Chicago is full of great breweries, but they’re often packed on weekends. Want to grab a brew without the entire neighborhood joining you?
Consider traveling outside of the city to one of the lesser-known, but still delicious brew pubs the suburbs has to offer. Here are a few faves worth checking out for a girls’ night out or date night, but some are also really family friendly. Chances are, you’ll find a new favorite spot to hang.
Tucked away in an alley in Evanston, Sketchbook is unassuming, but don’t let the facade fool you. Enjoy the brewery’s rotating list of 16 brews while hanging out in its hip and artsy taproom, which is decorated using recycled materials. And don’t worry about leaving the little ones at home while you grab a drink — this brewery is family-friendly and they even have card games available for kids to play. They also have a second location in Skokie.
- Address: 1661 Quincy Ave., Naperville
Solemn Oath says on its website that it does things “a little differently,” but don’t let that deter you from visiting this unique spot in Naperville. The brewery has a three serving limit, meaning you won’t be able to try every beer you want in one trip, but you’ll also feel safer knowing patrons aren’t overindulging. They also don’t accept tips, but you’re allowed to buy your server a beer, which makes the interaction feel less formal and more friendly.
Although the brewery does not serve food, it does have food trucks that often park outside and you’re always welcome to bring your own grub, too.
Church Street’s slogan is “righteously good beer,” but the owners may want to add “extremely fun place to hang out” to their motto as well (too much?). The Itasca brewery has free tours, live music events and, oh yeah, a large selection of award-winning brews that will please even the biggest beer snob.
Hanging at the Noon Whistle taproom in Lombard gives you a firsthand peek into the brewing process, since there’s no wall separating patrons from the equipment. If you’re a dog owner, you’ll be happy to know Noon Whistle welcomes furry friends, as long as they’re leashed. If you like what they have to offer, Noon Whistle has crowlers (32 ounce can) and growlers (64 ounce glass bottle) to go, so you can share the tasty brews with friends.
- Address: 8060 186th. St., Tinley Park
Hailstorm in Tinley Park likes to focus on beers that have big flavor, and that’s evidenced by its unique ingredient list, which relies heavily on fruits. Check out the Hopsecco IPA if you’re more of a wine fan who wants to like beer, since it features Sauvignon Blanc grape juice as a main ingredient. Hailstorm regularly hosts live music, food trucks and events on the weekends, so there’s always something to do while you enjoy the brews.
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