Accio, muggles! Magic is brewing in Logan Square


Grace Senior

Accio, muggles! Magic is brewing in Logan Square

By Katherine Savage

Bubble, bubble, toil and trouble. Magic is brewing in Logan Square for a Harry Potter-inspired event featuring themed beer and “Quidditch pong.” Muggles, or non-magic people, are encouraged to arrive in costume.

Fantastic Beers and Where to Find Them is a one-night event that will be held at Emporium Logan Square, 2363 N. Milwaukee Ave., Jan. 24 at 6 p.m.

This is the third year the bar and arcade will host the event, but this iteration will see some changes. Last year, the pop-up was a month-long event inspired by Borgin and Burkes, the bookstore from Harry Potter, according to Jared Saul, beer director at Emporium, in a Jan. 14 email interview with The Chronicle. The previous event featured Harry Potter-inspired cocktails and had a replica of Mr. Weasley’s flying car.

“We wanted to put the focus back on the beer itself,” Saul said. “We decided to go back to the one-night-only, costume-party model. [It] should be a fun night of fantastic beer!”

Central State Brewing is providing its own witches brew for the third year. The beer, called Polyjuice Potion, is a sour ale with plums and elderberries, according to Josh Hambright, co-founder of Central State Brewing and head brewer for the event.

“One fateful day, I happened to be re-watching some of the Harry Potter films and put up a Facebook post gauging the interest of my ‘brewer friends’ to brew a Potter-inspired beer,” Saul said. “[Hambright] was the first to reply, saying he was down. After that, the rest is history—of magic!”

The Polyjuice Potion is purple to pay homage to the original one in J. K. Rowling’s book series, Hambright said.

“They always referred to it [in the books] as tasting awful,” Hambright said. “We didn’t actually want to make an awful-tasting beer, so we decided to make a sour beer as a nod to the awful flavor.”

The Polyjuice Potion will debut at Emporium Logan Square and then be released to Central State Brewing’s other markets throughout 15 states, Hambright said.

“Part of the reason we make beer is to help people have a good time … and give them something to giggle about and feel like [they’re wizards],” Hambright said.

Muggles Association of Columbia member Alyssa Rousonelos said in a Jan. 14 email statement to The Chronicle she plans on attending the event decked out in her wizard robes. Rousonelos, a junior illustration major, recently participated in the Disney College Program and frequently visited Universal’s Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

“I wasn’t 21 at the time and never had the opportunity to try some of the wizard brews,” Rousonelos said. “Now that I’m of age, I can dress up, geek out and talk trivia over a themed beer or two.”

Saul said his favorite part of the event is seeing everyone dressed up as their favorite Harry Potter characters.

“At the first party, back in 2016, there was a woman dressed as Professor Trelawney that was spot-on,” Saul said. “It was amazing. I really hope the good professor makes another appearance this year.”