Goose Island Clybourn
1800 N. Clybourn Ave.
Chicago, IL 60614
When Chicagoans are asked to name a locally brewed beer brand, chances are the answer will be Goose Island. Begun by John Hall back in 1988, in a building on North Clybourn in the western Lincoln Park neighborhood near goose Island, the brewery has since grown to international distribution. Anheuser-Busch InBev. bought the majority of the brewery company stock around 2011, but Hall still owns the brewpubs on Clybourn and in Wrigleyville. Folks can take a tour of Goose Island’s Fulton Street brewery by clicking here to get the details. But beer lovers who care about history should tour the facility where it all began on Clybourn. Hall is still brewing small, experimental batches there, and he and his staff are happy to have visitors stop by during tour hours to see how it is done and hear a bit of history. Tours are Saturday and Sunday and last about an hour, but reservations are necessary. The tour fee is $10. However, guests get to taste some beer and keep their glass.
11314 S. Front Ave.
Visitors to Argus Brewery get a two-for-one experience. The brewery is comparatively young, having started in 2009, but the brewery building is old — it was the Joseph E. Schlitz stables built in the early part of the last century in Chicago’s famed Pullman District. Schlitz built his brewing facility across from the district to service Pullman’s employees. Before going inside for a tour, look for and snap the terra cotta heads of two horses. Once inside (you did reserve in advance, right?), you hear how Robert and Patrick Jensen began the brewery following the beer production they did for some local restaurants. Hear about both and the building’s history during a 90-minute tour. The cost is $15, but the receipt should be printed off and brought for admittance.
Two Brothers Brewing
30W315 Calumet Ave. W.
Warrenville, IL 60555
After Chicago brothers Jim and Jason Ebel sold beer and home brewing advice and equipment from a Naperville store, they decided to take the next step and open a microbrewery, which opened in 1996. It has since grown to a full-sized brewery, bottling company and tap room in Warrenville on Chicago’s outskirts. Hear how they grew from a few barrels and donated dairy equipment to a well-known Chicago beer label by touring their Warrenville facility. Tours are 45 minutes long and free. There are three on Saturday afternoon and one on Sunday, no reservations are needed. Then, check out the Tap Room. Two Brothers produces several year-round beers, such as the Ebel Weiss, a German-style hevfeweizen, pale ales and a bold IPA. They also have seasonal beers, stouts and lagers and produce artisan beers.
4257 N. Lincoln Ave.
Chicago, IL 60618
Half-Acre is a Chicago microbrew success story. Begun as an idea in 2006, it is now a brewery, store and tap room in Chicago’s Lincoln Square neighborhood, and there is an additional facility in progress. Along with its regular beers, such as the Pony Pilsner, there are several seasonal beers including a fine Lager Town Octoberfest. Tours are every Saturday and cost $10, which includes tastings and the glass. Come early to line up outside the brewery in case there is a crowd. Tours are limited to 60 visitors on first-come, first-serve basis.
3340 N. Kedzie Ave.
Chicago, IL 60618
Following stinges at Golden Prairie Brewing and Goose Island plus some struggling years to have his own brewery, Josh Deth opened Revolution Brewing in 2010 in Chicago’s Logan Square. Drop by the brewpub on Milwaukee Ave. for its century-old atmosphere and friendliness. Click here for the brewpub. To take a brewery tour go to the Kedzie Avenue address about 1.5 miles from the brewpub. Tours are Wednesday through Sunday and take about 45 minutes. They are free and popular, but are limited to 30 guests, so arrive early. There are no advance registrations. However, you can spend waiting time in the tap room and may be able to sign up there for the next tour.
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1427 Greenleaf St.
Evanston, IL 60202
Very much a personalized operation, Windy City Beer Tours works with its customers to pull together a brewery tour customized to individual taste and style. It does four-hour tours of three breweries from a list that includes Atlas Brewing Company, Revolution Brewing, Half-Acre Beer Company, Sketchbook Brewery, Lagunitas Brewing, Haymarket Pub and Brewery and Temperance Beer Company. The cost is $99 and includes a pizza dinner at the middle stop. To arrange a tour and meeting point, go to book a tour. Booking is followed up with a personalized call to discuss the places covered.
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