Chicago Beer Travelers

« Prohibition and Women's Suffrage Stone Brewing Menu at C-House »

Chicago Beer Bars Map

Jeff Bean

hophead, fisherman, and Nebraska-native


While I continue to delay my series of beer maps, I wanted to give some attention to another cartographic offering.  The illustrated map of "Chicago Beer Bars" was revealed at last month's beer Hoptacular.  The map's author, Phil Thompson, is a Chicago beer enthusiast with an interest in antique maps and illustration.

It's a really pretty, legible map, with color illustrations of each bar around the border.  Like all good maps, it is compelling for the information in conveys, in this case, which establishments are represented (and which aren't).

I think it has a good selection of beer bars, but it misses a few that I probably would have included (Bar on Buena, Reggie's for geographic diversity).  I also don't understand why it shows both Goose Island locations but omits the city's other brewpubs (especially places like Piece, which have extensive guest taps). Thompson is forthcoming about the subjectivity of the process, as he explains in the press release:

Who would qualify? Said Thompson, "That was difficult--there are a lot to  choose from. It came down to reputation, our personal experiences and those of other beer fans, and a few other things.  Architectural charm played a role, too."

The great thing is that Chicago has enough quality beer bars that a selection process is necessary.  Also, since a map like this is just a snapshot in time, the newest places in Chicago's steadily changing beer landscape (Fountainhead, Revolution, etc.) are also excluded.  With two new breweries coming this year (Haymarket, Pipeworks), being a beer enthusiast just keeps getting better and better.  Now you can hang the map on the wall at home, pour a pint of your favorite brew, and plan your next beer adventure.  Or, you just moved away, put it up as a reminder of the good old days.

The map is available for sale at



Recent Posts


No Comments

Leave a Comment?

Some HTML is permitted: a, strong, em

What your comment will look like:


what will you say?

Related Topics

Most Active Pages Right Now on Facebook