Chicago's Best Craft Beer Brewers
Pop 5: Chicago's Best Craft Beer Producers
Welcome back to the Pop 5, featuring Chicago's best places to do anything and everything. Last week, we listed our favorite coffee shops in Chicago, and this week, we're wrapping up our drink series with the city's best craft beers. Chicago is blessed with lots of brewers, creating all kinds of beer — dark, light, and somewhere in between. Some of my favorite local brews include the ubiquitous 312 from Goose Island and the cutely named Daisy Cutter from Half Acre, but there are endless options from local brewers. Check out our top five below.
- Goose Island (1800 N. Clybourn Ave., 312-915-0071; 3535 N. Clark St., 773-832-9040) was recently purchased by Anheuser-Busch for around $39 million, but we're still claiming it as our favorite local brewer. You'll be hard pressed to find a bar without 312 Urban Wheat on draft, and I, for one, am incredibly grateful for that. Other big-time brews include the new Green Line Pale Ale, the elegant sparkling ale Sofie, and the classic Honker's Ale.
- Half Acre Beer Company (4257 N. Lincoln Ave., 773-248-4038) has been brewing small-batch beers on the north side of the city since 2009. The award-winning Daisy Cutter pale ale is a standout, but you'll also find around another 15 varieties, ranging from golden ales and lagers to chocolate stouts, on the Half Acre roster.
- Finch's Beer Co. is the newest craft beer player on the scene. A collaboration between Benjamin Finch, the owner of a local design studio; his father, Paul; and brewer Richard Grant, who formerly worked at restaurant and brewery Flossmoor Station, Finch's started delivering kegs and 16-ounce cans of beer, including Golden Wing Blonde Ale and Cut Throat Pale Ale, in April.
- Piece Brewery and Pizzeria (1927 W. North Ave., 773-772-4422) is as known for its microbrews as it is for its insanely delicious pizza. Brewer Jonathan Cutler produces small batches of award-winning hand-crafted beers in a seven-barrel brew house. Styles include Worryin Ale rye beer, Golden Arm German-style kolsch beer, the Top Heavy Hefeweizen, a south German-style hefeweizen, and the Dark-n-Curvy Dunkelweizen, a German-style wheat ale.
- Three Floyds Brewing Company is located just outside Chicago, in Munster, and is best known for its Dark Lord beer, a Russian-style imperial stout brewed with Intelligensia coffee, Mexican vanilla, and Indian sugar that's available one day of the year in April at the brewery (9750 Indiana Pkwy., Munster, Indiana, 219-922-4425). For the rest of the year, we're sipping on Gumball Head, an American wheat ale, and the brewery's flagship pale ale Alpha King.