Ive been to the new Temperance Brewing tap room three times now and I feel like recommending it as a fun place to hang out, sample the house made beers and play shuffleboard. After FEW Spirits, it's another nod to Mrs. Willard by an Evanston-based alcohol-making establishment; Temperance, indeed!
I dont think that Temperance's beers (or tap room) are at a level yet with Half Acre or Revolution but those places set a pretty high standard for me. To my taste Temperance's best beers are Restless Years Rye Pale Ale, Freedive Black IPA and Gatecrasher English IPA. They have some beers in other styles that dont appeal to me that much like a cherry ESB and a Blueberry wheat. Ive never been a huge fan of English ESBs and Temperance seems to offer alot of types of them. They offer various pours as small as 4 oz for $2 so you can sample before you commit to a pint.
Overall I think their beers are decent and it is cool to have people in my hometown of Evanston making beer and offering to host folks in their brewery. I like that.
It is a tap room so there are no other drinks except their beer and no food (except for beef jerky which I havent tried yet). You can bring in food. Their website notes frequent food truck visits and I imagine that could be fun. One wall is a double garage door that opens to a large outdoor deck.
The atmosphere is spartan, with exposed painted cinder blocks and a handsome back bar of blond wood. It is an industrial space. There is a medium sized shuffleboard. A few windows look into the brewery. Im not super keen on the communal tables with are kind of low and remind me of my junior high lunch room.
Unlike beer geek destinations like Hopleaf and the afore-mentioned tap rooms, you can bring your kids to Temperance. Or "they" can bring "their" kids I suppose depending on your pov. Ah, Evanston.
Temperance is located in a small industrial park. The Dempster/Dodge area is not exactly the usual place folks might go to in Evanston for food or entertainment and except for Panino's in the now Dominick's-less Dempster Plaza and Chicken and Waffles a few more blocks west on Dempster, there isnt really much around here except gas stations, payday loan stores and fast food outlets. And ETHS a couple blocks North. But I suppose that is one of the charms of Temperance, its funky location.http://temperancebeer.com/