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    Post #1 - August 24th, 2004, 1:57 pm
    Post #1 - August 24th, 2004, 1:57 pm Post #1 - August 24th, 2004, 1:57 pm
    As a devout fan of Chicago's seemingly endless list of places to have a beer, I am constantly in awe of the fact that this city seems to have so few places (if any) that brew their own beer. I am not a fan of Goose Island and have thus never checked out their brewpub. I recently went to the Duke of Perth on Clark and liked the food, beer and atmosphere, and hope to return there one Wednesday or Friday for a fish fry night. But what I really seek out in Chicago is somewhere that brews their own beer, which I"m also assuming would have food service. Is there such a thing to truly be had in Chicago? If not I would be interested to hear people's opinions on places to get a good beer and some grub.

    Duke of Perth
    2913 North Clark St
    Chicago, IL 60657
    773 477 1741
  • Post #2 - August 24th, 2004, 2:26 pm
    Post #2 - August 24th, 2004, 2:26 pm Post #2 - August 24th, 2004, 2:26 pm
    The Chicago Beer Society maintains a list of Chicago-area brewpubs, of which there are a fair amount:

    http://www.chibeer.org/cbslinks.html

    I would urge you to give Goose Island another try. While I'm not a fan of their food, they have a really strong variety of beers and I've found a handful that I really love (my favorites being the Hexnut Brown and the Oatmeal Stout).

    If you just want good bottled beer and good food try Hopleaf. They have a dizzying array of beers, specializing in Belgian and Trappist beers. They also have the full array of Sam Smith's beers (another of my favs). Their food is Belgian pub fare. I recommend the rabbit, frites, and mussels.

    Also, head for Bricks on Lincoln on Thursdays for $3 Fat Tire night. There are very few places to buy Fat Tire beer in Chicago. I consider it one of the finest microbrews in the country (New Belgium Brewing Company, Colorado). Bricks has a decent brick oven pizza, but I go for the Fat Tire.

    Hopleaf Bar
    5148 N. Clark St.
    773-334-9851

    Bricks
    1909 N. Lincoln Ave.
    312-255-0851

    PS - Bricks also has the best jukebox in Chicago, IMHO.
  • Post #3 - August 24th, 2004, 4:13 pm
    Post #3 - August 24th, 2004, 4:13 pm Post #3 - August 24th, 2004, 4:13 pm
    Thanks for the pointers. Maybe I should go to the Goose brewpub and check it out. My real aversion is to the Honker's Ale, so there may be something there I'll find and like. FYI, I'm going to be Fort Collins, CO next month, and plan on having some Fat Tire "from the teat" at the brewery. Other thoughts welcomed from all.
  • Post #4 - August 24th, 2004, 4:26 pm
    Post #4 - August 24th, 2004, 4:26 pm Post #4 - August 24th, 2004, 4:26 pm
    Flossmoor Station in the far south suburbs has been widely praised, though I haven't heard much good or bad since brewer Todd Ashman left for Green Bay.

    Lunar Brewing company in Villa Park was reported on once by Rene G, quite some time ago, with a "wish I would have like it more" review, and I believe he returned more recently, and in fact did like it considerably more.

    I like Goose Island pretty well, actually, and I like their Stilton burger, too.

    I've only been to Rock Bottom once, and was not impressed, but I didn't sample too widely. I don't know how much local control each operation has over its beers.
  • Post #5 - August 24th, 2004, 6:09 pm
    Post #5 - August 24th, 2004, 6:09 pm Post #5 - August 24th, 2004, 6:09 pm
    I lived in Libertyville for 3 years (1998-2001) and went to Mickey Finn's frequently. They always had a wide variety of beer choices (including the option of a beer flight - 2 oz. of all the varieties). I'm more an oenophile than a hophead, but I always liked what they were serving -- and you could see they were brewing it right there in back. The food is all right; nothing wrong or extraordinarily good about it. I always thought their burgers were pretty good for "pub style" burgers, and the fries were decent. Service is hit or miss (I think it was mostly Libertyville High School students when I was there). Mickey Finn's is more a family place than a pub, at least for lunch (never went there after dark). If you don't mind the fact that the beers are brewed off-site, a much better choice for beer (and better food) in a more exciting setting is The Firkin, a little farther up and across Milwaukee Avenue. They have a very wide selection of international and local beers on tap (they claim on their website to have 25 locally-brewed varieties), as well as a good wine list and more of an "urban" vibe. Firkin had the best BLT sandwich I've ever eaten (made with applewood smoked bacon). http://www.firkinoflibertyville.com/
  • Post #6 - August 25th, 2004, 8:41 am
    Post #6 - August 25th, 2004, 8:41 am Post #6 - August 25th, 2004, 8:41 am
    To be completely honest, if you can go to the Goose Island brewpub and not find a single beer of theirs on tap to your liking, you probably don't like beer. Well-made specialty brews and some outstanding regulars (Hexnut, Pils).

    I am always surprised there aren't more brewpubs in the city. Of course, Three Floyd's is right across the border in Hammond, IN, and they offer tours and drinks of their outstanding beers.

    There also is a place right off the Metra line in the South Suburbs that brews its own beers, I think it may be in Blue Island, anyone know what I'm talkin about?
  • Post #7 - August 25th, 2004, 8:49 am
    Post #7 - August 25th, 2004, 8:49 am Post #7 - August 25th, 2004, 8:49 am
    Aaron Deacon wrote:I've only been to Rock Bottom once, and was not impressed, but I didn't sample too widely. I don't know how much local control each operation has over its beers.


    Is this the place just north of the river, around Grand and State? From what you say it sounds like it's part of a chain -- regional? national? any further info on this place? I've passed it, been asked about it, but never gone in and don't know nuttin'.

    A
    Alle Nerven exzitiert von dem gewürzten Wein -- Anwandlung von Todesahndungen -- Doppeltgänger --
    - aus dem Tagebuch E.T.A. Hoffmanns, 6. Januar 1804.
    ________
    Na sir is na seachain an cath.
  • Post #8 - August 25th, 2004, 8:49 am
    Post #8 - August 25th, 2004, 8:49 am Post #8 - August 25th, 2004, 8:49 am
    ab wrote:There also is a place right off the Metra line in the South Suburbs that brews its own beers, I think it may be in Blue Island, anyone know what I'm talkin about?


    You're probably thinking of Flossmoor Station, mentioned above, which is right off the Flossmoor stop.
  • Post #9 - August 25th, 2004, 9:05 am
    Post #9 - August 25th, 2004, 9:05 am Post #9 - August 25th, 2004, 9:05 am
    Piece on North Avenue makes some really good beers. Their pizza isn't that bad either. In addition the place is part owned by Rick Nielson from Cheap Trick. Their brewer, Jonathon Cutler brewed at Goose Island and Sierra Nevada.

    Piece
    1927 West North Avenue
    Chicago (Wicker Park), IL 60622
    (773) 772-4422

    http://www.piecechicago.com/
  • Post #10 - August 25th, 2004, 3:46 pm
    Post #10 - August 25th, 2004, 3:46 pm Post #10 - August 25th, 2004, 3:46 pm
    Antonius wrote:
    Aaron Deacon wrote:I've only been to Rock Bottom once, and was not impressed, but I didn't sample too widely. I don't know how much local control each operation has over its beers.


    Is this the place just north of the river, around Grand and State? From what you say it sounds like it's part of a chain -- regional? national? any further info on this place? I've passed it, been asked about it, but never gone in and don't know nuttin'.

    A


    Yes, that is the place. It is part of a chain. Unless they've changed policies they only serve ales. The cynic/homebrewer in me has always suspected that policy exists so that they can focus on volume (due to the shorter cycle and easier process of ales vs. lagers) rather than quality. There's certainly nothing wrong with ales but I don't think they even do those all that well. It's not poison but it's not what I would consider brewing worthy of making it a "must visit".

    I think within the city that Goose Island does a fine job. They don't hit a home run with every beer but some of them are quite good. It's been a bit since I last visited but I recall they made quite a good kolsch, which isn't the easiest brew (at least to make well).

    I've found that most brewpubs I've visited can usually do one thing or the other well - either beer or food - but rarely both. In Goose Island's case the beer is what they do well, the food is OK - though I find a BIG difference between the food in the original location and the food up by Wrigley (with the Wrigley location suffering greatly).
    Objects in mirror appear to be losing.
  • Post #11 - August 25th, 2004, 4:03 pm
    Post #11 - August 25th, 2004, 4:03 pm Post #11 - August 25th, 2004, 4:03 pm
    Kman wrote:In Goose Island's case...the food is OK - though I find a BIG difference between the food in the original location and the food up by Wrigley (with the Wrigley location suffering greatly).


    Interesting point--I always forget that there is a Wrigleyville location.

    Thanks, Kman, for answering Antonius. I still miss some things with this software if a lot of posts are added to a thread between visits.

    According to the Rock Bottom website, they do offer a lager in addition to several ales, and a stout.

    The website does little to enthuse me, but perhaps I will go and sample the beers sometime after work. Again, my previous visit was brief and unimpressive, but I have a vague recollection of biermeister Rene G visiting more recently and finding at least one brew that was not bad. Forgive me, Rene G, if I praise the place too highly in your name :wink: (or not highly enough for that matter).
  • Post #12 - August 25th, 2004, 4:30 pm
    Post #12 - August 25th, 2004, 4:30 pm Post #12 - August 25th, 2004, 4:30 pm
    I agree that Chicago is actually pretty well stocked with brewpubs and that Goose Island ain't bad. I think that the Clark St. location's food has improved recently, also.

    And I agree that Piece has some pretty good brews, probably better than the pizza (though that too can be quite good if the right person is working the oven and tossing the dough).

    Then again, I actually don't think that much of Fat Tire, which to my mind benefits greatly from the old Coors/Smokey and the Bandit effect.
  • Post #13 - August 25th, 2004, 9:47 pm
    Post #13 - August 25th, 2004, 9:47 pm Post #13 - August 25th, 2004, 9:47 pm
    I've had beers at Rock Bottom a number of times and can think of nothing coming out of the taps that was earth shatteringly good. However, its good enough that, when in combination with their awesome rooftop beer garden, it makes RockBottom a regular destination for me.

    The view of the surrounding skyscrapers from the third floor beer garden makes that one of the finer beer gardens in Chicago, in my opinion.

    Maybe its the former frat boy in me speaking here, but it seems to me that its difficult to taste the quality of any micro brew after your second or third.
  • Post #14 - August 25th, 2004, 10:27 pm
    Post #14 - August 25th, 2004, 10:27 pm Post #14 - August 25th, 2004, 10:27 pm
    JeffB wrote:Then again, I actually don't think that much of Fat Tire.


    I've never really understood the crazed glee with which people rhapsodize about Fat Tire either, which seems to me a serviceable imitation of Stella Artois. A decent enough beer, but the devotion mystifies me.

    YourPalWill wrote:The view of the surrounding skyscrapers from the third floor beer garden makes that one of the finer beer gardens in Chicago, in my opinion.


    Never sat up there, but it sounds worth a shot. I get on the train every day at the Grand red line stop. I'd be happy to meet for a beer some time after work. Maybe I'll treat you, if you ever finish that KC barbeque post. :twisted:
  • Post #15 - August 26th, 2004, 8:43 am
    Post #15 - August 26th, 2004, 8:43 am Post #15 - August 26th, 2004, 8:43 am
    JeffB wrote:Then again, I actually don't think that much of Fat Tire, which to my mind benefits greatly from the old Coors/Smokey and the Bandit effect.



    ditto - Fat Tire has always had a better rep than taste (not that its bad by any means) imo.

    It was fun ordering Fat Tire at the Bank One Ballpark in Phoenix tho. Not a bad ball bark brew.
  • Post #16 - August 26th, 2004, 11:59 am
    Post #16 - August 26th, 2004, 11:59 am Post #16 - August 26th, 2004, 11:59 am
    I was horribly disappointed with Goose Island (Clybourn) the last time there. Their "non-smoking" section is a farce, and while I love the beers during my visits, it's clear to me that they do not put any thought into the food they serve. A simple chicken sandwich was served up so wrongly on so many levels that I'll be sticking with pretzels until they get a clue. Brewpubs need to take the food side more seriously if they have any notion of changing the wine-with-food default setting that shunts beer pairings to the realm of hot dogs, nuts and pretzels. A shining example of beer pairing done well resides 50 miles northwest of the city in West Dundee at Emmett's. The beer isn't up to the level of GI, but their menu is serious about finding pairings that work with what they have. Their walleye nuggets and boursin burger are so good.

    I second the Piece suggestion as well. The Wingnut IPA is the best example of the type I have ever had--a list that includes Dogfish Head 60 and 90 Minute, Hop Devil and Sierra Nevada Holiday. Downside is that it's not available in to-go growlers due to its high alcohol content. I have tried bribes to no avail. It's also not offered all the time.
  • Post #17 - August 26th, 2004, 12:51 pm
    Post #17 - August 26th, 2004, 12:51 pm Post #17 - August 26th, 2004, 12:51 pm
    I've been to Flatlander's and enjoyed the food. L. used to like the beer but has decided it's taken a turn for the worse and he's not going until he hears otherwise. At home, he drinks Steinlager or MGD, to give you an idea of his taste.
  • Post #18 - May 3rd, 2007, 10:34 am
    Post #18 - May 3rd, 2007, 10:34 am Post #18 - May 3rd, 2007, 10:34 am
    I am reviving an old topic but does anyone have any updates to share? I am looking for good brewpubs, preferably west of 294 but anywhere will do. Maybe there is something new in the last 2 1/2 years.
  • Post #19 - May 3rd, 2007, 10:41 am
    Post #19 - May 3rd, 2007, 10:41 am Post #19 - May 3rd, 2007, 10:41 am
    HB,

    the only brewpubs I go to in the area are Flossmoor Station in Flossmoor, the beer is great, and the food is average. The service is really slow.

    the other spot I go to is in Aurora, Walter Paytons Roundhouse. They have a honey wheat beer there I like , and sometimes in the summer a beer that tastes close to Corona. I dont like the food, or the menu at Paytons.

    Of the two I prefer Flossmoor Station for food, and beer.
  • Post #20 - May 3rd, 2007, 11:53 am
    Post #20 - May 3rd, 2007, 11:53 am Post #20 - May 3rd, 2007, 11:53 am
    HB wrote:I am reviving an old topic but does anyone have any updates to share? I am looking for good brewpubs, preferably west of 294 but anywhere will do. Maybe there is something new in the last 2 1/2 years.


    Emmetts in Downers Grove has great beer and good food.
  • Post #21 - May 3rd, 2007, 11:59 am
    Post #21 - May 3rd, 2007, 11:59 am Post #21 - May 3rd, 2007, 11:59 am
    edit: I didn't see the original posting date and the updated question, but I have left my response as is:

    Goose Island is a very good brewpub. Very good. So good, in fact, that the brewery has been named by Ratebeer.com as the 11th best brewery in the world, according to their ratings, above such stalwarts as Dogfish Head, New Glarus, Great Lakes, Rogue, Cantillon, etc.

    Do give them a chance. Their bottled product, for whatever reason, is completely variable. I'll get a 6-pack of Honkers that's great one week, and awful the next. I find their IPA and stout a bit more consistent, though. When it's on, their flagship Honker's Ale is a very tasty potable.

    However, their greatness lies in their specialty brews. Their Imperial IPA is perhaps my favorite, ahead of such greats as Three Floyd's Dreadnaught and their Bourbon County Stout (Imperial Stout) is a healthy competitor to Three Floyd's Dark Lord.

    Seriously, Goose Island is a respected brewery, so much so that a beer article in The Guardian (UK) declared Goose Island IPA "perhaps the best beer in the world."

    Otherwise, Rock Bottom in Chicago is surprisingly good. I've never been to Walter Payton's Roundhouse, but the beers of theirs I sampled at this year's Ale Fest, I would definitely recommend. Their bourbon barrel-aged cherry stout was a clear favorite that day.

    Flossmoor Station goes without saying. Three Floyd's is close enough to Chicago (and ranks #1 on Ratebeer.com's best brewers of the world list). If you're out in that area, Shoreline Brewery in Michigan City is just a bit further up the road, and well worth the stop.

    Harrison's in Orland Park is okay. I wouldn't recommend it to a total beer nut, but it's inoffensive. I remember particularly enjoying their stout.
  • Post #22 - May 3rd, 2007, 12:03 pm
    Post #22 - May 3rd, 2007, 12:03 pm Post #22 - May 3rd, 2007, 12:03 pm
    There is a similar, but more recent thread in the Beverage Forum
    http://lthforum.com/bb/viewtopic.php?t=11056
  • Post #23 - May 3rd, 2007, 4:06 pm
    Post #23 - May 3rd, 2007, 4:06 pm Post #23 - May 3rd, 2007, 4:06 pm
    As the beer-nerd status started to kick in for me, I concluded that Goose Island is simply for yups who want to out shine their Bud-Light drinking friends and nothing more. I still feel that 312 is decent but over-rated relative to how available it is but getting a flight of their beers AT Goose Island (lots of which are much harder to find even around Chicago) proved me wrong. Thats some solid beer.

    I still think that best-micro brewery is a bit of a stretch but it's still pretty freakin good. Their Stout is suprsingly complex and deep and I think can compete with the best of em such as Dogfish Head and Rogue. And their IPA is probably one of the best I've ever had. It's not super important to me that Chicago have a monster brewery because the fact that Goose is from the city has little effect on my life (opposed to the recently unavailable Bells being here which would be Oberon-ific) and to me it's just another U.S. micro-brew which competes to find a home in mah belly.

    If you don't wanna head down there, which can be a pain, the obvious call is Hop Leaf, though unfortunately tends to be crowded since getting Check-Pleas'ed. The not-so-obvious call is Quenchers at Fullerton and Western which not only has a really good and constantly rotating beer selection but also free popcorn. Free popcorn! You can thank me later.. :c)
  • Post #24 - May 3rd, 2007, 4:11 pm
    Post #24 - May 3rd, 2007, 4:11 pm Post #24 - May 3rd, 2007, 4:11 pm
    BabyCosby wrote:
    I still think that best-micro brewery is a bit of a stretch


    Oh, don't worry. I don't think anyone is calling Goose Island the best microbrewery in the land. For me, that would go to Bell's, with Three Floyd's a close second. But it's much better than their bottled beers would have you believe, as you found. I, too, am not impressed with 312, but I don't like American wheats in general. If I want a wheat, I want a WHEAT with the rich, banana and/or clove esters in the aroma and chewy, full mouthfeel, not the watered-down wheat-lite style of American wheats like 312.

    Not that there's anything wrong with American wheats--it's just that most people have a style or two they don't particularly care for and for me it's that and English-style brown ales.
  • Post #25 - May 4th, 2007, 6:47 am
    Post #25 - May 4th, 2007, 6:47 am Post #25 - May 4th, 2007, 6:47 am
    Binko wrote:
    BabyCosby wrote:
    I still think that best-micro brewery is a bit of a stretch


    Oh, don't worry. I don't think anyone is calling Goose Island the best microbrewery in the land. For me, that would go to Bell's, with Three Floyd's a close second. But it's much better than their bottled beers would have you believe, as you found. I, too, am not impressed with 312, but I don't like American wheats in general. If I want a wheat, I want a WHEAT with the rich, banana and/or clove esters in the aroma and chewy, full mouthfeel, not the watered-down wheat-lite style of American wheats like 312.

    Not that there's anything wrong with American wheats--it's just that most people have a style or two they don't particularly care for and for me it's that and English-style brown ales.


    I concur that the 312 is a sub par offering as far as American Wheats go, which I agree with Binko, is a weak class in general. It pales in comparison to a real German Hefe. Goose Island IS a great Brewery though, their small batch beers are always good, sometimes amazing. Two of the better Belgian style beers brewed in the U.S. come out of GI in their Pere Jacques and Matilda.

    I would rank them fairly highly, but Bell's will always be my first and truest love. Mmmm...Expedition.
  • Post #26 - May 7th, 2007, 8:52 am
    Post #26 - May 7th, 2007, 8:52 am Post #26 - May 7th, 2007, 8:52 am
    Binko wrote:If I want a wheat, I want a WHEAT with the rich, banana and/or clove esters in the aroma and chewy, full mouthfeel, not the watered-down wheat-lite style of American wheats like 312.

    Not that there's anything wrong with American wheats--it's just that most people have a style or two they don't particularly care for and for me it's that and English-style brown ales.

    You need to head to RAM in Schaumburg or Rosemont. They have a hefeweizen that is bursting with bananas and cloves. It's awesome.

    They do a decent porter their also. The food is decent pub grub. Worth going for the beer. I don't know the address off hand, but is is on McConner Pkwy next to Sweet Tomatoes and very near Ikea.
  • Post #27 - May 7th, 2007, 10:17 am
    Post #27 - May 7th, 2007, 10:17 am Post #27 - May 7th, 2007, 10:17 am
    There is also a RAM at the intersection of Milwaukee and Lake Cook in Wheeling.
    And I agree their wheat is outstanding.
  • Post #28 - April 24th, 2022, 9:44 pm
    Post #28 - April 24th, 2022, 9:44 pm Post #28 - April 24th, 2022, 9:44 pm
    ZOMBIE thread revival :!:
    On Saturday, 23 April 2022, the Chicago Beer Society held its twenty-third annual Chicagoland Brewpub & Microbrewery Shootout.
    It was at Metropolitan Brwg. on N. Rockwell St. (Incidentally, where the previous Brewpub Shootout in 2020 was held.)
    Eight brewpubs took part:
    • Une Année
    • Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brwy.
    • Ravinia
    • Ørkenoy
    • Hopvine
    • Half Acre
    • Eris
    • Brickstone
    I will not spoil the outcome of the competition. Here are photographs of the foodstuffs. (Click on the thumbnail to view the full-sized image in a new tab.) Image Image Image Image Image Image
    Image Image
    Image Image
    Valuable links for survival, without the monetization attempt: https://pqrs-ltd.xyz/bookmark4.html

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