Chicago is well-known for a number of culinary delicacies, from deep dish pizza to Italian beef to Chicago-style hot dogs to Garrett’s popcorn. Increasingly, it is also known as a place to get a great local beer.
The rise of Chicago’s brewery scene makes perfect sense. After all, what goes better with classic Chicago foods and a great game on the TV than a nice, cold beer? But with more than 160 breweries to choose from, it can be hard to pick a place to spend a relaxing evening.
That is why we have compiled a list of the 43 best breweries and taprooms in the greater Chicago area. Try working through the list, and letting us know which one is the top spot for you – or which one we missed!
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The 43 Best Places to Grab a Local Beer in Chicago
There can be no question: when it comes to beer, the Midwest reigns supreme. Whether you’re into IPAs, stouts, sour beers, or even ciders, there is something for everyone in the Chicago area. Our list of the top 43 breweries and taprooms in Chicago is a great way to get started on your beer journey.
Many of our favorite breweries also offer great food to go with their delicious suds. Those that don’t have in-house kitchens often schedule food trucks during business hours so that you can spend a great day or night having a few beers and a meal. Be sure to check the brewery’s website or social media before you head out to learn more about their food offerings!
Metropolitan Brewing has a significant advantage over many of the breweries on our list: it’s absolutely amazing view. Its taproom features floor-to-ceiling windows and a riverfront patio where you can check out the great view of the Chicago River.
This brewery focuses on German-style lagers, such as the Dynamo Vienna Lager and the Krankshaft Kölsch. While you enjoy these heartier brews, you can order food from local restaurants – Metropolitan Brewing doesn’t have a dedicated kitchen.
Half Acre Beer Company
The Half Acre Beer Company is located in Balmoral, with a large indoor bar and a garden patio with picnic tables. It features a range of pale ales, such as the Daisy Cutter pale ale, the Bodem IPA, the Tome hazy pale ale, and the Hallow double IPA. It also has a great pilsner (pony) and a lager (Fader) available year round. In addition, the Half Acre Brewery offers a number of seasonal and monthly brews.
Hungry? Order classic bar food like burgers, sausages, cheese curds, and curly fries while you drink. Many of its options are also available vegetarian, featuring Beyond Meat brands.
Solemn Oath Brewery
At Solemn Oath Brewery, you can hang out in a great space inspired by dive bars, with wood paneling, vintage paintings, and other nostalgic finds. Solemn Oath has more than 20 beers on tap, from IPA to kolsch. They also offer their own hard seltzer (City Water) and cocktails made with City Water.
Solemn Oath has locations in both Naperville and Chicago. Both locations feature a rotating array of food trucks. Check their website to find out which food truck is on tap for the coming weekend!
Bungalow by Middle Brow
From its home base in Logan Square, Bungalow by Middle Brow has a spacious bar, an outdoor patio, and rustic brick walls. It offers 9 different brews to try, plus cocktails and wine. In the mornings, coffee is on tap as well.
In addition to its experimental brews, Bungalow is well known for its bread-based foods. In the morning, try a variety of toast options. In the evening, thin-crust pizzas are the main attraction.
Marz Community Brewing
Marz Community Brewing is a converted warehouse space that offers experimental ales, cloudy boy IPAs, session beers, stouts, non-alcoholic beverages, and bottle-conditioned and barrel-aged wild ales. Inside of the space, there are plenty of tables where you can relax and have a beer – and enjoy a pizza from a nearby restaurant.
Life on Marz Community Club
Life on Marz Community Club is part of Marz Community Brewing. At its spot on the North Side, you can enjoy cans of Marz’s favorite brews and beer on tap (including some beers that are exclusive to the Community Club). The brewery also has a selection of sausages from Makowski’s Real Sausage for patrons to enjoy.
Crushed By Giants
At Crushed by Giants, you can enjoy pizza and sandwiches along with a selection of beer, wine, and cocktails. Their beer list includes everything from IPAs to fruited sours to American pale ales to lagers.
One of the best aspects of Crushed By Giants is its location just off the Magnificent Mile. Instead of going to a chain restaurant or a steakhouse, you can enjoy a solid local brew with a solid bite to eat.
Based in Lincoln Square, Spiteful Brewing offers a selection of beers on tap along with its signature brews like the God Damn Pigeon Porter and Working for the Weekend double IPA. When the weather is nice, Spiteful Brewing will open up the garage doors that line the front of the building so that you can enjoy the outdoors along with your beer.
Dovetail Brewery is one of the best places to go in the city if you want to try a range of European-style beers. Featuring lagers, hefeweizen, and rauchbier, Dovetail Brewery uses Munich brewing techniques to craft its unique beers. While you won’t find any hoppy beers, you can try a variety of German-inspired beers.
While Dovetail Brewery doesn’t have its own kitchen, food trucks regularly park outside so that you can get your fill of some of the city’s best foods. It’s also dog-friendly, so you can enjoy a relaxing afternoon or evening sampling beers with your best friend by your side.
District Brew Yards
Located in the heart of Chicago’s brewing district, District Brew Yards allows guests to pour their own beers at four stations located throughout the brewpub. Each station represents one of the breweries that is housed within District Brew Yards. If you’re hungry, check out Lillie’s Q at the back of the taproom, where you can get a tri-tip sandwich, pulled pork, ribs, or brisket to enjoy with your brew.
Alarmist Brewing has an incredibly cool feature that sets it apart from most brewpubs in the area: two English beer engines that pour its cask-conditioned beers.Its flagship beers include a New England-style IPA, a pale ale, and a pilsner – plus plenty of beers on tap. There are no TVs here and no kitchen, but you’re free to order your own food while you enjoy a brew or two.
Revolution Brewing Tap Room
Based in Logan Square, the Revolution Brewing Tap Room is a sure hit. It features Revolution beer on tap – made in its Avondale warehouse – plus cans and growlers to go. It also has burgers and pizza available to go along with its IPAs, pale ales, pilsners, sour beers, and porters.
Off Color Brewing’s Mousetrap
At Off Color Brewing’s Mousetrap, you can enjoy a selection of cocktails along with beers that are brewed in-house, and some guest drafts as well. At the on-site bottle shop, you can grab some beer to take home with you. Best of all, you’re encouraged to bring your own snacks so you can much as you sample the seasonal beer selection.
On Tour Brewing
Located in the West Loop area, On Tour Brewing Company is an award-winning brewery that is known for its extensive beer menu. At the brewery, you can try a sour ale, Scottish ale, stout, strong golden ale, pilsner, bock, farmhouse ale, IPA, or even a bitter beer. They also offer a traditional cider, non-alcoholic beer, and hard kombucha.
On Tour Brewing Company often has live music and food trucks. Owner Mark Legenza also gives brewery tours if you’re interested in learning more about the craft of making some of Chicago’s best beer.
Goose Island Brewery
From its Fulton Street location, Goose Island Brewery offers 18 beers on tap, plus bottles, cans, and a selection of vintage beers. Its most popular options include the Four Star Pils, the Green Line, the 312, and the Bourbon County Brand Stout. Don’t forget to check the website for special events, such as live music shows.
Moody Tongue Brewing Co.
The Moody Tongue Brewing Co. bills itself as a “culinary brewpub.” Brewmaster Jard Rouben uses his culinary training to incorporate unique flavors into its beer offerings, which includes an aptertif pilsner, a juiced lychee IPA, and a caramelized chocolate churro porter.
In addition to beer, the Moody Tongue Brewing Co. offers both a bar and restaurant menu filled with high-end choices like lobster gazpacho, prime beef tenderloin, and an artisan cheese plate. It is definitely a destination for both food and beer!
Alulu Brewery and Pub
The Alulu Brewery and Pub offers small batch craft beers, such as farmhouse ale, lagers, and IPAs. This family-friendly location has both indoor and outdoor seating, which makes it a perfect place to enjoy a snow-cone – spiked or alcohol-free. Alulu Brewery and Pub also has a great menu of food created right in their kitchen.
Illuminated Brew Works
At Illuminated Brew Works, you can join a beer cult. Of course, it isn’t a real cult – but the “secret” lodge and membership options (which makes you a member of the illuminati) may make it feel like a cult. While there, you can sample lagers, farmhouses, hoppy beers, slushies, sours, and both white and dark stouts. They also offer a 10% discount if you ride your bike to the taproom.
Whiner Beer Company
At Whiner Beer Company, you can expect great sour and Belgian beers like saison, Belgian wheat, pale ales, and kölsch. It has a range of unique and some might say funky brews that is sure to delight the beer lover in your life.
In addition to beer, the Whiner Beer Company also serves pub-style cracker thin crust pizza. Its topping selection is just as unusual as its beer – which makes it a great choice for someone who loves a little something different!
Piece Brewery & Pizzeria
Few things go together quite as well as pizza and beer. At Piece Brewery & Pizzeria, you can get New Haven-style pizza while you taste an award-winning beer. Its beers on tap include the Hazy Lazy, the Downtown Smokey Brown, the Weight, the Top Heavy Hefeweizen and the Golden Arm.
The Pilot Project isn’t just a brewery: it’s an incubator. Just like places that provide kitchens for chefs to try out new foods, the Pilot Project offers a spot for breweries to share equipment and produce small batches of beer. It also has a tasting room where patrons can sample different beers from brewers using the incubator space.
In addition to the taproom, there is a patio with picnic tables for tasting beers and the food offered in the space, which includes snacks, sandwiches, salads, and sweets. Before you go, be sure to check the website to learn which breweries – and which beers – are currently featured.
Located in Lincoln Square, Empirical Brewery is a science-based brewery that names its beers after sci-fi characters and subatomic particles – like the Proton No Coast IPA or the Symbiotic Kettle Sour. The taproom is decorated in a Star Wars theme, and there is a small patio where you can also enjoy your beer.
The Forbidden Root is Chicago’s first “botanical brewery.” This means that each of its beers includes a botanical element, such as sassafras. It also uses local ingredients whenever possible. Its beers include the Strawberry Basil hefeweizen, the Sparkling Rosé ale, the Smoochie Boochies double IPA, and the Ghost Tropic double IPA.
Eris Brewery and Cider House
If you’re into ciders, Eris Brewery and Cider House might be the place for you. Based in Irving Park, this taproom is located inside of a renovated church. In addition to house-made ciders, it also features beer, cocktails, and non-alcoholic beverages. If you’re hungry, you can order from a full menu – including weekend brunch options.
Hopewell Brewing Co.
Based in Logan Square, Hopewell Brewing Co. is known for its accessible beers. Its brew selection includes pilsner, pale ale, hazy IPA, hefeweizen, IPA, lager, sour, and pilsner. This bright, welcoming space is dog-friendly. If you’re hungry, you can bring in your own takeout or even order for delivery to the brewery.
Ørkenoy is located inside of the Kimball Art Center, just off the 606. It features beer inspired by Scandinavia, such as brown ales, amber lagers, holiday ales, and fruited sours. Many of its beers incorporate classic Scandinavian ingredients, like good berries and wild currant leaves.
In addition to its great beer selection, Øreknoy features Scandinavian foods that you’ll be hard-pressed to find elsewhere. While you’re enjoying your beer, be sure to check out its smørrebrød (open-faced sandwiches), caraway knots, and snacks like potato pancakes with smoked roe.
Old Irving Brewing
Located in the heart of Irving Park, the Old Irving Brewing Company has a great selection of beers that include hazy IPA, kölsch, IPA, sour ale, double and triple IPA, porter, maibock, and more. This brewery is particularly well-known for its food, however, with specialities such as reuben fritters, wings, soft pretzel sticks, and roasted brussels sprouts. You definitely want to arrive hungry when you visit Old Irving Brewing!
Midwest Coast Brewing Company
The Midwest Coast Brewing Company is a family and dog-friendly taproom located in the heart of Chicago’s brewing district. It offers a selection of canned and draft beers, ranging from IPAs to German-style lagers and pilsners. There is also a rotating lineup of food trucks, plus regular live events featuring comedians and bands.
Ravinia Brewing Company
Ravinia Brewing Company has two locations: Highland Park and Logan Square. At both locations, you’ll find a selection of IPAs, stouts, and lagers. The brewery also serves a full menu that features Mexican street food like tacos, burritos, and fried ice cream.
Begyle Brewing Company
Begyle Brewing Company is a brewery that emphasizes old-fashioned fun. Its taproom has skee-ball machines, board games, and a range of beers. If you enjoy their brews, you can join its Community Supported Brewery program, which allows you to take home one to two growlers of beer each month.
Cultivate by Forbidden Root
Cultivate by Forbidden Root is an offshoot of Forbidden Root, which means that you’ll be able to sample “botanical” brews at this Ravenswood taproom. Their beers are often floral or fruity, which makes it an excellent choice for anyone who likes a more unusual brew. While there, order snacks and pick out a board game or two to play with friends.
Corridor Brewery & Provisions
Located in the Southport Corridor, the Corridor Brewery & Provisions has started to rack up awards for its house-made brews. Its menu features American pale ales, IPAs, double IPAs, hefeweizens, kölsches, along with wine and cocktails. This taproom also has a great menu filled with more upscale bar food, like artisan pizza, fries served with mustard herb mayo, and even a brunch menu.
Haymarket Pub & Brewery
The Haymarket Pub & Brewery is named after a famous battle for workers’ rights in Chicago – the Haymarket Affair of 1886. This confrontation between workers and police ultimately led to the establishment of the 8 hour workday.
While you appreciate the history, you can sample Haymarket’s great offerings of hard seltzers, barrel-aged barleywines, and blonde ales. You can also order standard pub fare, like burgers, pizzas, cheese curds, and giant soft pretzels.
Horse Thief Hollow
Located in Chicago’s Southside, the Horse Thief Hollow features award-winning brews like the Little Wing Pilsner, the Wrenly Rose, and the Biere de Voleur. In addition to beer, you can order from an extensive menu that features appetizers, burgers, sandwiches, soups, salads, and desserts.
At the Maplewood Lounge, you can snack on charcuterie while enjoying house-made beer, cocktails and more. This Logan Square taproom also offers canned cocktails and its selection of tart ales, lagers, IPAs, and pale ales.
Burning Bush Brewery
The Burning Bush Brewery features beers that are based on homebrew recipes. Its offerings include a hazy IPA, a pale ale, an amber ale, a hazy wheat ale, and a hefeweizen. Each has a biblical name, in a nod to the brewmaster’s former vocation as a pastor. The taproom has a full menu, and is both family and dog-friendly.
Open Outcry Brewing
Open Outcry Brewing has a coveted feature in Chicago: a rooftop dining area. Once seated, you can enjoy great views and great beers like the Speculator Cream Ale and the Bona Fide Hefeweizen. You can also order appetizers, sandwiches, wood-fired pizzas and more from its menu.
Cruz Blanca Cerveceria
Founded by Rick Bayless, Cruz Blanca Cerveceria may no longer be associated with the famed chef – but it has kept its menu full of delicious Mexican foods and beers (cerveza). The brewpub features lagers, pale ales, wild ales, and chocolate porters inspired by Mexican ingredients and flavors. It also has a range of incredible Mexican food, from al pastor tacos to tostadas.
Located in Lakeview East, DryHop Brewers features an unusual lineup of beer, including a coconut stout, a wheat IPA, a golden ale, a fruited sour, a saison, and an American IPA. You can order a glass of beer, or get a flight to try all of DryHop’s offerings. They also have wine and cocktails available, along with a menu that includes classics like burgers, pizzas, and snacks.
The Perch Kitchen & Tap
The Perch Kitchen & Tap opened in 2020 – just in time for COVID-19 lockdowns. Nevertheless, this brewpub has thrived thanks to its Southern-themed food and great beer, including pilsners, golden ales, and sour beers.
This brewery features an extensive menu. It is dog-friendly, and even has its own menu just for dogs, which features a “Hefe-woof-zen,” a brew made from molasses and chicken stock.
Lo Rez Brewery & Taproom
The Lo Rez Brewery & Taproom isn’t for fans of hop-forward beers. Instead, this taproom focuses on Belgian ales, stouts and lagers. At the brewery, you can sample all beers on tap – and even order some light snacks to go with your beer.
Goose Island Clybourn Brewhouse
The Goose Island Clybourn Brewhouse has a full range of crafted brews, from a lemonade shandy to hazy IPAs to Belgian-style pale ales. While you’re sampling beer, you can also order a meal.
Right Bee Cider
Right Bee Cider is the place to go if you are a fan of hard cider. They have a full line of dry, semi-dry, rosé, and barrel-aged ciders available on tap and canned. While they don’t have a kitchen, you can bring your own food while you sample ciders – and even take a howler or growler home with you to enjoy.
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