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CHICAGO CRAFT BREWERIES NOT TO MISS

WARNING: IT'S A LONG LIST, AND YOU MAY FEEL A LITTLE TIPSY BY THE END OF IT.

Chicago is home to some of the best beers and breweries in the country, and is an epicenter of the craft beer movement. Boasting about 60 breweries and 46 Great American Beer Festival Gold Medals, Chicago's craft beer scene is something to be reckoned with.

Check out our guides to Chicago Beer Festivals & Events, Chicago Craft Beer Itineraries, Chicago Breweries with Incredible Taprooms and Chicago Brewery Tours. Then browse some of the many Chicago breweries making their mark.

 

GOOSE ISLAND

1800 N CLYBOURN AVE, LINCOLN PARK & 1800 W Fulton St​, FULTON MARKET

Goose Island Brewpub Chicago

@Goose Island

Goose Island is one of the beer world's biggest names, but it started as a small brewpub in Chicago known as Clybourn. Goose Island's Clybourn Brewery helped to lay the foundation for one of the most successful craft beer companies in the United States. Savor tradition in this bustling Lincoln Park location, which has been serving up award-winning, seasonal beers since 1988. TOURS: Visit the Goose Island production brewery and Tap Room at the Fulton location Wednesday 2pm-8pm, Thursday 2pm-8pm, Friday from 2pm-9pm, Saturday 12pm-9pm & Sunday from 12pm-6pm. Or book a one-hour tour here (tickets from $12).

REVOLUTION BREWING

2323 N MILWAUKEE AVE, LOGAN SQUARE & 3340 N KEDZIE AVE

Revolution Brewery

@Revolution Brewing

Revolution Brewing pays homage to Chicago's rich distilling history with barrel wood walls and benches made from 100-year-old beams. Only a few years old, the brewpub is already a Logan Square neighborhood institution. With taster sizes and a modern tavern attached to the facility, Revolution makes it easy to sample a little bit of everything. The Eugene Coffee Porter is not to be missed. TOURS: Revolution's Kedzie Brewery and Tap Room offers complimentary brewery tours Wednesday through Sunday on a first come, first served basis. Space is limited, and tours are capped at 30 people, so visit early! Saturdays, in particular, fill up fast. Tours last about 30 minutes and include a tasting. Visitors must be 21+.

LAGUNITAS BREWING COMPANY

1843 S WASHTENAW AVE, DOUGLAS PARK

Lagunitas Brewing Company Chicago

@Lagunitas Brewing Company

Sitting above the largest brewery in Illinois, Lagunitas' tap room and beer sanctuary serve up brews, music and munchies you won't find on shelves. TOURS: The Tap Room is open Wednesdays through Sundays, but the brewery offers free brewery tours seven days a week and tasting tours Mondays to Fridays 1pm-3pm. Lagunitas also hosts walking tours Wednesday-Friday 5pm, and Saturday-Sunday on the hour from 1pm-6pm. Ticket holders must be 21+.

HALF ACRE

4257 N LINCOLN AVE, NORTH CENTER & 2050 W Balmoral Ave​, ANDERSONVILLE (Tap Room & Garden)

Half Acre Beer Company Chicago

@Half Acre

Half Acre began brewing in its North Center location in 2009, and rapidly became a Chicago institution. The Daisy Cutter is a prevailing favorite among locals, and buying a growler of the good stuff is a must-do while visiting the city. Half Acre also conducts brewery tours and has an expansive collection of unique merchandise at its store. Half Acre's The Tap Room allows for a sit-down sampling of the establishment's celebrated ales. TOURS: Two-hour brewery tours are offered every Saturday, except major holidays at 11am. Tickets are $10, cash only. You'l get three samples and a branded pint glass to take home. Tours cap at 60 people. Ticket-holders must be 21+. Half Acre's Balmoral Tap Room & Garden (2050 W Balmoral Ave) offers tours every Sunday, except major holidays. 

PIECE PIZZERIA & BREWERY

1927 W NORTH AVE, WICKER PARK/BUCKTOWN

Piece Interior

@Piece Pizzeria & Brewery

With live band karaoke and unbelievable New Haven style pizza, Piece offers a unique microbrew experience. As an anchor of Chicago's artist-friendly Wicker Park/Bucktown neighborhood, it's known for a lively house atmosphere, and a loyal following. What's more, Piece won a gold and bronze medal at the 2014 World Beer Cup.

HAYMARKET PUB & BREWERY

737 W RANDOLPH ST, WEST LOOP

Specializing in classic Belgian and contemporary American beer styles, World Beer Cup 2014 gold medal-winning Haymarket Pub & Brewery produces an array of brown bottles for every beer palette. Chicago's West Loop neighborhood is fast becoming one of the world's most celebrated dining destinations, and decorated brewer Pete Crowley produces a pairing worthy of his Michelin-rated neighbors. Haymarket's affinity for screens makes it a popular choice for sports fans, and its Wilburt Wondersniff Double America Wheat is a hit with beer lovers.

DRYHOP BREWERS

3155 N BROADWAY AVE, LAKEVIEW

DryHop Brewers

@Dryhop Brewers

DryHop's brewmaster, Brant Dubovick, creates hop-centric, barrel-aged, traditional and experimental beer styles that are absolutely one-of-a-kind. This place takes great pride in balancing an approachable neighborhood vibe with an uncanny attention to beer-brewing detail. From shared plates to unique ales, DryHop offers a distinguished experience in the casual Lakeview neighborhood.

HORSE THIEF HOLLOW BREWING COMPANY

10426 S WESTERN AVE, BEVERLY

Situated in the picturesque Beverly neighborhood, Horse Thief Hollow features a variety of craft beer styles all made from scratch food. In 2014, Horse Thief Hollow won an award at the World Beer Cup for their Cheval Deux, a sweet potato Biere de Garde.

ANDERSONVILLE BREWING

5402 N CLARK ST, ANDERSONVILLE

Andersonville Brewing started out in 2009, making it one of the older craft breweries in the city. From its Blonde Bombshell, a golden ale, to barrel-aged brews and sour stouts, Andersonville Brewing has something to satisfy all tastes. In addition to the beers it brews on site, Andersonville Brewing also offers more than 40 other beers and ciders in bottles and drafts, with a primary focus on local Midwest brewers.

VICE DISTRICT BREWING CO.

1454 S. MICHIGAN AVE., SOUTH LOOP

Vice District Brewing

@Vice District Brewing Co.

Vice District Brewing Company launched with a variety of styles, from a Black IPA to an English Style Special Bitter. As the folks at Vice put it, "We are often asked 'What type of beers do you specialize in?' Our typical response is 'Delicious.' We are beer enthusiasts period." This South Loop brewery and tap room is committed to bringing quality brews to the neighborhood. And, in fact, its beers are crafted 100% naturally, with no filtering or pasteurization. 

ROCK BOTTOM

1 W GRAND AVE, THE LOOP

Located just steps from The Magnificent Mile, Rock Bottom is a popular brewpub among Chicago's frenzied shoppers, downtown residents and visitors. Expect a full menu with the freshest ingredients and, of course, some high quality craft beers to wash it all down with. With its incredible view, Rock Bottom's rooftop dining area is an incredibly popular draw in the summertime.

FORBIDDEN ROOT

1746 W Chicago Ave, West Town

Forbidden Root, the first botanical brewery in Chicago, was founded by Robert Finkel after leaving the world of high-stakes entrepreneurship. His idea to create a true-brewed root beer quickly grew to encompass the broader idea of botanic beers. In 2016, Forbidden Root's restaurant and brewery opened in Chicago’s West Town neighborhood. More than just a brewpub, Forbidden Root offers fresh and seasonal dishes that highlight its craft beers and elevate the overall dining experience.

ILLUMINATED BREW WORKS

415 N Sangamon St, West Loop

Fruit Slave beer from Illuminated Brew Works

@Illluminated Brew Works

Chicago-based Illuminated Brew Works is an artisanal brewery, producing urban farmhouse styles. Offerings rotate seasonally to celebrate every aspect of the annual cycle. Illuminated works in the basement of a turn-of-the-century Nabisco factory in Chicago's West Loop, creating brews in very small batches (usually 10 - 15 barrels at a time) to produce precisely the beer it loves. "Beer for interesting times" indeed.

Motor Row Brewing

2337 S Michigan Ave, Motor Row

Copy of Motor Row Brewing

@Motor Row Brewing

Located in an historic landmark warehouse building, Motor Row Brewing takes you back in time to when the neighborhood was home to the original Chicago automotive industry. Created by Brewmaster Frank Lassandrello, Motor Row Brewing makes "everything from spot-on interpretations of traditional styles to some of the wildest beers you’ll ever drink." It offers extended seasonal releases (including a series of easy-drinking Belgian-style ales, perfect for summer), as well as collaborations and experimental one-offs. There's also a tasting room and upstairs taproom.

ON TOUR BREWING COMPANY

1725 W Hubbard St, West Town

On Tour Brewing Company

Settle into a red leather couch or belly up to the polished wood bar at this industrial-chic West Town brewery run by two Illinois natives. Stainless steel brewing tanks and wood barrels behind glass are the centerpiece of the soaring 75-seat tasting room housed in a former boiler factory. Try the Lightning Will, a classic German-style pilsner that was the first beer ever brewed by On Tour. Or order Chasing the Moonlight, a chocolate porter inspired by Mexican hot chocolate that’s brewed with Belgian dark semi-sweet chocolate, liquid cocoa and cinnamon. TOURS: Get up close and personal with On Tour's tanks, kegs and barrel room by signing up for an afternoon brewery tour, every first and third Saturday of the month at 1pm. Tickets are $10 and include three unique pours and an On Tour souvenir glass to take home. Advanced reservations are required (meet int he Barrel Room at 12.50pm). 

EMPIRICAL BREWERY

1801 W Foster Ave, Ravenswood

Empirical Brewery

Empirical is named for its process: The brewery uses empirical observations to improve its beers. Brewers test new recipes on a regular basis, with the goal of exploring new styles and perfecting previous recipes. Empirical's taproom is its lab, although plans are underway for construction of a formal Empirical Labs, where the brewery will experiment with new recipes and produce beers on site. There's also a new Empirical Brew Pub, located within the restored Mayne Stage theater in Rogers Park. You’ll find Empirical’s flagship beers here, including its Infinity IPA, along with beer cocktails such as the Beergarita: Cold Fusion Cream Ale, tequila and house-made lime cordial. Order a dish from the beer-focused menu, such as the fish and chips coated in a batter infused with Heliotropic Pale Ale, or the corned beef sandwich slathered with Infinity IPA beer mustard. For dessert, try the boozy milkshake spiked with Phase Transition Robust Porter and crowned with beer-flavored whipped cream. 

LO REZ BREWING

2101 S Carpenter St​, Pilsen

Pilsen's Lo Rez was formed by Kevin Lilly and Dave Dahl, two former techies who started out as home brewers. Beer names are reflective of the owners’ former careers, such as the Belgian-style Daemon Golden Ale and Memory Fault, a Scottish-style strong ale. The taproom was a labor of love, with the founders rehabbing most of the 19th-century building’s industrial space themselves. Picnic tables encourage mingling in the brick-walled taproom, which features a 40-foot-long red oak bar. There’s no food menu, but guests can bring in take-out from local restaurants. On Sundays, brunch is provided by Hearth & Market food truck, specializing in wood-fired pizzas made with farm-fresh ingredients.

ALULU BREWPUB

2011 S Laflin St​, Pilsen

Adding to the Pilsen neighborhood’s roster of breweries is Alulu Brewpub, helmed by head brewer Frank Costanzo, a Chicago firefighter. Alulu’s small batch craft beers (20 on tap) are produced in its second-floor brewery. Try the Ghostly Liso, a Mexican lager, or the brown ale Crystal Keep. Or sample a “beertail” like the Alulu Michelada, shaken with lime, spicy vinaigrette and Ghostly Liso. Pair your beer with bites from the global seasonal menu, such as the black bean burger with smoked jalapeños and poblano cream cheese. Casual reclaimed wood tables and a windowed garage door that opens up to the street in warm weather make Alulu Brewpub a cozy place you’ll want to hang out in while watching the hipsters go by.

ALARMIST BREWING 

4055 W Peterson Ave, Sauganash

Alarmist Brewing

The creation of Alarmist Brewing's taproom on Chicago’s far Northwest Side, in the Sauganash neighborhood, was a family affair, with owner Gary Gulley and his son crafting the beer tap handles that look like sticks of dynamite. No TVs were installed in the taproom, as part of Gulley’s aim to provide a community space filled with lively conversation. All of Alarmist’s flagship beers are available, including the Illinois-style Entrenched IPA and Phobophobia Patersbier, a Belgian ale. But also look for taproom exclusives when you visit. Alarmist is family-friendly, welcoming kids (who are treated to free Goldfish crackers and juice boxes) and dogs on leashes. Food can be ordered in from area eateries.

GREAT CENTRAL BREWING COMPANY

221 N Wood St, Fulton Market

Great Central Brewing Company

@Great Central Brewing Co.

Taste some of the best craft beers from Chicago and beyond at Grand Central’s taproom, located in the West Loop’s hot Fulton Market District. This contract brewery, which helps brewery clients with their production, also turns out its own small batch beers. Take a seat at one of the wooden tables in the 200-seat taproom and select craft beers from 24 different taps. Local favorites include the Free Bird American pale ale from Begyle Brewing Company and Maplewood’s award-winning Charlatan APA. Great Central’s own offerings (available on draft and in cans) include a German-style helles lager and citrusy hefeweizen. But don’t expect any tastings or flights. Great Central believes you need to commit to at least a half pint of beer in order to fully experience it.

METROPOLITAN BREWING

3057 N Rockwell St​, Ravenswood

Serving up German-style lagers since 2009, Metropolitan Brewing is located in a converted warehouse in the Ravenswood neighborhood, with a spectacular Rockwell Tap Room, with river views that will literally make you froth with excitement. Its popular beers – such as Dynamo and Krankshaft – are named for the industrial history of Chicago. TOURS: Public brewery tours begin Spring 2018 and average $13 per person, which includes a Metro logo pint glass and three 4 oz tasters of your choice. Tours are kid-friendly, and anyone under 21 can join in free of charge (minus the booze and glass of course). Leashed dogs of any age are welcome (they don't get booze and a glass either).

5 RABBIT CERVECERIA

6398 74th St, Bedford Park

Inspired by Latin heritage, 5 Rabbit was born in 2010 with a mission to infuse Latin culture into American beer styles.As such, its the first US-based Latin American-inspired brewery. 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, features The Rabbit Hole tap room, open Wednesdays and Thursdays 4-10pm, Friday 4-11pm, and Saturday 1-9pm. Pozole is served almost every Saturday over the winter, and every Thursday after 5pm tacos are available for purchase. Angel, 5 Rabbit's taco guy, makes some killer tacos al pastor and tacos de bistek. TOURS: Brewery tours are held every Saturday at 3pm. Tickets are $10 per person and include a 5 Rabbit pint glass and a pint of beer.

TWO BROTHERS BREWING COMPANY

30 W 315 Calumet Ave W, Warrensville

Two Brothers was founded in late 1996 and has grown into one of the largest independent, family owned craft brewers in the Chicago area. 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. 

FINCH BEER CO.

1800 W Walnut St, Fulton Market

Finch Beer Co. began in 2011 in Chicago’s Albany Park neighborhood. In 2017, the brewery moved to its current brewery at Walnut and Wood in West Fulton Market, and smack in the middle of the Chicago Brewing District. A lively tap room features experimental Finch beers only available in our tap room. Finch Beer have been can-fans since day one. Not only do they shield the beer from harmful sunlight, but they're easier to transport, and easier to recycle. They also provide a perfect canvas for Finch Beer Co.'s awesome artwork, for brews such as Skull Hammer and Sloth Overlord.

Hopewell Brewing Co.

2760 N Milwaukee Ave, Logan Square

Step into this dog- and baby-friendly taproom (there's a changing table in the bathroom) and ask for the Farm and Family Saison or a Cold Brew Coffee Beer. The taproom itself is an open space, great for gathering with friends and family. Seating is communal, so you may end up making some new friends. No food is served, but you're welcome to bring your own. TOURS: Hopewell holds tours of the brewery every Saturday and Sunday at 5pm. Space is limited, and tours are capped at 20 people, so you're advised to come early. Tours last about 45 minutes and include a tasting of two beers. Note: Closed-toe shoes are required on tours.

Corridor Brewery & Provisions

3446 N Southport Ave, Lakeview

Farmhouse ales and
 hop-forward beers go hand in hand with a rustic farmhouse kitchen serving up Midwestern sandwiches and 
artisan clay hearth pizzas at this craft brewery haven in Chicago's Lakeview neighborhood. Take advantage of the Wizard Fight while you're there, an American IPA, described as "Amarillo, Mosaic, and Citra hops" that create a citrus and pine blast."

Moody Tongue Brewing Company

2136 S Peoria St, Pilsen

Moody TongueJared Rouben, @Moody Tongue Brewing Company

Try the Sliced Nectarine IPA at this local beer-lover's go-to in Pilsen. Moody's philosophy is based on culinary brewing and creating exciting beers with simplicity and balance in check. That's really not surprising, given the fact that Jared Rouben leads the creative development of Moody Tongue’s portfolio of beers. He's a graduate of the Washington University in St. Louis, the Culinary Institute of America in New York and the Siebel Diploma Course in Chicago. Currently, Rouben holds positions as faculty at the Siebel Institute and examiner for the Master Cicerone program. Rouben earned a spot as a cook on the kitchen brigade of the Michelin Star Martini House in Napa Valley and subsequently as expediter on Thomas Keller’s team at the three Michelin Star Per Se in New York City.

Old Irving Brewing

4419 W Montrose Ave, Old Irving Park

This historic locale offers elevated eats, thoughtful beer and live music. Spanning 8,500 square feet that includes a 100-seat dining room, you'll be wowed with wood-grilled meats and veggies, along with cornhole, darts and private event space. On the beer front, Old Irving Brewing's offerings are top-notch and brewed on-site. Try an IPAs, Pale Ale, Stout, or Dunkelweizen.

Band of Bohemia

4710 N Ravenswood Ave, Ravenswood

Bar at Band of Bohemia Chicago@Band of Bohemia

Producing seasonal culinary brews Band of Bohemia is the first Michelin-rated Brewpub. As the brewer explains, it is "Rooted in the namesake gypsy spirit of collective ingenuity and dedicated to providing an elevated level of cuisine, libations and service." This culinary brewhouse is backed by Alinea alums Craig Sindelar and Michael Carroll and features a wood-burning grill in addition to on-tap crafts. Beers like the Apricot Amber and the Thai Long Saison pair excellently with gourmet bar food (think sturgeon bacon on toast) and entrees like Caribbean jerk duck.

Dovetail Brewery

1800 W Belle Plaine Ave, Lakeview

This spot focuses on continental European-style brews and classic techniques. As Dovetail puts it, "We brew like monks (minus the vows)...Quality ingredients, custom tools, and thousands of years of tradition ensure each product meets our highest standards." TOURS: Visit Dovetail Brewery on a Saturday at 11am for a weekly tour, and enjoy three beers during your one-hour brewing journey. You'll also learn about traditional brewing styles. Tours are first come first served.

BEGYLE BREWING

1800 W Cuyler Ave, RAVENSWOOD

Begyle Brewing Company

@Begyle Brewing Company

Begyle Brewing Company is Chicago’s first community-supported brewery, meaning it’s owned by member shareholders. There’s also a retail store! TOURS: Tours start promptly at noon on Saturdays, and give you the opportunity to ask all your burning, brewing questions. Arrive at least 15 minutes early. No kids or pets! Tickets are $10 per person and include a 90 minute tour, three pours and a commemorative Begyle glass. NEW in 2018: The last Saturday of every month will include a Begyle brewer on the tour!.

SPITEFUL BREWING

2024 W Balmoral Ave, Bowmanville

It’s tiny but mighty. Spiteful Brewing prides itself on being a a nano brewery which hand-delivers a few kegs at a time to local bars and restaurants.

ARGUS BREWING

11314 S Front Ave, PULLMAN

It’s all about the low-key vibe at the father-and-son-run Pullman's Argus Brewing, housed in the historic Joseph E. Schmitz distribution stables. Shoot pool while you swill an Argus Ironhorse, a malty and herbal brew that nods to the building’s horse-and-carriage days. TOURS: Argus Brewery offers 90-minute brewery tours to the public, in which you'll learn about the history of the brewery and its famous Pullman neighborhood,while enjoying samples of the latest Argus brews in your commemorative pint glass. Reservations are required (no walk-ins). Must be 21+. Tours take place at 12:30pm, 2pm and/or 3:30pm and cost $15 per person.

WHINER BEER COMPANY

1400 W 46th St #104, Back of the Yards

Whiner Beer Company takes its own unique spin on things. Its Belgian- and French-inspired beers are aged in oak wine barrels and are known for their sour tang — perfect for enjoying on the back patio on a warm summer night. Whiner’s brewing methods are environmentally responsible; it’s located in The Plant, a net-zero energy business incubator.

GREENSTAR BREWING

3810 N Clark St, LAKEVIEW

You can feel good about what you drink at Greenstar Brewing, the first certified organic brewery in Illinois. The seven-barrel brewhouse is adjacent to its sister restaurant, Uncommon Ground (which includes the first rooftop organic farm in the city), and has serving tanks that feed right into the restaurant’s tap system. Grecnstar is committed to using 100% organic malted barley and hops. TOURS: Greenstar offers tours every Saturday at 1pm, led by Uncommon Ground brewmaster and beer ambassador Martin Coad. Check in at Uncommon Ground (3800 N Clark St). Tickets are $10 and include a pint of IPA (you get to keep the glass).

BURNT CITY

2747 N Lincoln Ave, LAKEVIEW

Burnt City Brewing@Burnt City Brewing

A classic brewpub in every sense, Burnt City has dark wood walls, tin ceilings and framed vintage beer ads. In other words, the stage is perfectly set for enjoying a Face Melter Hibiscus IPA, one of the most fragrant brews around. Have it with a side of fresh mussels.

PIPEWORKS BREWING

3912 W McLean Ave, LOGAN SQUARE

The unique artwork on the cans and bottles of Pipeworks Brewing beers is part of the reason for all the buzz. While there is no taproom, you can swing by the Bottle Shop Thursdays through Saturdays to pick up your swigs and peek into the production facility.

LAKE EFFECT BREWING COMPANY

4727 W Montrose Ave C, OLD IRVING PARK

Pop by the Bottle Shop at Lake Effect Brewing Company, open daily to sell seasonally rotating beers, brewed onsite. There's also an urban farm on-site. TOURS: Want to see how a small local brewery operates, and get up-close-and-personal with an actual brew master? Then join Lake Effect Brewing for a Saturday tour, which includes an inside look at a working brewery, bottling area and barrel room. Tours take place at 2pm, 3:30pm and 5pm and last an hour. Beer tastings, including upcoming releases and, from time to time, rare vintage beers, are sold separately at a satellite bar located steps away. Tours are $5 per person and include a Lake Effect Glass to take home. Ticket holders must be 21+.

ALEMAN BREWING

3304 N Knox Ave, OLD IRVING PARK

See how hyperlocal ingredients come into play at Aleman Brewing (your first order: LadiesMan wheat ale made with lemon thyme grown onsite). Even the decor has Chi-town spirit. Local graffiti artists volunteered their time to create the colorful murals inside.

Related Listings

Goose Island Brewpub
1800 N. Clybourn Ave.
Chicago, IL 60614
(312) 915-0071

Vice District Brewing Co.
1454 S. Michigan Ave.
Chicago, IL 60605
(312) 282-9745

DryHop Brewers
3155 N. Broadway
Chicago, IL 60657
(773) 857-3155

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