Chicago is a town that loves its beer. We take it very
seriously. A history-laden rising star in the world of craft beer, Chicago is
the founding place for several craft breweries entrenched in tradition and
local pride. But in Chicago, it's not enough to have more than 70 breweries in
Illinois with plans for 40 more in the near future. With unique and
individualized beer tours and openings sprouting up across the city, Chicago is
embracing its rising reputation as a major brewing force to be reckoned with
across the country — and the world — and is paying homage to its historical
roots that led to today's fervent craft brewing scene.
Check out what's brewing with some of the hottest — and most
unique — brewery tours and beer experiences Chicago has to offer.
There are few things Chicagoans cherish more fiercely than
its history, and the city's love of its beer is one of them. And when it comes
to these essential Chicago passions, combining the two seems to be just about a
match made in Chicago heaven for History on Tap founder Liz Garibay.
With stories rooted in humble beginnings, History on Tap tours will take
you on a walk through Chicago's celebrated beer history with beer and tavern
historian Liz Garibay as she guides you through neighborhood-based tours such
as "Old Town Taverns," "Pints & the Past on Devon Avenue," and "Cubs &
Pubs: Wrigleyville Taverns" to name a few.
History on Tap uses beer and
tavern history to teach participants about the past, because as Garibay says,
"Taverns, beer history and drinking culture are useful and familiar tools to
teach diverse audiences about a city's past." Grab a pint glass, and tag along:
History on Tap is ready and waiting to take you back in time by stepping
into some of Chicago's modern day taverns.
For an experiential glimpse into the "off-the-beaten-path"
craft breweries in Chicago, The Chicago Beer Experience is at your
service. On these mindfully crafted tours, groups of up to eighteen are led on
foot through Chicago's neighborhoods in pursuit of a variety of beer tastings,
light bar snacking, and general good-time-having (bacon munchies and
Chicago-style hot dog, anyone?).
The Chicago Beer Experience
invites tour takers to get to know the city through its beer and through its
very own history, present in each neighborhood brewery along the way. Newcomers
will find the Lincoln Park & Lakeview and the Bucktown & Wicker Park
Beer Tasting and Bar Tours a great place to start. Great for tourists and
locals alike, The Chicago Beer Experience promises "you'll learn
something new — and you'll be drinking beer, too!"
A true "behind-the-scenes" experience that is guaranteed to
forever change the way you taste and think about beer, Chicago Brews Cruise
is dedicated to getting visitors and locals into the inner workings of the
craft breweries that make this city such a brewing power house. Based in
different areas of the city, Chicago Brews Cruise invites you aboard the
Brews Cruise tour bus to learn about the beer brewing process, learn about the
nuances of different beer styles and meet the people who make local beer great,
tasting as you go.
This is not your average beer tour — master brewers of local
breweries will invite you into their world and explore the gritty science
behind the taste that is eventually bottled and shared. Founder of Chicago
Brews Cruise Rick Julien will be the first to admit that his tours appeal
more to the "beer geek" than to the college beer enthusiast. Book your tour for
an "After Work Wednesday Brews Cruise," a "Goose Island Production Facility and
City Breweries" focus, or maybe even a general "North Chicagoland Beer Tour."
Whichever you choose, you're sure to be a certified "beer geek" come the end.
A true testament to Chicago's massive, and growing, presence
on the national beer scene, just this summer California-based Lagunitas Brewing
Company officially opened its Chicago brewery, distribution center, and TapRoom
in Chicago's white hot Pilsen neighborhood. Upon opening, Lagunitas Chicago
instantly became the largest brewery in Illinois, housing a 300-seat taproom
and supplying all company's markets east of Denver with product.
million-plus facility can produce more than 500,000 barrels of beer per year.
After the entire warehouse is built out, Lagunitas will be able to brew and
ship 1 million barrels a year, making it larger than all the craft breweries in
Chicago combined. Thirsty yet? The enormity of this recent addition to
Chicago's brewing scene is something that Lagunitas invites all Chicagoans and
visitors alike to enjoy, with free tours offered every day of the week.
Never has it been a better time to be a brewer in Chicago —
or a beer enthusiast. During your next visit to Chicago, which one these
unparalleled beer tours will you take a sip of?