Heads up, beer lovers. Touring, tasting and learning more about a beverage is not limited to wine aficionados. Fortunately, Chicago has several brewpubs and breweries with excellent beer. Maybe after checking out these brewery tours you will be adding another favorite beer to your list. Tours range from bus and van group transportation to those operated by individual breweries.
(Photo Credit: gooseislandbrewpubs.com)

(Photo Credit: gooseislandbrewpubs.com)


Goose Island Clybourn
1800 N. Clybourn Ave.
Chicago, IL 60614
(312) 915-0071
www.gooseislandbrewpubs.com

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.

Argus Brewery
11314 S. Front Ave.
Chicago, IL
(773)-941-4050
www.chicagobeerexcperience.com

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.

(Photo Credit: Two Brothers Brewing Company's Facebook)

(Photo Credit: Two Brothers Brewing Company’s Facebook)


Two Brothers Brewing
30W315 Calumet Ave. W.
Warrenville, IL 60555
(630) 393-2337
www.twobrothersbrewing.com

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.

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Half-Acre Beer Company
4257 N. Lincoln Ave.
Chicago, IL 60618
(773) 248-4038
www.halfacrebeer.com

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.

Revolution Brewing
3340 N. Kedzie Ave.
Chicago, IL 60618
(773) 588-2267
www.revbrew.com

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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Windy City Beer Tours
1427 Greenleaf St.
Evanston, IL 60202
(847) 902-0733
www.chicagobrewerytours.net

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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Jodie Jacobs is a veteran journalist who loves writing about Chicago, art, theater, museums and travel. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.