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May 19, 2008 05:17 PM

Craft beer?

I moved to Chicago pretty recently, and I'm a big craft brew fan. Any suggestions for places to buy good beer, cheaply? West Lakeview Liquors has an amazing selection, as do a few like it, but they are kind of pricey.


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  1. Binney's and Sam's are both mini-chains with great selections and decent, sometimes amazing, prices. I must say, however, that the selection all over town has gone down in recent years. I pine for Bell's, which lost its distributor here due to the evil machinations of the distributing industry in Illinois. John Gotti would call it criminal.

    If you have a car, get thee to Indiana, and go for some Bell's.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Pete Oldtown

      Bell's is back in the market under the Kalamazoo brand name. They believe that there is a loophole in the law which allows them to use a different distributor if they market new beers under a different brand name. Until their former distributor sues (which they expect will happen) they are taking things very slowly. So far, the only bottles I've seen have been their Kalamazoo Royal Amber Ale at Sam's, the price is $9.99 a six pack but if you have a Sam's card you get a $3 discount.

    2. "Good bear," and "cheaply" don't go together very well.

      1 Reply
      1. re: gomexico

        I guess I should have said "cheaper than the corner store"

      2. what about goose island? i know for sure the clybourne location sells growlers carry out. not sure on the exact price, but i recall it being reasonable. obviously then it is only goose beer, but they have a ton on tap-much more than they bottle.

        1. I've been pleasantly surprised at the craft brew prices available at Whole Foods where one usually expects high prices for most goods. The lesser known brands tend to sell at decent prices. Cereals and snack foods are reasonably priced too.
          Trader Joe's is reasonably priced.

          1. In terms of the stores mentioned, I have never seen a store that was consistently better than another. They're all about the same. Each one will occasionally have random sales on certain breweries but it's not at all predictable. It seems like Binny's is currently pushing Lagunitas beers, which I think are pretty good. They were all "on sale" for $7.99 per sixer over the weekend.