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CHICAGO BREWERY TOURS

Get a behind-the-scenes look at some of Chicago's top breweries and bars.

With unique and individualized beer tours and openings sprouting up across the city, Chicago is embracing its rising reputation as a major brewing force.

For more on the Chicago brewery scene, take a look at our guides to Chicago Beer Festivals & Events, Chicago Craft Beer Itineraries, Chicago Breweries with Incredible Taprooms and Chicago Craft Breweries Not to Miss. Then check out some of Chicago's hottest — and most unique — brewery tours and beer experiences.

 

CRAFT BREWERY TOURS

Check out our ever-growing list of Chicago Craft Breweries Not to Miss. The vast majority offer weekly tours of their production facilities, plus a chance to sample the goods. Here are a few to get your started.

GOOSE ISLAND - 1800 W Fulton St

EPIC - Goose Island

Visit the Goose Island production brewery and Tap Room 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 - 3340 N Kedzie Ave

Revolution Brewery

Revolution's Kedzie Brewery and Tap Room offers complimentary brewery tours Wednesday through Sunday on a first come, first serve 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

Lagunitas Brewing Company Chicago

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

Half Acre Beer Company Chicago

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 site (2050 W Balmoral Ave) offers tours every Sunday, except major holidays. 

ON TOUR BREWING COMPANY - 1725 W HUBBARD ST

On Tour Brewing Company

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). 

METROPOLITAN BREWING - 3057 N ROCKWELL ST​

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

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.

HOPEWELL BREWING CO. - 2760 N MILWAUKEE AVE

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.

DOVETAIL BREWERY - 1800 W BELLE PLAINE AVE

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

Begyle Brewing Company

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!.

ARGUS BREWING - 11314 S FRONT AVE

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.

LAKE EFFECT BREWING COMPANY - 4727 W MONTROSE AVE C

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+.

GREENSTAR BREWING - 3810 N Clark St

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).

 

UNIQUE BEER TOURS

History on Tap

With stories rooted in humble beginnings, History on Tap tours will take you on a walk through Chicago's celebrated beer history, with founder and tavern historian Liz Garibay as your guide. Neighborhood-based tours include "Old Town Taverns," "Pints & the Past on Devon Avenue," and "Cubs & Pubs: Wrigleyville Taverns," to name a few. As Garibay explains, "Taverns, beer history and drinking culture are useful and familiar tools to teach diverse audiences about a city's past." 

The Chicago Beer Experience

Chicago Beer Experience

On these mindfully crafted tours, groups of up to 18 are led on foot through Chicago's neighborhoods in pursuit of a variety of beer tastings, light bar snacking, and general good-time-having. 

The Chicago Beer Experience invites tour takers to get to know the city through its brewing history, neighborhood by neighborhood. Newcomers will find the "Lincoln Park & Lakeview Tour" and the "Bucktown & Wicker Park Beer Tasting and Bar Tour" great places to start. The Chicago Beer Experience promises, "you'll learn something new — and you'll be drinking beer, too!"

Chicago Brews Cruise

A true "behind-the-scenes" experience that is guaranteed to forever change the way you think about beer, Chicago Brews Cruise gets visitors and locals into the inner workings of the craft breweries that make this city such a brewing powerhouse. 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 and the nuances of different beer styles, and to meet the people who make local beer great, tasting as you go.

This is not your average beer tour — master brewers  invite you into their world to 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" by the end of it.

Barrel Bus Brewery Tour

Take a Prohibition Era-style barrel bus tour to three local craft breweries, tastings included. This barrel bus is constructed using wood staves and steel hoops to create the classic curved barrel shape, Copper and brass handrails, lights and accessories are reminiscent of the equipment used in the brewing and fermenting process. Even the vertically opening door was designed to mimic the hidden cellars of the 1920s Prohibition Era. It's like an entire brewery experience on wheels.

This all-inclusive tour takes you behind-the-scenes at a brewing production facility, as well as to two further breweries to "enjoy the distinctive qualities of Chicago craft brewing while reveling in the artistic triumphs of this charming and historic city."  Each brewery has its own distinctive qualities, which you'll experience through 45-55 ounces of various craft beers.

Tours cost $70 per participant.

Mystic Blue Craft Brew Cruises 

Mystic Blue Craft Brew Cruise

Mystic Blue teams up with Brewfest Partners to create the Craft Brew Cruises experience on Lake Michigan (leaving from Navy Pier). While cruising the waters, you'll enjoy approximately 20 craft beer samples from some of the hottest craft breweries in Chicago. Light bites, deck games (foosball, giant jenga and more), a live DJ, dance floor and spectacular skyline views round out the trip.  Standard boarding is at 12:30 pm on scheduled days, with prices starting at $39.90 per person (must be 21+ with ID).

Check out Mystic Blue's 2018 specialty cruise schedule

 

SELF-GUIDED CRAFT BREWERY ITINERARIES

If you'd rather take yourself on a self-guided tour, here are a few neighborhood-focused guides to get you on the road to craft brew nirvana.

DOWNTOWN LOOP & SOUTH LOOP

WEST LOOP & WEST TOWN

RAVENSWOOD CORRIDOR

PILSEN, BRIDGEPORT & PULLMAN

LINCOLN PARK & LAKEVIEW

MILWAUKEE CORRIDOR

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