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Chicago – a Great Beer Town!

Chicago8It is no secret how much the city of Chicago means to me. Yes, the Chicago Cubs is what probably makes the city so great (sorry Sox fans!), but it is truly the people, food, skyscrapers, and… the beer. Every time I go to a Cubbies game, I break my own rule of drinking strictly craft beer when it comes to beer as Old Style has been around for many years and has been one of the premiere sponsors of the Chicago Cubs. Unfortunately, Budweiser has invaded Wrigley Field so fans can only find Old Style in select areas of the stadium. My father and I frequently meet up to watch the Cubs play every other summer or so and we make it a point that we settle for no less than a seat in the bleachers. Fortunately for us, Old Style flows freely out in the back although there are not as many taps as I can recall.

The bar behind the stadium – a stone’s throw from the bleachers, Murphy’s, is a popular hangout spot before, during and after the Cubs games. I was surprised to see them have Three Floyds on tap. My, was I in heaven or what!?

Thinking about all the places throughout Chicago, I especially enjoy the Map Room where they usually bring their windows down when its nice and warm out with plenty of Three Floyds beers as well as other goodies on tap. Oh they have free pretzels to munch on at each table.

I also enjoy Local Option where they have even more gems on tap – it is a dive type of bar but don’t let looks deceive you and it is just an incredible hang out.

I got to check out Revolution Brewing during my Dark Lord Day road trip and was very impressed with their brews, food, ambiance, and clientele. For example, it was 2pm on a Sunday afternoon when the place was full of beer-loving Chicago yuppies. Oh, how I wish my neighborhood had a place like this for me to frequent on a lazy Sunday afternoon!?

ChicagoI am saving the best for last… Billy Goat Tavern. Just the original tavern located under the Chicago Tribune building on 430 N. Michigan Avenue. That place is sacred. My father and I probably go there every single evening we are in Chicago. I recommend that place (other than Harry Carays Steakhouse) for some good ol’ fashioned cheezborgers when I am asked for good dining options in Chicago. You cannot beat being surrounded by Mike Royko articles, photos of Billy Goat founder, William “Billy Goat” Sianis, hobnobbing with politicians and beautiful women, an old fashioned kitchen, a cash register that they still use, old bar countertops and stools. Man, that place has not changed since being founded, I tell ya. There is also a very low turnover with the staff so they are quite familiar whenever I return. They have “light” and “dark” Billy Goat beer (one of the big breweries in Wisconsin I am not going to name makes it for them). I typically settle for an Old Style or PBR just to blend in with the experience of being there. Upon the passing of Billy Goat Sianis, the tradition lives on with Sam Sianis, nephew to Billy Goat Sianis. Be sure to check this place out – sometimes the most amazing things in life go beyond just good craft beer. 😉

There are several places that warrant a visit from my end such as the venerable Pipeworks (still waiting for a tasting room to happen), Half Acre, and Hopleaf. So, be sure to check back at: and my Instagram as chances are that I will be visiting Chicago again before you can say “Cubs Win”.

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This entry was posted on January 14, 2014 by in Beer, Beer reviews, Craft beer and tagged , , , .

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