With a rich history, diverse economy, and the world’s largest library, Illinois state is considered by many to be a microcosm of the United States. With a state that’s as large as Greece, finding some of the best breweries in the country is expected. Besides having an infamous jazz and blues scene, Illinois is also home to some great breweries.
Best Breweries in Illinois
So, apart from being home to natives such as Michelle Obama and Ronald Reagan, let’s have a look at the best native breweries in the Land of Lincoln.
White Rooster Farmhouse Brewery
White Rooster Farmhouse Brewery uses an experimental process to make its beers, drawing inspiration from Belgian farmhouse breweries. When you take a drink, you can taste how carefully and purposefully each brew was created. White Rooster’s brewers enjoy developing recipes using yeast, hops, grains, and fruits. Live music of various genres is the major event type you can discover at White Rooster Farmhouse Brewery.
From classic farmhouse styles to contemporary craft brews, small-batch beers are available on tap and in to-go bottles at White Rooster Farmhouse Brewery. The Profound and the Lush are two sours, and the Elemental is a coconut stout beer, which definitely warrants a try.
Goose Island Brewery
Goose Island Brewery, one of Chicago’s most well-known and forward-thinking breweries, cranks out 50 kegs and around 500 cases of beer each hour. They employ fresh fruit and wild yeasts, flavor-soaked wine barrels, stainless steel fermentation casks, and a unique barrel aging program to create premium beers. Visitors may tour this storied brewery and get a close-up look at how beer is made.
Apart from the year-round and limited releases, Goose Island is also famous for its Beer Hug line, which comes in three options; Hazy Beer Hug, Tropical Beer Hug, and Neon Beer Hug.
A colorful and innovative brewery, Triptych Brewing promotes geek culture, memes, and excellent beer. The name Triptych Brewing was inspired by triptychs, which are collections of three artworks designed to be viewed as complete. The name Triptych Brewing was chosen by the four families that own it to symbolize the fusion of artistic principles and brewing abilities needed to produce excellent beer.
These Aren’t the Blueberries You’re Looking For, Tart Ale, and Endless Loop IPA are just two of the unusual drinks on offer.
Decatur Brew Works
The first brewery in Decatur in a century is called Decatur Brew Works. Decatur Brew Works is dedicated to bringing handmade beer to the final Central Illinois brewery holdout, and it produces a wide variety of beers on-site. At any given moment, Decatur Brew Works has up to 28 beers on tap. The Mug Club is a benefit that Decatur Brew Works provides to its most devoted patrons. If you live nearby, this is a terrific option and comes with a branded named mug, a shirt, discounts, and monthly events.
In case you were wondering, The First Home Selzer and the Tally Me Wit, a Passionfruit Witbier, are just some of the best that Decatur offers.
Blind Pig Brewery
For more than 30 years, Blind Pig Brewery has been honing its art; now, you can enjoy exquisite beers in various tasting rooms. Over 30 years ago, the Twin Cities saw the opening of the first Blind Pig Brewery establishment. Since then, the business has expanded and has four locations, in addition to a fantastic beer menu continually being expanded. Trivia evenings, true-crime podcast live performances, and even holiday-themed events like the Halloween party and costume contest are all held at Blind Pig Brewery.
Three of the numerous variations you could try at the taproom are the Columbia Street Coffee Stout, the Cherry Milk Stout, and Oktoberfest, all worth the visit.
Half Acre Beer Company
This Chicago brewery is well-known for producing weighted barrel offerings and traditional American micro styles. They make raw beers using mixed fermentation processes, which have an intensity that can only be achieved with carefully chosen brewing ingredients. The tap room serves meals if you’re hungry, including delicious burritos, steak, and an extensive range of beers.
Speaking of beers, the Daisy Cutter is an absolute must-have whenever you visit this Chicago brewery.
Temperance Beer Company
The mission of Temperance Beer Company is to improve lives via excellent beer. Here, visitors may unwind and enjoy a taste of Temperance’s finest beer. There are several other pale ales, sours, the Gatecrasher IPA, and peach Saison, to mention a few, that are available on tap. Up to 8:30 p.m., children are allowed in the tap room.
While this does seem like a super low-key brewery, its beers are anything but low-key. For those who do not know, the brewery is home to the GABF Gold and silver medal-winning beer, so they are no slouch when it comes to masterful beers.
Best Breweries in Illinois with Food
Looking for a great craft brewery with food, check out these great options.
Old Herald Brewery & Distillery
The name of the Old Herald Brewery and Distillery, situated in the centre of Southwestern Illinois, comes from a newspaper published there in 1879 and still exists today. Old Herald also makes gin and rum in addition to its great beer, among other beverages. The Old Herald Brewery and Distillery hosts various events, such as quiz evenings, open mic nights, and seasonal markets.
Old Herald Brewery and Distillery’s beer lineup honors the structure’s former use as a newspaper press. You may sip on the Weekend Edition Citrus Wheat or the Backspace Brown Light Brown Ale. If you like a bite with your beer, the Mac and Cheese is a good fit.
Scratch Brewing Company
A completely local beer experience, Scratch Brewing Company features beers crafted with ingredients sourced from Southern Illinois’s soil. Mushrooms (no, not those), Elderberry, maple sap, and hickory are just a few of the distinctive local ingredients that Scratch Brewing Company employs in their beers. Each sip of their masterfully brewed beers carries a taste of Southern Illinois. Be aware that Scratch Brewing Company only accepts cash at this time, so bring extra with you. You may order beer from their shop, but the tasting room is only open on Friday through Sunday.
At Scratch Brewing, the offered beer varieties vary every week, so you might miss some delectables if you don’t visit the brewery for a while. A blonde farmhouse ale is called Filé. They also use herbs from their garden in the Basil Ale. Also, the Zucchini leek pizza alone is worth the visit.
Best Illinois Breweries By City
If you’re looking for something more local, you can check out our other Illinois brewery articles below.
Best Breweries In Aurora, IL
Best Breweries In Chicago, IL
Best Breweries In Joliet, IL
Best Breweries In Naperville, IL
Best Breweries In Rockford, IL
You can also look at our best breweries in America article if you are looking for something in a different city or state.