Chicago has a beautiful and well-established drinking history from Schlitz and Old Styles to the infamous Malort. All this to say, no one could have predicted the boom in the craft beer industry’s growth in Chicago in the past decade.
Bustling with well over 200 breweries, some of the most popular breweries in Chicago include the famous Dovetail Brewery, Maplewood Brewery and Distillery, Half Acre Beer Company, and Metropolitan Brewing.
We’ve done the work for you and handpicked our favorites to curate this list of the best breweries in Chicago, Illinois! Do we have your attention? Keep on reading to find out more!
- Dovetail Brewery
- Maplewood Brewery & Distillery
- Marz Community Brewing
- Half Acre Beer Company
- Revolution Brewing
- Off Color Brewing
Dovetail is based on founders Bill and Hagen’s love for old-school beer. The two met in Munich while attending beer school, where they learned classical European brewing techniques, such as open fermentation. Based in North Center, the brewery is popular for its sidewalk patio open to dogs and the German-inspired Biergarten and its tasty food.
Dovetail is one of the most popular breweries in Chicago. Those looking for a balanced lager must try their signature Helles, an easy-to-drink, refreshing, malty, and floral beer, brewed especially for the baseball season!
Maplewood Brewery is located in Logan Square and is popular for making both beer and spirits! The brewery-distillery combo and its proximity to the Regal City North IMAX make it a great hangout spot for the guys after catching a movie. The taproom also makes for a great meetup place where you can enjoy from a variety of year-round stouts and pale ales to barrel-aged releases and specialty sours.
The joint offers many wonderful brews, but the one you should never forget is their Morbidly Obese Pug Extra Fudge, a stout that will take you up to cloud 9 with its 10% ABV, deep cocoa profile, and baked fudge notes produced from two chocolate varieties!
Marz Community Brewing Co. started as an experimental collab platform, in 2013, to combine food, craft beer, culture, and art representing the diversity of Chicago. In recent years, it has grown even more and become a unique American brewery equipped with an arcade and supplying classic wheat ale and a wide array of experimental concoctions.
If you’re a fan of classic wheat ale, try their Double Jungle Boogie, an 8% ABV imperial pale blend of mosaic hops infused with fruity Rooibos tea which compliments the hoppy flavor profile with malty notes.
Half Acre Beer Company was started 16 years ago, well before Windy City got swept up in the craft beer wave. Therefore, it is one of the most popular breweries in Chicago and boasts two breweries. The Balmoral brewery is the place to be, home to Half Acre’s taproom and beer garden where both year-round and the latest releases are served along with an extensive food menu.
One of the original beers that put the brewery on Chicago’s A-list still remains popular. If you want to escape the summer heat, then get the Daisy Cutter, a year-round ale complemented with a strong note of blended pine and tropical touches of citrus, papaya, and mango!
Revolution Brewing started as a brewpub in 2010 and has since become the largest independent craft brewery in Illinois, equipped with eight 800-barrel fermenters! The Kedzie facility boasts a massive German beer hall-themed taproom famous for hop-heavy beers and aggressive flavor profiles.
Revolution’s barrel-aged Deep Wood series is a must-try. More specifically, the award-winning Deth’s Tar, which is a barrel-aged Imperial Oatmeal Stout is an absolute delight. It’s brewed with English specialty malts to create a rich and complex, chocolaty profile with notes of toasted coconut, caramel, and vanilla!
Profiting from the collective experience of its founders, Dave Bleitner (formerly of Two Brothers Brewing) and John Laffler (formerly of Goose Island Brewery), Off Color Brewing continues to remain popular with its experimental small-batch specials and bold flavor combinations. Its new branch, The Mousetrap, is particularly popular with its draft of 16 Off Color brews, patio tables, and indoor seating.
Their Apex Predator Farmhouse Ale is a must-try. The hazy, golden ale is brewed with sugar and grain to give a dry finish accented with a fruity bite!