Brewmaster Pete Crowley combines west coast influences with Belgian subtlety at Chicago's newest brewpub. Standouts included their hoppy Comeback and Guzzle Spiced Belgian Dark Ale and massive The Alarm Double American IPA. But don't skip out on their I'm Still Lonely Belgian Single…at 4% ABV it is one of the best session beers we've ever tried.
Haymarket Pub and Brewery
737 West Randolph Street Chicago, IL 60661 (map); 312-638-0700
Half Acre Meatwave IPA
Three Floyds, Half Acre, and Dogfish Head threw a collaborative party at Co-Prosperity Sphere. Highlights included Meatwave IPA, a malty English style IPA that Half Acre brewed just for Chicago Beer Week.
Barrel-Aged Half Acre Ambrosia
A citrusy wheat ale brewed with hibiscus flowers and oranges. Dangerously drinkable, with lots of fruity notes and a hint of oak.
Goose Island (Clybourn) Luciana
A dark, fruity Belgian ale served exclusively at the Goose Island brewpubs and brewed in collaboration with Chef Dirk Flanigan from The Gage. An excellent beer for pairing with food.
Goose Island Clybourn Brewpub
1800 N Clybourn Avenue, Chicago, IL 60614-4939 (map); 312-915-0071
Finch's Beer Co. Cut Throat Pale Ale
Newcomer Finch's flagship beer has earned such immediate respect that it is already a guest tap at the Goose Island brewpubs.
Half Acre Baume
Rich in chocolate and roast character, this full bodied and well-balanced rye ale packs enough complexity to keep you interested. Sampled at Small Bar Fullerton.
Small Bar Fullerton
1415 West Fullerton Avenue, Chicago, IL (map); 773-525-2727
Goose Island Marisol
Brewed in collaboration with chef Rick Bayless, this Belgian blonde ale is spiced with tangerine zest, coriander and ugli fruit. The result is an exceptionally balanced saison-style ale with subtle orange notes. Currently only available on draft, Marisol is slated to receive a limited bottle release in 2011 and is worth seeking out.
Beer Mimosa at Publican
Publican is so committed to beer that their mimosas are made with tart Berliner weisse instead of Champagne.
837 W Fulton Market, Chicago, IL 60607 (map); 312-733-9555
Piece Pizzeria and Brewery Wingnut
Piece is a mandatory destination for any craft beer lover in the Chicago area. Their biggest beer, Wingnut, is an English style double IPA with enough malt and bitterness to tackle even the spiciest pepperoni pizza.
Piece Pizzeria and Brewery
1927 W North Avenue, Chicago, IL 60622 (map); 773-772-4422