Chicago Craft Beer Week is in full swing, and while we fully embrace any reason to learn more about our city's craft beers, the truth is you can do it nearly any week of the year. If you're not able to make any of CCBW's events (which run through May 25th), you can always hop on one of these brewery tours.
Where: 3340 N. Kedzie Ave
When: Wednesday - Friday at 6pm, Saturday at 4pm, 5pm, 6pm and Sunday at 3pm
See where popular local brews, like Anti-Hero IPA and Bottom Up Wit, are made during a 40-minute tour that goes inside Revolution's 60-barrel brewhouse. Tours include a complimentary tasting, but be sure to get here early - tours are on a first-come, first-serve basis for the first 30 people.
Where: 4257 N. Lincoln Ave
When: 11am every Saturday (except major holidays)
Tickets for this popular tour used to be booked out for months until, in an effort towards fairness, Half Acre did away with the reservation system and switched to a first-come, first-serve approach. Line up on the sidewalk and make sure you're among the first 60 people in order to make the cut (the line here is no joke-we suggest queuing up by 9:45 at the latest to ensure your spot). While the tour costs $10, you do get three full pint "samples", as well as your very own Half Acre pint glass to take home.
Where: 737 W Randolph St.
When: Sundays at 12pm, 2pm, and 4pm
This West Loop staple serves up classic Belgian and contemporary American beers in their combination pub and brewery. Tour-goers have three chances every Sunday (reservations are recommended). Tours include a 12oz beer as well as a guiding tasting of four 4oz beers.
Where: 4565 N. Elston Ave.
When: Saturdays at 12pm, 1pm, 2pm, 3pm and 4pm
Arrive early to get a head-start on sampling. Tours last only 20 minutes, but give plenty of time before and after to taste the wares with unlimited samples of beer in a complimentary pint glass. Bottomless beer samples means you can try everything they have on tap, including their award-winning brews, Threadless IPA (an amber pour with a citrus finish) and Secret Stache Stout (a robust beer with notes of chocolate and coffee). Book tickets online at least a week in advance.
Where: 11314 S. Front Ave.
When: Saturdays at 12:30pm, 2pm and 3:30pm
Tours here last 90 minutes, with about 60 of them being dedicated to drinking as much of the Roseland-based brewery's beers as you want at their informal tap room. Tickets can be purchased online, and include a souvenir glass.
Where: 1800 North Clybourn and 3535 North Clark Street
When: Clybourn: Saturdays at 12:30pm and 2pm, Sundays at 12pm, 1:30pm and 3pm Cost: $10
Goose Island has been a Chicago favorite since it started in 1988. While the brand may have been bought by Anheuser-Busch InBev NV in 2011, the Clybourn and Wrigley brewpubs are still independently owned and operated by the original founder, John Hall. Tours are offered at both locations, and include a souvenir pint glass as well as a tasting of 6 different brews. Tours last 60-90 minutes and fill up fast, so plan ahead and RSVP at least one week in advance.
Where: 1800 W. Cuyler
When: 11:30am every Saturday
Begyle may have won the title of best new craft brewery last year by Chicago Magazine, but the brewery only opened the doors to their Ravenswood facility in January, when they debuted a 600 square-foot tasting room. Hop on a tour for an inside look, several samples, and a 13oz tulip glass.
Coming Soon: Lagunitas
California-based craft brewer Lagunitas recently opened shop in Chicago, becoming the city's largest brewery. While it's not open yet, a tap room featuring live music every night is in the works and is currently scheduled for an early June opening. We're betting brewery tours will be quick to follow.