As the start of August brings on the dog days of Chicago summer, beat the heat the Chicago way. We’ve created an interactive map of the ultimate Chicago Beer Tour, so grab a date or some friends and come thirsty!
Locally founded in 2006 by Gabriel Magliaro, Half Acre continues to strive to develop unique taste for Chicago by Chicago. From humble beginnings in a repurposed warehouse on Lincoln Avenue, Half Acre has grown tremendously and expanded to a second, larger brewery house on Balmoral Avenue, just about a mile away. Enjoy a spacious indoor bar, a garden patio, a full kitchen menu, and, of course, great beer. Try both the Lincoln and Balmoral taprooms to find exclusive Half Acre beer sold only at each location. For more information, visit Half Acre’s website.
Looking for European taste without the travel? Head over to Dovetail Brewery to find delicious hybrid beer combining European brewing techniques with American creativity. Co-founders Hagen Dost and Bill Wesselink are both local Chicagoans, but met in Munich while studying high-quality craftsmanship and the science of beer. With a fully-equipped taproom open seven days a week and tours running every Saturday, the Dovetail Taproom emphasizes community and friendliness (even to man’s best friend — that’s right, they’re dog-friendly.). Guests are invited to BYOF (Bring Your Own Food) or order in some delicious traditional European snacks such as Dinkel’s pretzels or Paulina Market landjager. Find a full schedule and special events on Dovetail’s website.
Recognized as Illinois’ largest independently owned brewery, Revolution Brewery provides big flavor and lots of variety for its many loyal drinkers. The mission of Revolution is to honor hard work and strive to create accessible beer for everyday people. This is why brewery tours and tastings of their 90,000-square-foot Kedzie Avenue facility are completely complimentary (first come, first served). Make sure to arrive early! If you don’t make the tour, no fear — the German-inspired Revolution Brewpub is only 1.5 miles away, located in Logan Square. A space welcoming of all ages, bring your family while also enjoying a rotating tap list and a delicious menu.
Sick of the heavy brass and dark mahogany associated with classic taprooms? Step into the refreshing Hopewell Brewing Company for clean, light, airy design and their simple light-wood bar. Mimicking the interior design, Hopewell focuses on producing lighter beers, such as their crisp First Lager or their citrus Swift IPA. Also enjoy their newly released line of specialty bottles that are ready to take home and deliciously experiment with mixed fermentation, barrel-aged beers, sours, and more. Seating is communal and BYOF (Bring Your Own Food), so enjoy new friends and the amazing restaurants located in the Logan Square area.
Named the third-best-selling craft beer in the U.S., Lagunitas is known for pushing against the grain of traditional beer style. As a reminder of the importance of storytelling and seeing the lighter side of things, the beer is packaged with fun, irreverent descriptive text and stories that are sure to keep you entertained with each sip. Further embodying the don’t-take-anything-too-seriously attitude, the Lagunitas Chicago Taproom is a boisterous atmosphere and hosts live music every Wednesday through Sunday. This would be a great place to bring a bunch of friends and celebrate life’s joys and laugh at its absurdities. Also, if you’re looking to support a brewery that’s doing good in the community, know that Lagunitas Chicago closes every Monday and Tuesday for nonprofits to use their space for fundraisers. Learn more.
Find the true art within beer at the Marz Community Brewing Company. Focused on making small, artisanal batches of beer and serving them in their design-warehouse location, Marz Community Brewing Company brings global design to the beer world of Chicago. Sustainable and socially conscious, they emphasize taking responsibility, artistry, and love within the local Chicago neighborhood community. A drink to look for is their Dark Grass IPA. Hand-brewed in Chicago, this gluten-free IPA is carefully packed with flavor and brewed with immense care. Find more information on their most recent artist, Nana Nozaki, and their hours, online.
Don’t stop here…
There are only so many breweries you can visit in a single day, or this list would have been longer! Chicago and the Midwest offer a veritable goldmine of great breweries, with many of them focusing on socially responsible production methods and giving back to their local communities. Here some of our favorite breweries that are doing good by their brews.
Haley Yamada is a summer intern for the editorial staff at Make It Better. She is currently working toward a journalism degree from Medill at Northwestern University and plans to graduate in June of 2020. Her work has been published in Spoon University Magazine and on the Northwestern News Network. In her free time she enjoys reading, running, and her pug, Odie. Last year, she ran the Chicago Marathon for Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicagoand continues to support the organization today.