Alter Brewing Anchors the St. Charles Riverfront

Alter Brewing Anchors the St. Charles Riverfront
Given the time (2015) and place (Downers Grove) of its founding, some may consider Alter Brewing a surprising success story. The suburb has a history of strict liquor laws, and the taproom’s location — at the convergence of a residential neighborhood and an industrial office park — doesn’t exactly invite the heavy foot traffic of... Read more »

Chicagoland Lost Some Breweries in 2020, but Geneva Gained a Good One

Chicagoland Lost Some Breweries in 2020, but Geneva Gained a Good One
A couple weeks ago — after more than a decade in the city — I traded in the urban apartment for a house in the suburbs, complete with a yard, a garage and a white picket fence (literally, we have a picket fence, and it’s white).  It’s an exciting time for myriad reasons, but especially... Read more »

A Sunday Afternoon at Half Acre Balmoral Almost Felt…Normal?

A Sunday Afternoon at Half Acre Balmoral Almost Felt…Normal?
Quite some time has passed since I last recapped a brewery visit because, frankly, the taproom outings have been damn near non-existent since last summer. While the inability to swing by our favorite establishments has created a gaping hole in our lives, Half Acre Balmoral — with its sunny outdoor beer garden — filled the... Read more »
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Amid an Ugly Year, Craft Beer Perseveres

Amid an Ugly Year, Craft Beer Perseveres
For obvious reasons, 2020 has been the suckiest, weirdest, most unpredictable and stress-filled year of recent memory. At times, it has seemed as though society is legitimately teetering on the brink of collapse. I mean, I’ve spent the past several days captivated by a disheveled Jay Cutler as he narrates the unfolding saga of a... Read more »

Shelter in Place, But Keep Supporting Chicago Breweries

Shelter in Place, But Keep Supporting Chicago Breweries
Regular taproom visits — one of life’s simple pleasures as recently as six weeks ago — have been rendered impossible due to the state’s shelter-in-place mandate.  And while national beer sales (through grocery and liquor stores, anyway) are actually up, independent breweries across the country are faced with exceedingly difficult times. Some of them won’t... Read more »

Waterfront Brewery: Worth the Trip to the Southernmost Tip

Waterfront Brewery: Worth the Trip to the Southernmost Tip
In a town not known for its craft beer scene, the Waterfront Brewery is an island within an island — and a welcome respite from the margaritas, rum-based cocktails and macro drafts that make up the drink list in most of Key West’s watering holes. At the southern tip of the Florida Keys, the four-by-two-mile... Read more »
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Midwest Coast Proving that West Town's Thirst for Breweries Remains Robust

Midwest Coast Proving that West Town's Thirst for Breweries Remains Robust
When I read that a new taproom was celebrating a grand opening in Chicago, I immediately noted the address, shook my head knowingly and smiled to myself. Should’ve guessed it would be located in Chicago’s Brewing District. Our affinity for On Tour and Great Central is well documented, and now Midwest Coast joins these mainstays —... Read more »

Keeping it Simple at Imperial Oak: Good Beer, Good Times

Keeping it Simple at Imperial Oak: Good Beer, Good Times
I’ve lived in Chicagoland for my entire life, and until this year, I’d never even heard of Willow Springs, the home of Imperial Oak Brewing. Now we’ve visited this charming little village in the southwest burbs twice, and even biked the scenic riverfront path that runs up against the Calumet Sag Channel a mile or... Read more »

Riverlands Opens the Craft Beer Floodgates in St. Charles

Riverlands Opens the Craft Beer Floodgates in St. Charles
As recently as last year, St. Charles was home to a grand total of zero breweries. Soon, that number will have rapidly ballooned to four. For those counting at home, that’s a lightning-quick transition from craft beer desert to what could arguably now be considered the Brewery Capital of the Western Suburbs. Recent announcements informed... Read more »
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Is Grand Rapids Really Beer City, USA? Kraft Brews Investigates

Is Grand Rapids Really Beer City, USA? Kraft Brews Investigates
Go ahead, type “Beer City USA” into your Google machine. What pops up? Okay, I’ll save you the trouble: In a nation that Chicago, Denver, Portland, Seattle, San Diego, Milwaukee and Asheville all call home, how did a town of just under 200,000 in sleepy, inland western Michigan lay claim to such a prestigious moniker?... Read more »