|Photo: Brett Gustafson|
So you're in Chi-town for Lollapalooza Music Festival and wondering if there are any local craft beers worth a try. You're in luck – Chicago is a great craft beer city with plenty to choose from. Just don’t try to carry them into the festival – no outside food or drink. You've been warned...
Last Chance Belgian IPA – Haymarket Pub & Brewery
If you only have time for one brewpub in Chicago, make it to Haymarket. Brewmaster Pete Crowley makes stellar beers and the staff is friendly and knowledgeable. The space alone is worth a visit. See if you can get your hands on the Last Chance Belgian IPA, which won a gold medal at the 2012 World Beer Cup.
Cross of Gold – Revolution Brewing
Not to be outdone, Revolution Brewing also took home a gold at the 2012 World Beer Cup – two of them actually. Cross of Gold, an English-style Summer Ale, shared its glory with Rise American-Style Stout. Try both at Revolution’s Logan Square brewpub (free tours on Saturdays at noon) or check out their brand new production facility on Kedzie Avenue.
Sofie – Goose Island
Goose Island is the powerhouse of the Chicago craft beer scene, with two brewpubs in the Chicago area offering excellent pub fare to complement their well-crafted ales. Sofie is a Belgian-style ale brewed with orange peel and aged in wine barrels. Light and refreshing, it received a bronze medal at the 2011 Great American Beer Festival. Look for it in bombers and on draft.
Top Heavy Hefeweizen – Piece Brewery & Pizzeria
Piece Brewmaster Jonathan Cutler was named Champion Small Brewpub Brewermaster in 2006. He’s been brewing world-class beers at Piece ever since. Top Heavy, a Bavarian-style Hefeweizen, has won multiple medals at both the Great American Beer Festival and World Beer Cup. Piece is an easy walk from the Blue Line Damen stop.
Over Ale – Half Acre Brewing
Over Ale is one of three beers from Half Acre available in a 16 oz. tallboy can, making it easily transportable. Malt-driven with a healthy dose of hops, Over Ale is an American-style Brown Ale coming in at 6% ABV. Visit the tasting room at 4257 N. Lincoln Avenue to fill up a growler.
Despite being morally opposed to creating an IPA (hence the name), Two Brothers was eventually convinced to make one by its demanding fans. Aged in oak and rocking 70 IBUs, Resistance is available by the six-pack at bottle shops and grocery stores.
5 Vulture – 5 Rabbit Cerveceria
Co-founded by Radical Brewing author Randy Mosher, 5 Rabbit Cerveceria is a Latino-centric brewery employing a wide variety of adventurous ingredients in their portfolio of mythical beers. 5 Vulture is a dark ale brewed with ancho chili. Find 5 Rabbit beers at these Chicago locations.
Look for a tour of Chicago breweries and brewpubs? Check out the Chicago Beer Experience.