chris salvi, william salvi and mark bealin suds and search

Must-Try Breweries in the Chicago Area

Beer-lovers in Chicago are spoiled for choice with a wide range of options for enjoying a quiet drink, a romantic evening as a couple, or a lively night out.

The city has plenty to offer beer lovers, no matter what you're looking for. These are some of the spots that deserve a visit.

1. Off Color Brewing

Having made a name for themselves by creating weird and wonderful beers, Off Color Brewing thrilled its fans when it opened the Mousetrap taproom in the Lincoln Park area of Chicago. With a wide range of draft beer, in-house brews and a range of cocktails, this brewery offers a chance to sample some of the most innovative beers in the area. You can bring your own food or order delivery to the taproom if you want to make a night of it.

2. Band of Bohemia

Foodies and beer lovers can enjoy the very best of both worlds at Band of Bohemia upmarket favorite. The beer is brewed specially to complement the food which is inspired by the executive chef's enthusiasm for innovation and international cuisine. They offer a tasting menu, private dining, a brunch selection, and a range of hot drinks selected by their in-house tea and coffee expert.

3. Lo Rez Brewery and Taproom

When two tech workers decided to go into the brewing business, they took the same methodical approach to their beer as they did to their programming. Their shared love of great beer brought them together to create a range of beers that started in their garage and is now available in a beautifully restored space in Pilsen. The taproom, patio area and range of events offered at Lo Rez Brewery and Taproom has earned it a place in the heart of the local community.

4. Alarmist Brewing

There's no need to miss out on the best brews once you have a family as Alarmist Brewing offers a family-friendly welcome to beer-lovers and their children. Founded by a family team, the space is designed to be inclusive, so you won't find screens or sports events, but you can bring your kids and dogs along for a family day out. They also offer a range of ciders, cocktails, and wine for those who want something different. 

5. Old Irving Brewing Co.

This gastropub and brewery combination is an ideal destination for anyone who appreciates fine dining and expertly crafted beers. They offer brunch, lunch, and dinner with a kids menu for those who want to enjoy some family time. They also have daily specials and a selection of beer-themed cocktails. 

6. Moody Tongue Brewing Co.

Pairing food with beer is becoming an increasingly popular way to experiment with new flavors and combinations of ingredients. At the Moody Tongue Brewing Co., the kitchen and brewery work in close partnership to create dishes and drinks that go together perfectly. They offer a 12-course tasting menu to showcase the results as well as an a la carte menu in the bar.

7. Spiteful Brewing

Founded by childhood friends, Spiteful Brewing started as a home brewing operation that gained enough momentum to turn commercial. They offer a warm welcome to beer-lovers (and dog-lovers) who want to sit at a traditional bar, and they open their large doors when the weather is warm for a truly relaxing drinking experience. 

8. Cruz Blanca

Combining authentic Mexican food with delicious Mexican beers, Cruz Blanca is the culmination of years of work on the part of founder and award-winning chef Rick Bayless. Their beer is crafted to complement their incredible food, and their cocktail menu has something for everyone.

9. Piece Brewery and Pizzeria

Piece Brewery and Pizzeria has nearly 20 years' experience producing handcrafted lagers in their own Brewhouse. Their brewpub is stocked with beers that have won a total of 28 medals at the Great American Beer Festival and the World Beer Cup. Their beer menu is matched by an extensive selection of food alongside their range of pizzas.

10. Begyle Brewing Company

This dog-friendly taproom has a beer for everyone, including fans of their beer yoga sessions, brewery tours, bingo nights, and food trucks. They also host local events, putting them at the heart of their community. 

11. Whiner Beer Company

Whiner Beer Company focuses on brewing beer the traditional Belgian way, barrel-aging their beers to offer a range of sour flavors. They also use a net-zero energy business incubator and are leading the field in environmentally-friendly brewing. With pizza available four nights a week and plenty of unique beers to wash them down with, this dog-friendly brewery appeals to locals and visitors alike.

12. Greenstar Brewing (Uncommon Ground)

The first certified organic brewery in Chicago offers organic, vegan and gluten removed beer! Uncommon Ground offers Greenstar Brewing at locations in Lakeview and Edgewater. Each location offers a full brunch, lunch and dinner menu. Brewery tours and private events are welcomed!

13. Marz Community Brewing

Part taproom, part gallery, the Marz Community Brewing Co. is also the perfect hang-out for those who appreciate Marz's state-of-the-art sound system, which plays music from the local community radio station. The gallery features works by artists and a range of video games and is the backdrop for a program of regular events. 

14. Metropolitan Brewing

As specialist brewers of German beer, Metropolitan Brewing offers spectacular views of the River from full-length windows in their dog-friendly taproom. They don't serve food, but you can order in from a vast choice of local eateries, so you can choose the cuisine that you want to pair with your drink.

15. On Tour Brewing

As one of the newest brewers on the Chicago scene, On Tour Brewing made an incredible first impression with its award-winning beers at the Great American Beer Festival. They also host yoga classes, live music, and stand-up comedy in their taproom and organize food trucks to provide their patrons with a selection of delicious dishes from local vendors.

16. Half Acre Beer Company

This local favorite has two taprooms in the Chicago area, in Balmoral and Lincoln. They serve a range of freshly cooked foods in both, complementing their wide range of beers, from their standard range to seasonal specials. 

Whatever your favorite type of beer and whatever you're looking for in a taproom, the sheer variety of choice in the Chicago area caters to everyone's tastes.