Chicago Breweries Pt. 4
Here’s part 4 of our Chicago brewery & other touristy things to do post. As I said in our Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3 posts, this is not an all-inclusive “Top” anything list. With so many breweries to choose from, our decisions were mostly based on factors of convenience.
When you’re looking for beer brewed using the traditional method, look no further than Dovetail Brewery. Dovetail serves up a wide array of lagers and spontaneously fermented brews with an exciting barrel age bottle list. Unfortunately for us, there were no flights being served at the time. As we were limited to full pours, the beertender recommended the Dovetail Hefeweizen and their traditional Kriek. The Hefe comes completely as advertised; a traditional method hefe. The wheat beer has a wonderful aroma of clove and a balanced, not overly sweet banana note in a super smooth body.
Their Kriek is a spontaneously fermented Belgian lambic over locally sourced cherries and has loads of tart cherry pucker. This brew is at the cusp of Andrew’s tart-drinking ability. One day we would love to get back to Chicago and partake in a few flights from Dovetail because this small sampling piqued our interest.
Across the street (literally) from Dovetail is Begyle Brewing. And again, they’re only serving full pours! While we were in Chicago, they were still under partial Covid rules which did nix some taproom flights. Covid rules and restrictions were pretty hit or miss across the city. Our two pours from Begyle were their Begyle Blonde and “When Tangerines Fly.” The Begyle Blonde is self-described as a smooth, easy drinking American ale and I think they pretty much nailed that description. The beer is just a great sipper on a warm day in the sun.
The superior of the two beers we tried at the Begyle concrete biergarten was the “When Tangerines Fly.” Unlike several tangerine beers that have come before, this one impressed upon us a bold tangerine flavor! The fruited sour wasn’t watered down, or artificial like several of its brethren so this is your brew to try here.
Need another beer break and want a bird’s eye view of a city? You should visit 360 Chicago. The observation deck situated 94 stories up overlooks the iconic downtown Chicago and the massive Lake Michigan. Your ticket up 1,000 feet is reasonably priced ($30) and includes one drink at the top; a small, crappy cocktail. The views of Chicago are rather breathtaking if you’re not from the area. A massive city, on a massive lake is picturesque.
Forbidden Root Restaurant & Brewery
Forbidden Root is Chicago’s first botanic brewery. Their passion for natures best ingredients is seamlessly blended in all of their beers and great news, we’re back to flights! Flights are perfect because Forbidden has a fantastic line up of brews. With 16 great sounding drafts, it was hard to narrow it down to just four but we finally settled on our choices.
Strawberry Basil Hefeweizen is a flavor profile we seldom see but always appreciate a perfect blend of basil with fresh (and apparently wild) strawberries. If you’re a fan of summer salads, think that but beer. Hoodie Weather was a recommended pick from the beertender; an oak aged Vienna lager that was malty, sweet and light.
Our last two picks were the Dusty Patches farmhouse saison and the Sparkling Rose Ale which was a Biere Brut style. Dusty is classified as a traditional saison, but the nose and flavor profile was stuffed full of peach puree; an absolute tart and peachy delight. The Sparkling Rose could actually end up being confused with a real rose! The Niagara Grapes and hibiscus flavor is fused into a light, bubbly and sweet body; certainly wine-passable.
Forbidden Root’s passions don’t just start and end at beer. They also donate 100% of their merchandise profits to charity, and they have a “LOVE” (tap) handle that donates $1 of every pour to a rotating list of charities.