Beer bars are a dime a dozen in Chicago, and with the city’s craft beer scene booming in recent years, there’s never been a better time for lovers of the amber nectar to visit the Windy City. Whether you’re looking for a brewery tour, or simply to sample some of the best beer the city has to offer, you won’t be disappointed.
If you’re planning a trip to Chicago and fancy joining a brewery or beer tour, there are a huge number of companies that host regular tours for locals and visitors alike. To help you out, we’ve picked out three of the best.
From $66 per person
Sample craft beer at a number of local Chicago watering holes during this 3-hour walking tour of the city. After meeting your guide at an agreed point by Wicker Park and Bucktown neighbourhoods, you’ll set off on foot towards several beer venues. Here you’ll taste lagers and porters, including authentic Midwestern craft brews. Next you’ll explore the famous beer Baron Row, where the beer barons of the 18th century once lived, before moving on to a historic bar for more samplers, along with a quintessential Chicago-style hot dog served up by a renowned, family-run local eatery to help line the stomach. There’ll be a couple more stop-offs, including a visit to a venue that combines craft beer with vintage video games, before your tour comes to a close in Wicker Park.
$38 per person
Located in a historic former glass factory, the Moody Tongue brewery offers a choice of three tours of its Peoria Street venue, each featuring samplers to fit your group’s preferences and tastes. One of the most popular is the Brewery Tour and Beer Tasting tour, which includes a total of 5 tastes as part of the admission price, along with a crystal glass to take home with you as a cherished memento. The guided tour is hosted on a scheduled basis throughout the week by dedicated, friendly and knowledgeable members of the Moody Tongue Team, and includes a walk through the brewery’s production areas and barrel ageing room, as well as an intimate discussion on the venue’s culinary brewing philosophy, processes and beers.
$15 per person
Mid-morning each Saturday, Dovetail Brewery hosts a 90-minute tour of its premises, offering visitors the chance to learn about the art of craft beer-making while sampling the distinctive beers produced on-site. During the tour you’ll get to taste ten-ounce pours of three select beers – one lager and two others that are rotated each week – as well as sample the water created through reverse osmosis that makes up 95 per cent of its beers. As you stroll around you’ll be treated to an informative, interactive explanation of what goes on behind the scenes of a brewery, as well as the chance to taste and smell malt, hops and pellets, and observe some of the equipment that makes the brewery so unique, including its open-top fermentation tanks, aging barrels of lambic, and the so-called “coolship”. (Photo: Mark Andersen)