MUST VISIT CHICAGO TAPROOMS These Taprooms Are More Than Just Beer
Taprooms come in all shapes and sizes, and all of them offer different experiences—food, sports, music, arcade games and even in-house circus nights. Here’s a sample of six that know how to pair beer with awesome fun—and it’s a cool way to increase your ManScore!
Burnt City Brewing, Chicago
What’s better than drinking Face Melter or Dick the Butcher while eating carnivore pizza or burnt ends? Easy—add turkey to your order. No, not that turkey! We’re talking the type of turkey you get from knocking down pins. Don’t worry, Burnt City Bowing isn’t anything like the dingy bowling alleys of yesteryear. With its eight-lane bowling alley and elevated beer and pub food, it’s the coolest, hippest party on the block.
Lagunitas Brewing, Chicago
Open the door, and the experience begins. It starts with a long, purple, psychedelic-like hallway that leads to two taprooms—one on each floor. Lagunitas provides arcade games, a grand piano, unique artwork, plenty of music, chef-driven food, and of course its famous beer. Essentially, imagine a Chuck E. Cheese for adults with terrific food, entertainment, games and lots and lots of good beer.
Motor Row Brewery, Chicago
A short, ten-minute walk from McCormick Place, this tri-level brewery on South Michigan Ave. serves exceptionally high-quality German/Central-European beer. Motor Row is also a haven for Chicago Blues and other live music, found on its 3rd floor. The 2nd level, with its own dedicated beer-bar, is a cool place to chill, while the first level offers patrons a seat in full view of the brewhouse. With a free parking lot across the street, Motor Row may be the best bang for your buck in the city.
Half Acre Beer Co., Chicago
Pull up to the Lincoln Park Half Acre taproom, park for free, order one of its famous Daisy Cutter Pale Ales and indulge in some of the best burritos around. This isn’t the 2 a.m. burrito that leads to 8 a.m. regret; Half Acre burritos consist of choices such as brisket, fried chicken or the Pineapple Pork Fried Rice burrito with peppers, scallions, broccolini, grilled pineapple salsa, ginger and cilantro. Or, enjoy a plated special such as Korean Wings and Beef Stroganoff. Wash that food down with Half Acre beer, and you’ll definitely leave full and happy.
350 Brewing, Tinley Park
Operated by two former Northern Illinois University (NIU) attendees with a thing for wrestling and punk rock (instead of attending classes), this Tinley Park location implores you to, “get your ass to the taproom!” 350 is the least pretentious pub in the Chicago area. Expect outstanding beer and food such as burgers, jalapeno, bacon and cheese poppers, pot roast sandwiches and beer nuggets—an NIU staple! The decor involves cool signage, a chain link fence and a “welcome to the bathroom” sign that greets you when nature calls. This is not a pinky-up beer establishment—come as you are and have a good time.
Light the Lamp Brewery, Grayslake
The beer names are hockey-inspired, the brewery has held Blackhawks jersey giveaway events and Light the Lamp has even hosted outdoor pond hockey tournaments. This is a hockey mecca. The only thing missing is the chance to get slammed into the boards on the way to the bar. But, the place is too too friendly for that—a great place to chill and watch the Hawks’ run to the Cup. Think of it is a good old fashion corner tavern, but with far better beer.