Travel Down the Chicago Beer Trail

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Chicago features so many craft breweries that the city hosts brew festivals. There’s plenty of beer on tap and plenty of taverns to try. Consider these noted breweries and guided pub crawls.

Travel Down the Chicago Beer TrailJoe Hannan

Fans of Chicago craft beer want you to know that nothing pairs better with a snowy midwestern day than a frosty IPA.

A Selection of Chicago’s Craft Beer Destinations

DryHop Brewers: Located in Lakeview on Chicago’s north side, DryHop loves “hop-centric” ales. The place has gained fame for its IPAs and Pale Ales. Shark Meets Hipster is one of DryHop’s signature brews. The pub is also known for its burger, a blend of brisket and short rib laced with chile-tomato jam and aged cheddar.

Corridor Brewery & Provisions: Created by the same group that crafted DryHop, Corridor Brewery & Provisions is a craft brewery and restaurant in the West Lakeview neighborhood. The master brewer focuses on farmhouse ales and “hop-forward beers.” He describes Wizard Fight as a true Chicago IPA. Much more fun than apple cider, Corridor’s Master or Be Mastered is brewed with Persian pear to infuse a hint of apple pie.

Moody Tongue Brewing Company: The tasting room, with its white marble bar and blue velvet armchairs, is more designer chic than basic brewery. And that’s part of the charm. The rest comes from Moody Tongue’s interesting mix of flavors. Chocolate and beer? Try the Caramelized Chocolate Churro Baltic Porter. Like lemon meringue pie? Drink hints of that sweetness with the Steeped Emperor’s Lemon Saison.

Dovetail Brewery: The Lincoln Square/Ravenswood brewery is named after the dovetail joint, which the owners call “the classic symbol of quality and craftsmanship.” So it fits that the relatively new facility launched with classics: a lager, a hefeweizen and a rauchbier.

Pub Crawls and Beer History Guides

Chicago Detours: On Chicago Detours’ Historic Chicago Pub Crawl tour, your guide provides tidbits about Prohibition and the town’s gangsters, the influence of the Jazz Age and Chicago’s early breweries. But it’s not all talk. During the 2.5 hour tour, you walk .75 miles and stop at three bars. The $36 fee covers appetizers and the tour. You should bring cash for drinks; 2.5 servings of beer cost $20; wine costs $22, soda $6 and water $3. Tours start at 5:45 p.m and are available February 23, 24 and 25 as well as other times. Reserve ahead.

History on Tap: Chicago historian Liz Garibay shares Chicago history on her tavern tours, including Diving into Chicago’s Dives (February 9), Scofflaws and Speakeasies: A Prohibition Tavern Tour (February 18), and Stout Me Up! Irish Pub Tour (March 4). Garibay also does private tours for groups. Consider gathering your gang and drinking with friends. Contact her at