If you’re a beer fan, give props to the monks from the Middle Ages, who became the predominant brewers of their time when nearly every monastery was equipped with a brewery. Their love of all things malty led them to the innovation of lagering – or cold storing – to enhance the beverage’s flavor and secure beer’s standing as one of the world’s most popular beverages.
Here are a few of our favorite local breweries to celebrate your love of this frothy favorite.
Chicagoland has had an explosion of breweries in the last 15 years. Here are just a few of my favorites from all over the city and the suburbs.
Old Irving Brewing Company – 4419 W Montrose, Chicago, IL – This is a relatively new brewpub that focuses on house-brewed craft beer and elevated bar food in a fun atmosphere. I have two words for you “indoor bags”.
Half Acre Beer – 4257 N Lincoln Ave, Chicago, IL – Half Acre’s first brewery opened in 2008 and has since changed the scene for Chicago microbrews. Their Daisy Cutter Pale Ale is now a standard in most Chicago bars and they’ve since opened another brewery and a restaurant. You can also take brewery tours on most Saturdays if, but be prepared to wait in line.
Temperance Beer Company – 2000 West Dempster Street, Evanston, IL – Just when you think you are officially lost, you find this not-so-hidden gem behind a produce store in this northern suburb. You can visit the taproom or book a tour — either way, you won’t be disappointed with the beer selection.
5 Rabbit Brewery – 6398 W 74th St, Bedford Park, IL – Their tagline is ‘Latin American, Made in Xicago.’ 5 Rabbit is tucked away southwest of the city and mixes the best ingredients to create uniquely delicious beers. Visit their tap room Wednesday – Saturday, but hours change – so check their website/Facebook page.
Miller Brewery – 4251 West State Street, Milwaukee, WI – Milwaukee would not be Milwaukee without the Miller Brewery. You have to take the tour at least once.
Lakefront Brewery – 1872 N. Commerce St., Milwaukee, WI – There is everything from a mini-tour to a technical tour available to this brewery that sits on the Milwaukee River. They even offer organic and gluten-free beer selections and some pretty hilarious tour guides.
MKE Milwaukee Brewing – 613 S 2nd St, Milwaukee, WI – MKE combines the best local ingredients with sustainable practices to create unique beers. You can book a tour online or even book private tours.
Harbor Country/NW Indiana
Greenbush Brewing Co. – 5885 Sawyer Rd., Sawyer, MI – Beginning as just a taproom in 2011, this brewery now has some pretty legendary brew and eats. So come hungry and thirsty!
Three Floyds Brewing Co. – 9750 Indiana Parkway, Munster, IN – One of the originals, this brewery opened in 1996 and now their beers can be found in IL, IN, KY, OH and WI. Tours are offered on Saturdays on a first come first serve basis.
“Beer, if drunk in moderation, softens the temper, cheers the spirits and promotes health.” Heed the words of Thomas Jefferson, and in the hearty spirit of International Beer Day, go enjoy a cold one! And as always, drink responsibly.
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