The area within the borders that define Chicago is packed with breweries. However, it wasn’t always that way. Chicago was a bit of a brewing desert until Goose Island arrived barely three decades ago. While Goose Island (now a product of Anheuser-Busch) placed the craft beer revolution tinder it would still be another decade before Three Floyds added the much-needed spark across the border in Hammond, Indiana (they’d later move to nearby Munster).
Today, according to The Hop Review‘s absolutely essential Chicago breweries list (bookmark it), there are no less than 70 breweries within the city proper (and a whopping 114 breweries in the burbs). We’ve previously documented the fact that between the dates of May 25 and July 18 no less than 12 breweries opened taprooms in Chicagoland as a whole. That’s roughly 1.3 breweries opening per week. It’s hard to keep up.
We’ve gone ahead and compiled a list of the some of the essential Chicago breweries pouring beers in tap rooms or restaurants (before someone says anything, the taproom distinction is the only reason badass breweries like Pipeworks didn’t make the cut. That will likely change once they open the new facility).