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Need Beer Suggestions - Chicago

The Dive Jul 16, 2007 07:08 PM

We're staying at the Ritz Carlton. Need suggestions for bars that have a good selection of local beers. Care more about big selection of local beers, than food or other beer selection. But if there are any places with good beer selection open for lunch, would like to hear about those as well. Will be taking cabs or public transit.

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    rubinow RE: The Dive Jul 16, 2007 09:57 PM

    Goose Island Brewery is the big name in town. They have very good bar food, too.


    BUT, I would suggest Hopleaf in Andersonville (which is worth it for the food alone) or the Map Room in Bucktown. Either one of those will have Goose Island and about a million other beers. I can't think of anything else that's local. Three Floyds is a brewery close by and very good (it's in Indiana). You have to remember that Milwaukee kind of overwhelms Chicago in the beer department. Even the standard, cheap Chicago brew (Old Style) comes from Milwaukee.

    Also, there are some very arcane laws in Illinois which make it difficult for independent breweries to distribute outside of the big channels. There was an article in the Chicago Reader a few months ago about that: http://www.chicagoreader.com/features...

    However, Hopleaf and Map Room both know their beers and should have most regional beers available.

    2 Replies
    1. re: rubinow
      amoncada RE: rubinow Jul 17, 2007 12:16 PM

      I second rubinow's recs.

      There are some fantastic German restaurants with great beer selections as well;
      Resi's Bier Stube at 2100 W. Irving Park(authentic beer garden), Mirabels on Addison just east of the Kennedy, and The Huttenbar in Lincoln Square for beer alone (fun local crowd here). Try the BBK.

      BTW: Also, there's a brewmaster school in Skokie several miles north of Chicago that is highly regarded as one of the best. Brewmasters in training travel to this school from all over the world. It was featured some time ago on WTTW. Sorry, I don't know the name but it's in Skokie. Could be worth a visit.

      1. re: amoncada
        Roger Spark RE: amoncada Jul 20, 2007 07:46 PM

        I believe you mean the Siebel Institute, which moved a few years ago. It is now co-located with the Goose Island brewery on Clybourn Ave.

    2. p
      pegleggedheart RE: The Dive Jul 17, 2007 04:37 PM

      This is going to sound silly, but one of my favorite places to get beer is Hackney's (http://www.menuism.com/restaurants/bf...). And I'm not the only one - once, when I was discussing which beers to order with my friends, the man at the table next to me leaned over, told me he came pretty much for the beer, and gave a few suggestions. I'm still going to the big alcohol stores to try and find some of the beers they serve there.
      Enjoy Chicago!

      1. p
        Pete Oldtown RE: The Dive Jul 18, 2007 08:03 AM

        The suggestions so far have been terrific. I'd just add Clark St. Ale House, at Clark and Chicago. Since Bell's pulled out of Chicago, their selection isn't what it used to be, but a good beer place, nice back garden, great atmosphere, and good juke box. No food, though, apart from pretty good pretzel sticks. Also, it's dog-friendly, so a lot of people bring their dogs, who stroll around cadging pretzels.

        1. i
          illinigirl09 RE: The Dive Jul 18, 2007 09:02 AM

          I would also add Piece in Bucktown. They have really tasty New Haven style pizza and they are a brewery as well.

          I definitely second Hopleaf as well. Make sure that you get the fries!

          1 Reply
          1. re: illinigirl09
            rubinow RE: illinigirl09 Jul 18, 2007 05:33 PM

            I was going to mention Piece (I forgot about it the first time around).

          2. w
            whiteguyshops RE: The Dive Jul 18, 2007 08:24 PM

            I know you're looking for bars, but if you find a packaged goods spot, look for Three Floyds (as mentioned already...specifically Golden Monkey), Two Brothers, Payton's Pilsner are all chicago area local beers. after that, anything by Great Lakes (Cleveland) or Bells (Michigan) are fantastic, tho Bells you won't come across related to the distribution laws in IL, as noted earlier.
            Drink Well

            1 Reply
            1. re: whiteguyshops
              The Dive RE: whiteguyshops Jul 18, 2007 10:14 PM

              Well, we're at the Ritz for a wedding (lucky us), and will do Alinea another night. To balance out the high end stuff, we really wanted some places to give us a feel of the Chicago beer scene -- thanks for all the input.

            2. mitch cumstein RE: The Dive Jul 18, 2007 09:17 PM

              I like the edgewater lounge on ashland. great beer selection, rogue heavy(on tap and not the norm, but obscure things like the dry hopped red) but they usually have a cask pull as well. Above average bar grub, a little eclectic, colemans mustard on the table for the burger, and usually some good specials. This is a divey place but worth it.
              Edgewater Lounge
              5600 N. Ashland Ave., Chicago
              Tel: (773) 878-3343

              2 Replies
              1. re: mitch cumstein
                amoncada RE: mitch cumstein Jul 19, 2007 10:03 AM

                Hmmm, I drive and walk by the Edgewater Lounge rather frequently. It seems to have grown with the neighborhood...the crowds have grown over the years. I'll have to give it a try.

                Check out the Montrose Saloon at Rockwell and Montrose. It has a lot of character and a great huge outdoor space. Although the beer selection is limited and mostly bottled, this place is worth a try. There's a guy that shows up with homemade meat, sausage, cheese, and crackers in a refrigerated truck (Joe I think) and sets up a free spread. Man, was it fresh and tasty. Yeah, he was quite a character. Blue Grass Jam every 2nd Wed of every month and dirt cheap drinks!

                Nothing like a $3.00 PBR (Pabst Blue Ribbon) on draft at the Green Mill too!

                1. re: amoncada
                  Eldon Kreider RE: amoncada Jul 20, 2007 04:51 PM

                  Isn't the Montrose Saloon just east of Sacramento at 2933 West Montrose? This is almost half a mile west of Rockwell.

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