Throughout the summer, our five trusty beer studs--Mitch, Dan, Jered, Andy and Ray--have reviewed the city's best beer gardens and reported their weekly exploits here and in RedEye. They charmed us with their lady-lassoing (like when Jered pounced on the slowest of the herd and got digits at Mystic Celt and with their mischief (Ray's photo booth incident at Village Tap comes to mind).
With their last review just around the corner, we need you to vote on which Beer Garden Guy is your favorite. Will it be Dan "Ladies' Man" Sherman? Or Andy "I'll eat anything that isn't nailed down" Margulies? Read their bios, including their plea for your vote, and cast your ballot. The winner will be crowned in the Aug. 6 RedEye.
Name: Dan Sherman
Age: 25 physically, 18 mentally
Profession: Spin doctor by day, good-time guy extraordinaire by night.
Neighborhood: Close enough to the Wiener Circle that I constantly hear "Gimmie a f*%@#'n char dog now!!"
Originally from: Battle Creek, Mich. (Cereal City), home of such cultural icons as Tony the Tiger and those three Rice Krispies midgets.
Why I want to review beer gardens: Isn't this the perfect job? Drinking outside on Chicago summer nights, scopin' the ladies and hanging with the fellas. Who am I trying to kid? It's pure, shameless self-promotion.
Favorite beer: Magic Hat #9. It's brewed in Burlington, Vermont, and not available in Chicago. I always seem to want what I can't have.
Favorite beer garden: Wrigley Field, Chicago's biggest beer garden. Cold beer, beautiful people and corked bats. Just be careful of foul balls on hot days.
Worst beer garden moment: I went home alone once...ONCE.
Favorite pickup line: "Hi. Wait, come back!!!"
Why you should vote for me: I'll let you borrow my beer goggles for a night.
Name: Jered Thorp
Profession: PR/chef at Taco Burrito Palace #2
Neighborhood: Westside Wrightwood
Originally from: Wapella, Ill. No, it is not a suburb. It is a small town between Bloomington and Decatur. Nothing still? It is south of I-80...well south.
Why I want to review beer gardens: To educate the people about the importance of a healthy social life, while maintaining high levels of professionalism and sophistication. And to get blitzed.
Favorite beer: Hoegaarden, Dos Equis, or anything malted and free
Favorite beer garden: Slow Down, Life's Too Short. It is the only place that will valet my yacht.
Worst beer garden moment: The night I borrowed Dan Sherman's beer goggles, fell in love twice and woke up with Julia Child's stunt double.
Favorite pickup line: "Marry me."
Why you should vote for me: With your vote, you will receive new life. Repent, click and you shall be saved.
Name: Mitch Delaplane
Neighborhood: Near the Starbucks and that Irish bar
Originally from: Northern Virginia
Why I want to review beer gardens: To inspire a generation and finally hear the words, "We love you" from my folks.
Favorite beer: Fat Tire
Favorite beer garden: Cork and Kerry. Great place to drink and watch other people drink.
Worst beer garden moment: When I got suckered into bar-crawling with Chicago's Elks Club. Those guys drank me under the table and called me "Kathy" all night.
Favorite pickup line: "Who's ticklish?"
Why you should vote for me: I have absolutely nothing else going for me other than a sharp haircut and sixteen Olive Garden coupons.
Name: Andy Margulies
Profession: Automotive marketing
Neighborhood: 1,810 miles from Las Vegas
Originally from: The dirty South (North Carolina)
Why I want to review beer gardens: I'm thinking about starting my own carpet cleaning business one day, and drinking beer at different bars is a good way to start. After all, what happens when people drink too much? They get sick... sometimes on their carpets. So if I can tap into the get-drunk-get-sick-crowd, I'll make connections and have it made.
Favorite beer: Ghetto Blaster (Detroit). Who doesn't like a beer named after a stereo?
Favorite beer garden: I enjoy sipping a cold one at Melvin B's and watching Mitch try to tickle all the girls that walk by.
Worst beer garden moment: It's always a bad moment when I'm drinking with friends for several hours and, once the bill arrives, half of the people magically disappear without paying.
Favorite pickup line: "Are you gonna eat that?"
Why you should vote for me: If I win, I will put my pants back on.
Name: Ray Popp
Profession: Sports marketing
Neighborhood: Red Light District
Originally from: West Palm Beach, Fla.
Why I want to review beer gardens: I'm hoping it will help with my never-ending quest to lose my virginity before the age of 25.
Favorite beer: Budweiser
Favorite beer garden: Castaway's, North Avenue Beach. There's nothing better than drinking on the beach. Plus, I can wear my thong without getting hassled, and the guy who plays acoustic up there does a sick version of "The Macarena."
Worst beer garden moment: After an arsenal of hops and barley, I commandeered the stage at McGee's to perform my self-proclaimed "killer" impression of Turbo from "Breakin' 2: Electric Bugaloo." The outcome: five spilled drinks, one bent microphone stand, a girl with a bloody nose and very thrown-out Ray. Or the time I talked Mitch into joining my Elks Club buddies and I on our annual beer garden crawl.
Favorite pickup line: "Do you mind if I flirt with you for a little while?"
Why you should vote for me: I would love to be able to fill the gap in my trophy case between runner-up in the National Spelling Bee (Dallas, 1993) and first place in Club La Villa's Hot Buns contest (Panama City, 1997).