” nonsense was disproven by Harold McGee back in the fucking 80s, yet I still hear “chefs” touting it as God’s Truth. Maybe on Faux Newz…and YES, FOR GOD’S SAKE, let it rest a bit.

    Now for me, I’ma gonna try and convince the old lady that the bison ribeye in the freezer needs “liberation”…happy 4th, all!

  27. mikejaz

    Nice article, though I have to say that I think Chad Kroeger’s eyes are framed by his dark-n-stormy eyebrows…but I nitpick with the editorial choices. Nice Michaelangelo rip, howevs.

    Oh, and did Madison Rising really spell it “…Regan”? Maybe they thought former Treasury Secretary Donald Regan actually ran the show back then (lord knows Ronnie hadn’t a clue), in which case I’d suggest that MR has their collective thumbs on a new and totally jaw-dropping conspiracy theory which will blow anything from The Motely Fool to pieces…

    Finally…”except Memphis”? Puh-lease, that’s pretty much unforgivable blasphemy for men who claim to respect BBQ and music…now excuse me while I kiss this guy.

  28. John Carruthers

    Peoria Packing or any of the West Loop butcher places should be able to hook you up. Aside from that, I’ve always had luck with Asian groceries.

  29. Tom

    We checked it out the other night and while we’re not huge beer drinkers, the food was excellent.

    Did they not have the Purple Line beer available for you to taste? The table next to us seemed to really enjoy that one…

  30. Kam

    I’m surprised SLC Punk isn’t listed. Minor Threat, Adolescents, Dead Kennedy’s… even a little Glen Campbell. Excellent soundtrack.

  31. John Carruthers

    I feel his pain. Until Reebok lost the contract to make Bears merch, they literally didn’t make any easy-fitted hats big enough for my head.

  32. Beer Grills

    Cans really are the best container for beer. Not only does it completely block out harmful light, as mentioned above, cans also completely seal out any oxygen or bacteria. Bottle caps and “cork & cages” are good, but caps can be dented and corks can shrink in which cases oxygen will find it’s way in and ass-rape all the yummy out of your baba. Oxidized!

    Smartass: “Well if you lay the bottle on its side, it’ll keep the cork from getting dry.”

    Response: Although this is true, laying it done with your moist cork is still not getting the job done. You are still exposing more of that beer to air that’s already in the bottle. Look at a full bottle standing upright. That little gap of space at the top of the neck between the surface of the beer and the bottle cap or cork has air. Lay that bottle on it’s side that same space just got a whole lot wider exposing more beer to that air. Not even your moist cork will fill that gap.

    Lesson Learned: Be a man. Take it in the can.

    moist cork

  33. john evans

    Great article – thanks for the pic of The Ohio Taproom’s mobile taproom — we had a blast serving up Hairless Hare, Zaftig, and Rhinegeist. The Mobile Taproom is available for events and parties state-wide. Thanks again guys — cheers!

  34. Ryan

    Love it! Zauber makes great beer, is a fun place to visit, and Geoff is the best. If you ever get to that part of town, Zauber needs to be on your to-do list! After that, it will probably be on your to-do list all the time! I love the Myopic Red.

  35. mikejaz2

    And gawd, wasn’t the remix of “Pretty in Pink” just lame? So glad I got out of HS before Ducky and his ilk showed up.

  36. Adam Holtzapfel

    Pic of Boysetsfire is at Euclid Tavern, Cleveland, OH. Pic of Buried Alive is at Fire Exit, Columbus, OH. Pic of Earth Crisis is at Alrosa Villa, Columbus, OH.