Chicago Breweries Pt. 1
There are tons of things to do in Chicago, like boat tours, eating tours, and of course brewery tours. With over 100 breweries on my planning map, I knew we would never be able to do the Chicago beer scene justice with our 3.5 day visit. Consequently, please do not take our trip as any comprehensive list or favorite area breweries. With so many breweries to choose from, our decisions were mostly based on factors of convenience. For those of you wondering if we made any stops in Indiana, no, no we did not and I know we missed quite a few great stops.
Goose Island Beer Company
We know, we know. AB Inbev = bad. That is until BCBS is released every year and then everyone forgets about the ownership. However, while in Chicago, Goose Island is a must visit location. We visited the Clyburn Brewhouse, which while not the full production facility at their Fulton Street location, still was an impressive space with an equally impressive beer menu. The brew house itself has a weathered, exposed brick atmosphere and vibes of a traditional inner-city brewery.
While you can obtain Goose Island beers in just about every bar in Chicago, there are brewery only releases and the lunch from their pub was super satisfying. Love them or hate them, Goose Island is still one of Chicago’s must hit breweries.
Off Color Brewing
Over the years, some of our favorite can art designs have come from Off Color so we made it a point to stop at the most adorably named taproom – The Mousetrap. With 16 drafts on tap, plus loads of cans and bottles, it’s hard not to get trapped for a few hours at this delightful brewery.
Everyone reading this post I’m sure has either seen or had one of their world famous “Beer for x” series and according to Untappd, there are 20 of those. While at the Mouse Trap we were able to try fresh Beer for Brunch and Beer for Golf; both delicious options. The best in show though was the Pear Reine des Renards.
Pear Reine des Renards is a 7.8% Flemish Blonde ale that was fermented in their 14 year old French Calvados Foedre with wild yeast for 10 months, and then aged again for an additional year on pressed pear cider! The tart and funky flavor of the wild ale in the front is quickly quenched by the crisp and refreshing pear notes on the backend. I wish we could have taken bottles of this home to drink for years to come.
Half Acre Beer Company
We clearly didn’t do our research before stopping into Half Acre’s Lincoln Ave location. When we walked in, there was a rambunctious and yet somber tone throughout the brewery. The vibe was weird our whole time there and it wasn’t until we were departing did we learn that we had managed to stumble in on the brewery’s last night in its original location.
If you missed saying goodbye to their Lincoln location, don’t fret because their new Balmoral location is spacious and beautiful. If you’ve never had one, you need to try one of their most well-known brews, Beer Hates Astronauts. Everyone knows that I’m not the biggest IPA fun, but in this case I must recommend the comic book based beer with it’s fun comic strip can art.
Deep dish pizza
You’re in Chicago and you want to try a real deep-dish pizza – I get it. But here’s the thing with deep dish pizza, it’s just a saucy casserole that takes a long time to make. In all seriousness if you’re in the mood for a traditional deep dish at a sit-down restaurant you should budget an extra 40 minutes to an hour for these things to be cooked! We did try one of the more famous deep-dish options (not naming names), and frankly we were underwhelmed…
Did you miss our Top 5 Breweries of Grand Rapids post? Click Here
Part 2 of our Chicago Beer trip is now up! Click Here