7 new breweries, beer bars and brewpubs on our radar

Fall and winter will bring a slew of new beer spots to Chicago, with some big names behind the new breweries and bars
Corridor Brewing & Provisions will be opening in Southport Corridor.
Photo: Anthony Tahlier Corridor Brewing & Provisions will be opening in Southport Corridor.

Chicago's craft beer boom just keeps chugging along, and the next six months will bring some major new players to the brewery and beer bar scene. Look for a cider-focused spot, a brewpub from a big Milwaukee chef, a Ravenswood brewpub from some Alinea vets, new brewery tours, great bar food and more.

RECOMMENDED: Chicago craft beer guide

Corridor Brewery & Provisions
Photograph: Anthony Tahlier
Bars, Breweries

Corridor Brewing & Provisions, October 15

icon-location-pin Lake View

Popular Lakeview brewery DryHop brings a new project, Corridor, to Southport on October 15. Brant Dubovick, Corridor's head brewer, focuses on hop-forward and farmhouse beers, including the year-round Wizard Fight, a nitro lactose IPA. Food, from DryHop chef Joel Pillar, includes sandwiches and flatbreads from a clay oven. Corridor will also offer 32-ounce crowlers and growler cans.

Farmhouse Chicago
Photograph: Courtesy Farm Bar
Bars, Breweries

Farm Bar, late October

icon-location-pin Lake View

Farmheads, the group behind Farmhouse in Chicago and Evanston, is bringing Farm Bar, a bar with Midwest-only (Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Wisconsin) beer, wine, cocktails and food. The team crafted several variations of their own cider at The Cider Farm in Mineral Point, Wisconsin, which will be available at the bar. Expect a 24-line draft system with four to six ciders, but in case cider and beer aren’t what cures you, a four-line wine draft system and a cocktail menu will be available. The food menu will include burgers, sandwiches, salads, appetizers and bar snacks, as well as a special comfort food offering weekly.

Band of Bohemia
Photograph: Elizabeth Atkinson
Bars, Breweries

Band of Bohemia, late October to early November

icon-location-pin Lincoln Square

When an Alinea sommelier and Half Acre brewer team up to open a brewery, who knows what to expect? According to Half Acre brewer Michael Carroll, it's not going to be too out there—the beer is culinary-focused and the brewers will play around with spices, fruits and vegetables before adding them to the beer. The idea, former Alinea somm Craig Sindelar says, is to elevate beer to the next level.

Band of Bohemia will have five taps with house beers, four of which will rotate. The fifth will be devoted to Culinary Noble, a dark golden beer that's designed to be flavorful and easy drinking. The food menu will change with the beers, and chef Matt DuBois (El Ideas) says he'll look to the beer first, then create dishes. As far as what to expect in terms of food, DuBois says, "We took the fryer out of the floor plan. No pizza, no burgers, no chicken fingers.” But they do have a large wood grill that’ll be a centerpiece in the open kitchen. A wine list and cocktail menu are also in the works, and the team also says they want the restaurant to be a neighborhood spot, so they'll offer coffee in the mornings.

Forbidden Root
Photograph: BJ Pichman
Bars, Breweries

Forbidden Root, late October to early November

icon-location-pin East Village

Forbidden Root is already an established name in Chicago beer, but it hasn't had its own brewing space until now. The brewery uses herbs, flowers, leaves and spices to craft its line of botanic beers. At the brewpub, staff will be pouring their flagship beers (Forbidden Root, WPA, Sublime Ginger and Shady Character), along with seasonal brews like Heavy Petal, the first in the Divine Mud series. A honey-centric series of beer, Hive Minded, is also on its way. The brewpub will serve what's being called “American rustic” fare to pair with the botanic beers and a series of elixirs to let people experiment with different flavorings to add to beers or sodas. Once the space is up and running, expect brewery tours to be offered at least once a week.

Like Minds Brewing
Photograph: Courtesy Like Minds Brewing
Bars, Breweries

Like Minds Brewing Company, first half of 2016

icon-location-pin United Center

James Beard award-winning chef Justin Aprahamian takes a "seasonal approach" to brewing beer, which Chicagoans should be tasting soon. The Milwaukee chef and partner John Lavelle decamped to Chicago to open the brewery, which will have a core menu of an IPA, a pale ale with mosaic hops, a coffee stout brewed with cold-brew coffee from Intelligentsia and a saison. The team also plans to create beers designed to age in specific bourbon barrels by focusing on the profile of the barrel.

The pair is hoping to start with a cucumber kolsch, and one of Aprahamian’s favorites is a pale ale with black currants and lemon verbena. Look for a food menu from Aprahamian, who throws out mole tacos and a Korean lobster roll with cucumber kimchi as well as cheese and charcuterie as possible dishes.

In 2008, Rick Bayless took us on a taco tour.
Photograph: Tim Klein

Cruz Blanca, spring 2016

Rick Bayless gets into the beer game when he opens Cruz Blanca (900 W Randolph St) next spring. Expect beers made with Mexican ingredients, like the hominy and epazote used in flagship beer La Guardia, a biére de garde collaboration with Perennial Artisan Ales, which you can try at Bayless's other restaurants now. You can also expect food, and though there aren't any details about that yet, this is Bayless, so you know it'll be good.

Photograph: Martha Williams
Bars, Breweries

Bixi, spring 2016

icon-location-pin Logan Square

Owen & Engine's Bo Fowler and Elliott Beier have been serving great beer for years at the Logan Square British restaurant, but now they're brewing themselves. The space, tentatively called Bixi, will focus on Southeast and East Asian flavors. Beers will incorporate spices, herbs and teas into traditional beer styles. As for food, the Bixi team says a late-night backdoor noodle shop is in the works, as is a second floor atrium with a retractable roof for an all-season patio, in addition to a patio on the first floor.