10 Great Spots For Delicious Beer In Chicago
Whether you’re into hoppy ales, dark stouts or experimental brews, Chicago’s burgeoning craft-beer scene has a little something for everyone. Ready for a different kind of adventure in the Windy City? Follow our guide for 10 of the city’s top craft breweries, complete with beer recommendations you can ‘cheers’ to.
Moody Tongue Brewing Company
Located in the heart of Chicago’s Pilsen neighborhood, Moody Tongue Brewing Company pairs unique craft brews with unexpected foods—fresh oysters and cake, to name two! Check out this spot for ultra-experimental seasonal brews, like the Shaved Black Truffle Pilsner and Smoked Applewood Gold Ale.
Hopewell Brewing Company
If you’re looking for a totally Instagrammable spot to slide up to the bar and sip on a few brews, look no further than this Logan Square spot. And if you think Hopewell’s decor is on point, just wait until you sample the brews: the Thick & Thin is an approachable coffee stout to be enjoyed year-round, while the Take Care is a unique Honey Saison full of Illinois honey sweetness.
Marz Community Brewing
Cultivating fellowship is at the center of Marz Community Brewing, and the Chicago establishment’s core values radiate just that: the brewery is dedicated to brewing small batches of artisanal beer in a socially responsible way, then offering them up to friends, family and neighborhood fans. One of Marz’s more experimental brews that’s not to be missed: The Diliner Weiss, made with dill for a unique flavor.
Science is the leading force behind the operations at Empirical Brewery—so much so that the brewing team uses empirical observations to improve their beer. Visit Empirical’s taproom just north of Lincoln Square and prepare to get schooled in brewing knowledge while sampling great beer. Check out the Infinity IPA, which offers fresh notes of pine, resin and citrus.
Lake Effect Brewing Company
Lake Effect Brewing Company prides itself on crafting quality beer with passion, with several of its brews inspired by Chicago’s shoreline. In the mood for a great seasonal? Try the Lake Effect Snow—a creamy Belgian Wit—or the Espresso Gone Stout coffee stout.
Goose Island Brewery
It’s not a Chicago brewery crawl without popping into Goose Island, one of the city’s most prominent breweries and a staple in the craft-beer realm. Stop by the brewery’s Fulton Street taproom, which offers a rustic setting to nestle in for an afternoon of serious beer drinking. The taproom often features experimental and hard-to-find beers, so drink ‘em while you can.
Half Acre Beer Co.
With two breweries in North Chicago, Half Acre Beer Co. focuses on brewing classic American beer, along with barrel-aged brews and wild ales. First time visiting? Start by perusing the brewery’s core beers, like the Pony Pilsner and Tuna Extra Pale Ale. If you’re feeling a little adventurous, don’t miss Half Acre’s “Wyld Beers,” which are periodically released from the brewery’s fermentation cellar.
Sketchbook Brewing Co.
Tucked away in an alley in Evanston, IL, just outside of Chicago, you’ll find Sketchbook Brewing Co. This self-proclaimed “nano-brewery” consistently churns out classic, modern and experimental beers that aren’t shy on flavor and character. For fans of sours, check out the In-Peach, a kettle-soured gose infused with juicy peach.
Begyle Brewing is a community-supported brewing company located on the edge of Ravenswood. Begyle offers a unique Community Supported Brewery Membership, which allows subscribers to stop by for monthly growler and sixtel fills on a 6- or 12-month basis. Get ready to fill up on Begyle Blonde Ale!
Revolution Brewing touts the title of Chicago’s largest independent craft brewery, and the craft-brew selection doesn’t disappoint. Check out Revolution’s original brewpub on Milwaukee Avenue for a tasting of distinct brews with a side of delicious food. Already checked out core beers like the Bottom Up Wit and Anti-Hero IPA? Take a sip of something more experimental—the Ryeway to Heaven packs a punch at 13 percent ABV and is aged for 12 months in American rye-whiskey barrels.