Chicago Breweries Pt. 5
Here’s part 5 of our Chicago brewery tour & other touristy things post. As I said in our Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4 posts, this is not an all-inclusive best breweries in Chicago list. With so many breweries to choose from, our decisions were mostly based on factors of convenience.
As Beerventueres we like to maximize our travel time by flying into a city super early and flying out super late. Since our flight didn’t leave until late afternoon on our last day in Chicago, we were able to hit four more breweries on the way out.
Old Irving Brewing Co.
The first stop of the day was decked out in Oktoberfest décor and had a diverse tap lineup ranging from Kolschs to Imperial Stouts. Old Irving Brewing Co. of Chicago is a rather large brewpub with plenty of seating, delicious smelling food and now two Beerventurers at the corner of the bar. Our flight of four consisted of a sour, Pilsner, a DIPA and a TIPA. Characteristically, Melissa clung onto a highly rated kettle sour with called Cushy Mango Peach. The tart and slightly acidic had lots of Mango flavor with a minor burst of peaches. The clean, crisp and crushable Pilsner, Til Death, was brewed with Pilsen malts and hopped with Saaz, Hallertauer and Tettnang hops.
The interesting part of the flight was having a New England (“NE”) DIPA and NE TIPA back-to-back. It’s not often we stumble on a TIPA, and much less so an NE TIPA. Triple Beezer is a 10.2% TIPA brewed with Citra and Mosaic hops and is boozy when compared to the 8% DIPA. The Citra and Sazz DIPA, Unseen Shores, scores less than the TIPA on Untappd, but is the stronger entry to the flight by our standards.
Noon Whistle Brewing
Noon Whistle Brewing in Lombard, IL wasn’t exactly hard to find, but it is wedged behind a Tile Shop and KFC in the back of a strip mall. The spacious brewpub has plenty of production space and a fully stocked barrel program any brewer would be envious of. Their beer offering is unique with tantalizing names like Jam Stand Apricot Mango Pineapple and Squishy Gummy. Both brews were excellent, scoring a 3.75 and a 4.0 on Untappd. However, they were completely outshined by Rob Boss Did It Scotch Ale and Cumbersome Farmhouse Saison.
Rob Boss Did It was the first Scotch Ale that was worth mentioning on the trip. Scotch ales aren’t for everyone, and this one is aged in a Heaven Hill Bourbon Barrel which would limit the appreciative audience even more. The brew had tons of vanilla and tobacco flavors but was surprisingly sweet, but clearly boozy at 10%. Cumbersome if you haven’t guessed already is a cucumber beer. We always appreciate beers coming as advertised and we factor that into our scoring. Even when the Untappd community disagrees with our assessment. If you like cucumber, this beer is much better than the 3.4 our Untappd peers gave it on the platform.
Unfortunately for Melissa, it was not baseball season during our visit, so we didn’t get the chance to see the Cubs play in the historic Wrigley Field. Wrigley Field is the 2nd oldest major league park (Fenway being the 1st ) and has this beautiful ivy-covered brick outfield wall. If you get the chance to see the Cubs play there, tag us so we can live vicariously through you!
More Brewing Company
More Brewing Company has more than one location, but their brewpub in Villa Park was closer to our flight out of Chicago. The Villa Park brewpub is clean, well maintained and can easily accommodate large groups but their brewpub in Huntley is the premier location. Unfortunate for us, but hopefully you can make it to the flagship building.
There were a lot of great sounding options on tap, and ¾ of our flight was a great execution. We had high hopes for the Henna: Coconut Double Rainbow Imperial stout, but sadly that was a letdown. We didn’t dwell on the average beer too long as Double Frooted Triple P and Rainbow Scoop brought smiles to Melissas face. Double Frooted Triple P is a pastry sour was a super fruited ale with passionfruit, peach and pineapple; instantly a Melissa favorite. I didn’t think it was overly tart, but it has just enough bite to let you know its there. Rainbow Scoop is a more interesting take on the traditional rainbow sherberts we had growing up. I say more interesting because it’s a 7% beer filled with raspberry, orange, lemon and lime flavors that screams nostalgia.
It’s officially our last stop on Chicago beercation and we ended with a high note at Elmhurst Brewing Company. The dark exterior and interior of this Elmhurt, IL brewery starkly contracts with the light wood tree flight paddle, and our vibrant selection of beers. Well, except for the My Father’s Mustache Brown Ale I guess, that wasn’t very bright.
The Strawbeery Zitrone deserves a mention from us because 1) we like Kolsch style brews, and 2) the lemon and elderflower had a strong showing. The name and descriptions of beers are important to our ratings, and we really didn’t notice the strawberry at all. But looking past the advertising, we enjoyed the Kolsch for what it is.
The best of the flight, as if you weren’t already anticipating the result was another sour. The Red Dragonfruit Fell Far from the Tree is a super long name, but also one of Melissa’s favorite sours from the trip. The untappd scores are all over the place, so ignore those and ask yourself if a crisp, slight-dry, tart dragonfruit beer appeals to you. If the answer was yes, it’s on tap right this second and you will probably enjoy it as much as she did.
And that’s it. Grand Rapids and Chicago are two amazingly fun cities that our beercation did not do justice to. As usually, if we missed something, share your thoughts below or on our Instagram.