Chicago beer, specically 312, is up there with no-ketchup hotdogs, the Art Institute, and the largest Chicago festival, Lollapalooza. Some would say we’re even spoiled with the Chicago breweries. It’s what people look forward to when visiting the Windy City.
Frequently recognized as one of the best beer cities in the country, nobody would dispute that Chicago knows a thing or two about beer. Our seasoned and inventive beer scene has produced many fantastic Chicago breweries. There are now over 200 breweries, big and small, across Chicagoland, meaning there are plenty of opportunities to enjoy a finely crafted beer in whatever the Chicago fickle weather has in store.
Here, we’ve rounded up the best breweries in Chicago so that you can make sure that you’re sampling the best of the best!
1. Marz Community Brewing, Bridgeport
First formed in 2013 as a nano-production facility in Bridgeport, Marz’s flagship wheat ale, Jungle Boogie, Bubbly Creak sour series, and a few other beers were all born in their early days and have since become treasured libations.
After five years of churning out beers in limited production quarters, Marz moved into a much larger facility in McKinley Park, where Marz now offers a taproom with 24 libations on draft, an array of bottles & cans, cocktails, house-made nonalcoholic beverages, and a kitchen helmed by Taco Sublime.
The 4,000 sqft art-heavy space features an oval central bar, vintage video arcade room, and various seating areas, offering a fantastic setting to enjoy the abundance of beautifully made beverages.
📍Address: 3630 S Iron St, Chicago, IL 60609
📲Reservation: Secure a spot at Marz here
2. Maplewood Brewery & Distillery, Logan Square
As the first place in Illinois to establish brewing and distilling under one roof, the unassuming Maplewood Lounge on Maplewood Avenue in Chicago’s historic Logan Square neighborhood is as good as it gets for unique group outings or comfortable dates.
Self-dubbed a “neighborhood bar, cocktail bar, and brewery taproom all-in-on,” you’ve got everything covered. The rustic hideout is cozy but cool while providing top-notch beer and brilliant cocktails so that whoever you’re with can enjoy something to their taste. Their outdoor patio also offers an ideal spot to enjoy their delectable drinks on hotter days.
📍Address: 2717 N Maplewood Ave, Chicago, IL 60647
📲Reservation: Secure a spot at Maplewood Brewery here
3. Dovetail Brewery, North Center
Dovetail Brewery is a monastery to finely crafted beer as their “we brew like monks (minus the vows)” slogan suggests. Founders Bill and Hagen both hail from Chicago but actually met in Munich at the Doemens Institute while studying for Master Brewer Certifications.
Having learned the traditional brewing methods of continental Europe the two returned to Chicago. They set up Dovetail Brewing merging continental European styles and techniques with American creativity.
The laid-back North Center taproom offers a fantastic place to sip one of their finely crafted concoctions year round with snacks from Beard & Belly, Hannah’s Bretzel, and Amy’s Candy Bar, plus a bring-your-own food policy for those wanting to order something or bring something.
Once the sun begins shining, a patio and “Biergarten” channels the jubilance of a German summer where anybody and everybody is welcome to frolic in the sunshine, including well-behaved pets!
📍Address: 1800 W Belle Plaine Ave, Chicago, IL 60613
📲Reservation: Secure a spot at Dovetail Brewery here
4. Off Color Brewing, Lincoln Park
Set up by John Laffler and Dave Bleitner, who previously worked at Goose Island Brewery and Two Brothers Brewing, respectively, Off Color is another brewer that leans towards European styles.
The beers are eccentric in branding and flavor but ensure an exciting experience for any beer lover. Off Color’s taproom, “The Mousetrap,” is an absolute must-visit if you’re looking to enjoy a first-class beer in a modest yet magnificent setting.
16 brews on draft, cans, bottles, guest ciders, and a full bar can all be enjoyed from the cozy taproom or the dreamy patio where, once again, bringing your own food is accepted, and all are welcome, including pets.
📍Address: 1460 N Kingsbury St, Chicago, IL 60642
📲Reservation: Secure a spot at Off Color Brewing here
5. Half Acre Beer Company, Bowmanville
If you’re reading this, you won’t have heard of Half Acre. Founded by Gabriel Magliaro in 2007, Half Acre has made its way worldwide, appearing at festivals far and wide while providing the region with home-grown sensational beer.
There is a chance that you may not have been to their 60,000-square-foot space Balmoral facility, which opened in 2017 and has been a sporadic venue to check out since with Covid and other issues.
Enjoy beers like Daisy Cutter Pale Ale, Pony Pilsner, and some lesser-known but equally divine concoctions. The huge facility and expansive beer garden mean you can always rely on getting a space and tasting great beer.
📍Address: 2050 W Balmoral Ave, Chicago, IL 60625
📲Reservation: Secure a spot at Half Acre here
6. Metropolitan Brewing, Bricktown
Another haven for German-style beers, Metropolitan is perhaps one of the lesser-known of the best breweries in Chicago but a revered maker among those in the know.
The Rockwell on the River Tap Room is undoubtedly one of Chicago’s best places to enjoy a proper beer. Floor-to-ceiling windows mean guests can drink from the comfort of the tap room while looking out at the Chicago River year-round, but when the sun is shining, the magic of the riverfront brewery can be experienced.
Few beer experiences can rival sitting out on the family-friendly, dog-friendly, riverside patio sipping one of the brewery’s incredible creations as the sun warms your face and the river gently rolls by.
With Arigato Market on hand to fulfill your taco-related needs, or they have a BOYF policy (bring your own food). Or you can order your own food for those not craving tacos. Nothing is missing from this beer utopia and one of the best breweries in Chicago.
📍Address: 3057 N Rockwell St, Chicago, IL 60618
📲Reservation: Secure a spot at Metropolitan Brewing here
7. Ørkenoy, Humboldt Park
Holding the title of Humboldt Park’s first craft brewery, Ørkenoy is another spot that dabbles further afield by operating as “a brewery, cocktail bar, kitchen and synergetic haunt for local artists” thus catering to groups who love their drinks in various forms.
According to the Ørkenoy, “the hybrid venue, anchored within the Kimball Arts Center, is infused with Nordic influences and an eclectic, welcoming ambiance.”
Not far off the 606, it makes for a perfect pit stop or, as many who have gone looking for a quick break found out, a well-spent afternoon indulging in all of the Nordic magic that Ørkenoy offers. As you might expect, the aesthetic is clean Scandi minimalism, so if that floats your boat, this is the place for you!
📍Address: 1757 N Kimball Ave Floor 1, Chicago, IL 60647
📲Reservation: Secure a spot at Ørkenoy here
8. Corridor Brewery & Provisions
Located in the center of the Southport Corridor in Chicago’s West Lakeview neighborhood, Corridor Brewery & Provisions is a craft brewery and restaurant with an ever-changing draft list and a kitchen run by the talented Chef Jeff Parkin.
You can expect the brewpub from a hip farmhouse space in good hands. Exposed brick gives the space rustic charm while wooden palettes and bikes hang from the walls, offering a casual, laid-back feel. Big silver fermentation tanks tucked neatly into the aesthetic effectively make you feel like you’re a part of the authentic experience.
However, the huge 18-foot ceilings and fully retractable front windows make this place a winner. The 90-seat space has an airy, relaxing freedom, while a 25-seat sidewalk patio offers space for the warmer days; it makes it one of the best breweries in Chicago.
📍Address: 3446 N Southport Ave, Chicago, IL 60657
📲Reservation: Secure a spot at Southport Corridor here
9. Forbidden Root Restaurant & Brewery, West Town
Dubbed “the first botanical brewery in Chicago, Forbidden Root was founded by Robert Finkel, who, after leaving the world of high-stakes entrepreneurship, decided to pursue his idea of creating true-brewed botanic beers.
“We brew craft beer inspired by nature. We love barley, water, hops, and yeast, and use those as a base to explore a rich world of wild ingredients,” reads the website. Herbs, spices, leaves, flowers, stems, and roots go into Forbidden Root beer, giving them an adventurous flavor you’ll not find elsewhere.
The Forbidden Root Restaurant & Brewery opened in 2016 in Chicago’s West Town neighborhood and has become a popular hideout for many, offering a range of fruity beers and an elevated Brewpub dining experience.
Many people head to the original Brewpub in West Town and the newer location in Ravenswood for the burgers and delicious rustic food these days as much as they do for the craft beer, but that isn’t to say the latter isn’t still of an exceptional standard.
📍Address: 1746 W Chicago Ave, Chicago, IL 60622
📲Reservation: Secure a spot at Forbidden Root here
10. Revolution Brewing, Logan Square
Revolution Brewing is a brewery and brewpub that should be on every beer lover’s list.
Another brewery founded by a former Goose Island employee, Revolution Brewing, became Illinois’ largest independently-owned brewery after Goose Island Brewing was sold to AB-InBev.
Founded by Josh Deth, who also founded Wicker Park’s laid-back vegan retreat Handlebar, everything here is as reliable as it gets. The massive 90,000-square-foot Kedzie facility houses a German beer hall-style taproom offering a range of exceptional beers.
The space is so aesthetically appealing that it appeared in the 2013 comedy-drama movie Drinking Buddies with Olivia Wilde and Jake Johnson.
📍Address: 3340 N Kedzie Ave, Chicago, IL 60618
📲Reservation: Secure a spot at Revolution Brewing here
11. One Lake Brewing, Oak Park
Beer enthusiasts in Chicagoland will be well acquainted with One Lake Brewing. One of the best breweries in Chicago, the brewpub is a little journey outside Chicago’s center, but it is more than worth it. Located in the former First National Bank building, which closed in 1930 amid the Great Depression, this trendy brewpub offers a charming rooftop with sweeping views of the Chicago skyline and an old-meets-new interior.
The over 100-year-old building has a stunning neo-classical limestone exterior with enormous modernized windows that make it feel spacious and elegant. From the two-story chandelier crafted from beer bottles to the photos of Oak Park in the 1920s that cover the walls, you can’t help but be charmed by this wonderful brewpub.
The beers are equally as impressive as the setup. From Dry Irish Stouts to American Premium Lagers, whatever takes your fancy, you know it will be a beer thoroughly enjoyed on the Chicago rooftop of One Lake Brewing.
📍Address: 1 Lake St, Oak Park, IL 60302
📲Reservation: Secure a spot at One Lake Brewing here
12. Goose Island Beer Company, West Loop
It is easy to disregard Goose Island Beer Company after being sold to AB-InBev in 2011. Once it became part of a multinational conglomerate, purists like to turn their noses up.
Let’s not forget, however, that Goose Island kickstarted Chicago’s craft beer obsession. It wouldn’t be right to ignore the beers created at Goose Island despite it no longer being a “craft” beer.
The longest continuously operating brewery in Chicago, Goose Island Brewhouse at 1800 N. Clybourn, was founded in 1988 and offers a trip back in time and some world-class beers. If you’re looking for something more casual, you can’t go wrong with the Goose Island Fulton Market taproom, which offers a cozy alternative to the historic brewhouse.
📍Address: 1800 W Fulton St, Chicago, IL 60612
📲Reservation: Secure a spot at Goose Island here
13. District Brew Yards
District Brew Yards is the nation’s first collective production brewery, pour-your-own beer hall, and shop combination, all under the roof of a former warehouse. But it’s not about what’s under the roof that excites us; it’s what’s outside.
District Brew Yards’ patio is a guaranteed good time, with heaters, fire pits, prismatic murals, and ample space to accommodate numerous revelers, making it an ideal year-round escape.
Address: 417 N Ashland Ave, Chicago, IL 60622
📲Reservation: Secure a spot to District Bew Yards here
Borrowing from classic European cafes and casual American coffee shops, Beermiscuous offers a simple environment to relax and get a tad tipsy. The beer-oriented “coffee shop” inspired spot has a large local selection, offering 300+ craft brews in a hip, rustic space. It definitely is one of the best breweries in Chicago if you’re looking for somewhere eclectic and vibey for a weekend activity.
Address: 2812 N Lincoln Ave, Chicago, IL 60657
📲Reservation: Secure a spot at Beermiscuous here
15. Haymarket Brewery
A couple of blocks from Fulton Market on Randolph Street, this rustic brewpub offers a rotating selection of house brews, pub food, and occasional live music. When you step through the revolving door, they have an elongated bar with a plethora of beer taps specifically made in-house. They have a vast selection to appease any taste buds, from light and crisp to Belgian-style wheats and IPAs.
Address: 737 W Randolph St, Chicago, IL 60661
📲Reservation: Secure a spot at Haymarket Brewery here
There is never a wrong time to grab a cold, fresh, and perspiring glass of beer, whether you want a glass after a long day of work or a tasting with friends on a long weekend. These Chicago breweries won’t disappoint.