Photo Credit: iStockphoto/mehmettorlak
You might be familiar with the beer giants: Budweiser, Coors, Miller and more. But have you ever taken time to explore the nation’s smaller, lesser-known local breweries? Craft beers at these breweries are often produced by experienced brew masters that appreciate a beer’s complex flavor profile and brewing process. Some even offer tours, allowing consumers to watch the brewing process. As the third most populous city in the United States, Chicago is no stranger to these local gems. Whether you’re spending a day checking out the view from the Sears Tower, sampling the city’s local fare or shopping in The Loop, celebrate the end of a day by sampling a beer that was locally brewed in Chicago. For a taste of some of the best brews around, check out these craft breweries that are local to the Windy City.
Goose Island Beer Company
Where: Goose Island’s original Brewpub can be found at 1800 North Clybourn, Chicago, IL 60614, with a second location in Wrigleyville.
Why: Located in the heart of the hustle and bustle of Lincoln Park, Goose Island has consistently churned out hand-crafted, award-winning ales and lagers since 1988. At Goose Island, you can feast on locally sourced and locally prepared small plates, specialty burgers and upper echelon pub food while knocking back some seriously tasty craft brews. With over 20 beers on tap, standout offerings include the refreshing 312 American Style Wheat Ale, and the Green Line, a hoppy, citrusy Pale Ale. They boast an impressive selection of Belgian and Sour beers, too. Make sure to ask your server about beers in the Chef Collaboration Series, beers brewed with local chefs. Past specialty brews have included the Tingly Tongue, a Belgian black witbier brewed with Chef Stephanie Izard of Top Chef fame.
Half Acre Beer Company
Where: 4257 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago, IL 60618
Why: Founded by a group of friends who loved good, quality craft beer in 2006, Half Acre Beer Company is known for its signature Half Acre Lager, a crisp and clean take on a more traditional beer. Featuring roughly 15 brews, including the Daisy Cutter Pale Ale, the Gossamer Golden Ale and a few specialty beers like the Buckingham Green Amber, a spicy autumn session beer, and the StickyFat American Dark Ale, a hoppy black beer, Half Acre is a relatively young brewery that is all Chicago.
Two Brothers Brewing Company
Where: 30W315 Calumet Ave., Warrenville, IL 60555
Why: Located just outside of Chicago in the suburbs, Two Brothers Brewing Company was, as the name suggests, founded by two brothers, Jim and Jason Ebel, in 1996. As the brothers began their brewing careers as entrepreneurs with The Brewer’s Coop, a Naperville, IL retail store dedicated to beer and wine home brewing, they decided to take their brewing experience and launch a larger scale operation. Year-round, sip on a tasty Domaine DuPage, a French Country ale with toasty notes of sweet caramel, the Bitter End, a complex yet drinkable hoppy Pale Ale, the Ebel’s Weiss, a traditional German Hefeweizen with notes of clove and banana, or the Cane and Ebel red rye ale.