We just received the shocking and sad news that Sheffield's owner, Ric Hess, passed away unexpectedly of heart attack at the bar last night. Hess was 48. The friendly and affable Hess helped truly cultivate Chicago's craft beer scene, always championing local brewers and crafting one of the most extensive and respected beer lists in Chicago. In fact, Sheffield's was named as one of the best bars in America by Esquire in 2009.
Since taking over the bar in 1992 after the former owner died, Hess grew Sheffield's into a great pub, a tavern where he "made Sheffield’s what a pub is supposed to be — a public house," Goose Island owner Greg Hall told the Tribune. We're sure many tributes will continue to come out, as Hess touched so many people during his career at Sheffield's, which began in 1988. We'll be sure to raise a glass in his honor tonight.
· Ric Hess, Owner of Sheffield's and Respected Local Author, Dies at 48 [The Stew/Tribune]