Best beer bars in Chicago
While the name is a bit odd, there's nothing to dislike about this Lakeview beer bar. There's an excellent rotating selection of mostly local drafts, plus packed cases at the entrance with bottles from all over the place. Grab a beer to drink in the store or pack a six-pack to take home. On Wednesday evenings, area food trucks will park outside, so grab a snack to eat while you drink through some beers.
Sit at the bar and scan the beer list on a iPad provided by the bar staff at this high-tech bar. With a local-heavy selection, there’s a draft for everyone, and five wines on tap if beer isn’t your thing. There's also a solid food menu, with a selection of house-made sausages and fried cheese curds. Bonus: there's Wi-Fi, so grab your laptop, order a pint and settle in for the afternoon.
This Roscoe Village Bar is one of the best places in town to grab a beer from the extensive list, chat with the friendly bartenders and test your alcohol-addled vocabulary with a game of Scrabble. Bonus points: You can hang out all winter, where the heated beer garden will keep you nice and warm (as if the beer wasn't already enough).
This huge beer garden turns into a laid-back college reunion on weekend nights in summer, with baseball-capped dudes and spaghetti-strapped chicks flanking the outdoor bar. In colder months, the attention turns to the more sophisticated picks on the beer list and the slabs of ribs that go a long way toward warming the belly.
Though it’s nestled on a quiet, tree-lined street, this is anything but your average Lincoln Park bar. The drafts (which rotate weekly) are a suds-geek’s dream come true, the stereo is heavy on metal and the bartenders know their shit, making this one of the most underrated beer bars in the city. Translation: Expect lots of beards.
Named for the neo-Gothic Tribune Tower’s architects John Howells and Raymond Hood, this sprawling restaurant/bar features a shocking number number of beers on tap (over 100!) and just the kind of food you want to have while sampling beers. The menu includes classics like fried cheese curds, mac and cheese and a terrific kimchi-topped burger. Come summer, grab a spot on the big outdoor patio for prime people watching and city views.
This is the Hopleaf for the Old Town set (if Hopleaf had TVs), and what it lacks in modesty it makes up for in accessibility: All 90 of the beers on tap are available in six-ounce tasting portions, and the beer menu is a veritable novel. It makes sense: If you’re going to spend the whole night drinking, why not learn something?
After being closed for a few years, the South Loop bar underwent a complete revamp, changing hands and addresses. The changes paid off—the regularly changing beer menu includes 40 well-selected beers, including brews from places like Norway and Spain that you can’t easily find elsewhere in Chicago.