Autumn brings cooler temperatures and beautiful colors,
providing the perfect setting for a good pint of beer. Snuggle up with a warm
brown stout, kick back with an amber or red ale, and toast to the good life
with a golden Oktoberfest. Fall is here and the breweries in Chicago are
serving up some of the best brews of the season.
Chicago has deep roots in brewing, dating all the way
back to 1833. Today, the craft beer scene is booming, and its only going to be
bigger as more microbreweries and brewpubs open their doors for the eager
palates of locals and visitors, alike. But no matter if you're a beer
connoisseur or the occasional beer drinker, Chicago has something for everyone.
Here is a short round up of some quality Chicago
One of the first craft breweries in Chicago, Goose Island was founded back in 1988. This brewery has two locations in the city where you can enjoy tours and watch the brewing process, all while sipping tastes
of six current beers. Their signature beer is 312 – named after Chicago's area
code – but there are a number of other drafts that should not be missed, and can
only be enjoyed while in Chicago. For the fall, taste the Oktoberfest brew or
Harvest Ale. Tours take place at the Clybourn location on Saturday at 12:30pm, 2pm
and 3:30pm; and Sunday at 1pm and 2:30pm. The Wrigleyville location does tours on
Saturday and 1pm and 2:30pm. Reservations are required.
Revolution Brewing opened in 2010 in the bustling Logan Square
neighborhood. It has been named 2013 Best Chicago Microbrewery by Time Out Chicago, along with numerous
other accolades for its atmosphere, food pairings and, of course, its beer. Its
autumn brew is Oktoberfest, but there are usually seasonal beers on tap for a
limited time – such as the El Hefe Loco or Black Power – so check on the website or
ask your bartender. Free tours are given every Saturday at noon, no
Founded in 2006, Half Acre has grown into one of the larger
breweries in Chicago. It is known for its quirky, creative labels, and is
credited with being the first brewer in Chicago to can beer. It recently opened
a tap room that offers only the beers it makes at the brewery for you to
enjoy. Half Acre makes a number of one-off and seasonal brews that only come on
the scene at specific times, so be sure to get a taste before they're gone.
Tours cost $10 and run every Saturday at 11am.
Serving up German-style lagers since 2009, Metropolitan
Brewing is located in a converted warehouse in the Ravenswood neighborhood. Its
popular beers – such as Dynamo and Krankshaft – are named for the industrial
history of Chicago. Tours are offered occasionally for $5, and you can sign
up on the company website, but spots go fast.
Haymarket Pub & Brewery
Located on the site of the Haymarket Square Riot in the
West Loop, Haymarket Pub & Brewery is a large brewpub that serves up its
own house beers, as well as many guest and collaboration brews. The beers here
change almost weekly, with specialty ones made for occasions such as weddings,
and unique creations thought up in collaboration with local chefs and brewers,
such as Top Chef winner Stephanie Izard of Girl and the Goat. Haymarket offers
$15 tours on Sunday at 12pm, 2pm and 4pm. Reservations are recommended.
5 Rabbit Cerveceria
Inspired by Latin heritage, 5 Rabbit was born in 2010 with
a mission to infuse Latin culture into American beer styles. Its beers are
named for specific days in the Aztec calendar, and include popular varieties
like 5 Lizard and 5 Vulture. For the fall, the brewery introduced Vida y Muerte
(Life and Death) to celebrate the harvest season. The brewery, located in
Bedford Park, is unfortunately closed to the public, but it does have periodic
events and tours. However, many bars and
restaurants around Chicago serve 5 Rabbit, so be sure to ask what's on tap.
Two Brothers Brewing Company
Two Brothers was founded in late 1996 and has grown into
one of the largest independent, family owned craft brewers in Chicagoland.
Located out in Warrenville, Two Brothers offers a number of year-round
beers, such as Domaine DuPage and Ebel's Weiss, as well as seasonal beers, like
Atom Smasher Octoberfest Lager and Dog Days Lager. Free tours are available every
Saturday at 1pm, 2pm and 3pm; or Sunday at 1pm and 2pm.