One Saturday. Eight breweries... and one distillery!

Published On 05/24/2013 Published On 05/24/2013
A line of beer taps

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 Four: Go West, young man, via the Fullerton bus, to get to Revolution Brewing (that'd be the brewpub). Try to score something from the Deep Wood barrel-aged series

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

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1. Haymarket Pub and Brewery 737 W Randolph, Chicago, IL 60661 (West Loop)

With a dining room that requires you to walk past the brew house and fermentation room, Haymarket is all about showcasing the artistry of its craft (craft beer, that is). The brewpub's 32 taps, however, available once you surpass the stretch of mosaic-tiled hallway, are well worth the journey. While the spot's bourbon-barrel-aged imperial stout has won them some serious acclaim, the brewers as a whole specialize in contemporary American and Belgian style beers. Notorious for his ability to pair dishes with specific beers -- a beer sommelier, of sorts -- Haymarket's head chef has designed the restaurant's full menu around the draft offerings. The kitchen serves up house-cured seasonal sausages, smoked hot wings with cinnamon, and wood-fired pizzas as late as 2am. And best of all, the spot doesn't deliver -- the beers are only available right in house.

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2. Goose Island Brewery 1800 N Clybourn Ave, Chicago, IL 60614

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.

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3. Atlas Brewing Company 2747 N Lincoln Ave, Chicago, IL 60614 (Lincoln Park)

Chicago's newest craft brew pub serving delicious cuisine alongside diverse blends.

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4. Revolution Brewing 3340 N Kedzie Ave, Chicago, IL 60618 (Avondale)

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.

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5. Moonshine Brewing Company 1824 W Division St, Chicago, IL 60622 (Wicker Park)

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.

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6. Koval Distillery 5121 N Ravenswood Ave, Chicago, IL 60640 (Ravenswood)

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.

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7. Metropolitan Brewing 5121 N Ravenswood Ave, Chicago, IL 60640 (Ravenswood)

This brewery is located right next door to Koval Distillery, pumping out small batches of specialty beers and holding tours of its facility by reservation.



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