Historic architecture and world-renowned cultural institutions aren’t the only things that define downtown Chicago. The heart of the city, made up of the Loop and South Loop, is a growing hub for local breweries that draw in everyone from after-work crowds to weekend visitors. Check out some of the top spots to try locally made craft brews near downtown.
Stop 1: Motor Row Brewing
Motor Row Brewing is located in a landmark building on a strip formerly inhabited by Chicago’s booming auto industry (the brewery’s name pays homage to that legacy). Its brick-walled tasting room and upper-level taproom are where you can try beers with witty names like Fleetwood Black (a black lager) and Dry Humor (a Blonde Belgian honey wheat). 2337 S. Michigan Ave.
Stop 2: Adams Street Brewery
Adams Street Brewery is the in-house brewer at the historic Berghoff Restaurant, one of the oldest restaurants in Chicago. With three generations of brewing experience under their belts, the family-run brewery specializes in German-style ales, including lager, dunkel, and hefeweizen. Grab a stein (and maybe a soft pretzel) and taste the history. 17 W. Adams St.
Stop 3: Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery
Just a short walk off The Magnificent Mile, you’ll find Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery. One of the city’s original breweries, it’s popular with the happy hour crowd. Gather on the rooftop beer garden and order from the menu of American bar grub. The beer menu always features small-batch varieties — try the barrel-aged variety — brewed onsite. 1 W. Grand Ave.
Stop 4: Eataly
Just down the street, the massive Italian gourmet market and grocer, Eataly, has a microbrewery and restaurant called Birreria (pub in Italian). If you’re lucky enough to snag a table (seating is limited and goes fast), you’ll be just 20 feet from the head brewer in action — he makes a killer IPA, by the way. Sip house-brewed craft ales, plus local and Italian beers, while snacking on cheese plates and Italian snacks. 43 E. Ohio St.
Stop 5: Gino’s Brewing Co.
You might know Gino’s East for deep dish pizza, but what about drafts? On the first floor of the pizzeria, Gino’s Brewing Co. features house-brewed beer on tap. Check out the pairing menu so you know which brew to get with your ‘za (try the Black Rye IPA with the Jalapeño Deep Dish). 500 N. LaSalle Drive