That is advice I would have been all over 25-30 years ago Leos. I'm old. Not quite Denny old, but old nonetheless.
About the same distance. Chicago traffic might make it longer.Drive thru Chicago thru night. See you in the morning.
Thirsty Monk is also on my list to visit. Too bad I missed your beers at NHC.
We are only as old as we want to be. Drinking that Vienna right now.
Actually the outer ring in Chicago is not that bad. Have your quarters ready.
Back to the recipe. If you use 1/3 of pils, Munich, Vienna an 1-2% dark malt it will be about right. Get continental malts. This is important. Hops? Use neutral hops like hellertau. Ibu about 22-24. OG can be from 11-14 Plato. But the you are the brewer. Make it what you want it.