Taking Dad out for a beer this Father’s Day is surefire way to show him that you’re buds. But that doesn’t mean you have to drink Bud.
We found five North Shore spots where you and Dad can sip unique craft brews (made in small batches) and broaden your beer horizons. Hop to it.
515 N. Milwaukee
You won’t find any Bud or Amstel products here, but with roughly 70 beers available at any given time-30 on draft and 40 in bottles-it’s unlikely you’ll miss them. Firkin specializes in microbrews and imports. The selection of Belgian beers, known for their complex flavors and for sweetness in some cases, is particularly large. And if you’re in the mood for a summery beer, there are six German Hefeweizens (wheat ales) on tap.
Try: The Reissdorf Kˆlsch, a light, crisp German aleóperfect for summer.
Flatlander’s Restaurant & Brewery
200 Village Green
There are beers brewing right in our own backyard, and Flatlander’s is one place to taste them. Eight beers are made on the premises, including the Mighty Maibock German lager, the Locomotive Stout and the Jackson Wit Belgian Style Wheat Aleóa light summer beer with citrus flavors. There’s also one specialty brew offered this summer: Pyramid Breweries Apricot Ale, which won a gold medal at the Great American Beer Festival.
Try: A fatherly pick. Brayden’s Red Ale, named for the owner’s youngest son, is a medium-bodied amber ale that pairs well with red meat. Drink some with a burger or a brat at the brewery’s Father’s Day cookout from noon to 8 p.m.
Mickey Finn’s Brewery
412 N. Milwaukee Ave.
There are a whopping 60 different brews made at Mickey Finn’s. You’ll find six seasonal brews and four year-round favorites on tap, as well as a few domestic bottled beers. The brewery is also renowned for its burgers and offers tours by appointment.
Try: The award-winning G denteit Hefeweizen, a true-to-style German wheat ale. It’s a taste of sunshine in a 24-ounce glass-and served with a lemon.
1245 Chicago Ave.
Walk into Union Pizzeria and you’ll be confronted by a mammoth wall stocked with microbrews from around the world. The restaurant features a rotating selection of 30 bottled microbrews and one seasonal draft beer (right now it’s Bell’s Oberon). There’s even an organic beer-the English Sam Smith lager. The eclectic brews pair well with the equally appetizing and lauded array of pizzas and small plates.
Try: The Konings Hoeven. While most trappist beers (brewed by monks) come from Belgium, this strong, deep amber brew hails from the Netherlands. It’s a heavy hitter with fruit aromas and a hint of bitterness.
1880 Tower Dr.
With more than 100 beers on tap, and not a bottle in sight, this chain restaurant and bar is an amusement park for beer lovers. You can take a ride with every type of beer imaginable, and even let your palate experiment with combo beer blends, such as the Black Velvet, made of Woodchuck Pear Cider and Guinness Stout. Even the desserts are made with beer: they offer floats with vanilla ice cream in chocolate stout or raspberry beer.
Try: The He-brew Messiah Bold Ale, a full-bodied, velvety beer made with rich, dark malts, from New York and San Francisco-based Shmaltz Brewing Company. Added bonus: It’s kosher.
What are your favorite destinations for beer, or your favorite brews? We want to know! Make sure you add your recommendations in the comments section below.
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