With breweries popping up around the city like delicious, booze-filled daisies, it's about time that somebody put together one crawl to rule them all. And so we have. Be a weekend warrior and see if you can check off all of the stops in a single Saturday.
Stop One: Start in the West Loop at Haymarket Pub and Brewery, where the staff customizes their tours based on your interests, unless you’re just interested in the waitresses. Owner Pete Crowley pumps classical music in the fermentation tanks to soothe the yeast. No word on whether the yeast comes out with a higher IQ
Stop Two: Move North up to Goose Island in Lincoln Park. They may have sold their soul to Anheuser-Busch, but there's still plenty of fine brews to be had. Aside from a deep selection of suds for the tasting, there's a video that shows their spent grains being used to fatten the same pigs whose porcine byproducts grace their brewpub's menu
Stop Three: Before leaving the neighborhood, be sure to hoof it Northward to Atlas Brewing Company. The small-batch brewery is named for a Chicago brewery that opened in 1896 and closed after Prohibition. Toast to righting historical wrongs
Stop Five: Just one stop down on the Blue line you’ll find Piece Brewery and Pizzeria, the tastiest stop on the crawl. Pizza and beer are the Adam and Eve of party necessities, so it's only fitting after checking out their brew tanks to sop up some suds with a little New Haven-style thin-crust pie in the very same place where Eddie Vedder does live-band karaoke. If you’re still “Alive” (!) after this stop, then it's on to
1. Haymarket Pub and Brewery737 W Randolph, Chicago
2. Goose Island Brewery1800 N Clybourn Ave, Chicago
3. Atlas Brewing Company2747 N Lincoln Ave, Chicago
4. Revolution Brewing3340 N Kedzie Ave, Chicago
5. Moonshine Brewing Company1824 W Division St, Chicago
6. Koval Distillery5121 N Ravenswood Ave, Chicago
7. Metropolitan Brewing5121 N Ravenswood Ave, Chicago
Haymarket gives you no choice but to do your homework about how and where their brews are made -- you must be led through the brewhouse and fermentation room in order to get to the bar/dining area. Twenty-one tap handles, though, make the trip worth it.
A pioneer in bourbon/barrel-aged beer, this Chicago brewery specializes in hand-crafted ales and lagers, seasonal brews and specialty beers. Over 20 different draft options accompany wide-variety lunch and dinner menus. Highlights include stunners like 2015's BCS rare, which was aged in barrels that held Heaven Hill whiskey for more than 30 years.
Chicago's newest craft brew pub serving delicious cuisine alongside diverse blends.
Revolution's brewery is where kegs, cans and bottles get filled for distribution, and it's also the location of a taproom where tastings occur every Wednesday. This is not to be confused with the original brewpub location on Milwaukee Avenue, where you can get food in addition to your beer. Guided tours are available on a first-come, first-serve basis, so visitors are encouraged to drop by early and grab a pint while they wait.
Head Brewmaster JD McCormick takes pride in his application of yeast, mixing and matching various strains to concoct a bevy of truly unique brews. There are always five or six original Moonshine beers on tap at the brewery, and growler purchases and refills are both available.
This craft distillery is family-owned and creates a variety of organic, hand-bottled spirits. You can make a reservation for a tour of the facility, where you'll learn more than you ever thought there was to know about small-batch distilled spirits. Koval creates an assortment of liquors, ranging from whiskey and vodka to specialty spirits such as apple brandy and beer schnapps.