Local microbrews are all the rage, but many establishments in the city still carry worthy taps from across Illinois state lines. After you’ve consumed your go-to favorites from Chicago breweries like Arcade Brewery, Lake Effect Brewing Co. or the dominant Goose Island, pull up a bar stool at one of these fine establishments to try an out-of-state beer.
Dubbed the friendliest bar on the North Side, Quenchers Saloon has been serving up a vast line-up of craft beers since 1979. Laidback and approachable, Chicago’s original beer bar stocks brews like Nebraska Nut Brown, Capital Wisconsin Amber and Big Sky Moose Drool. Take advantage of the daily beer specials on cans, taps, tallboys and everything in between.
In the far north neighborhood of Andersonville, Hopleaf Bar discretely quenches the thirst of Chicago beer lovers with 41 brews on tap and more than 260 craft beers and imports in bottles. Choose a random option off of the extensive list of beers, and place an order of the bar’s famous steamed mussels. Hopleaf was, in fact, one of the first gastropubs in the country.
Maria’s Packaged Goods and Community Bar
You won’t be limited to local beer varieties at this Bridgeport staple. Maria’s Packaged Goods and Community Bar has 475 beers to choose from. Part dive and part contemporary chic, this recently remodeled watering hole will entice you to work your way down the varied drink menu. Watch out, you could be swinging from the beer bottle chandeliers by sundown.
The Map Room
The flags inside The Map Room should tip you off that the establishment’s beer selection will take you around the world. Known as “A Traveller’s Tavern,” The Map Room throws curveballs at even the most seasoned beer drinkers with their beer list. Beer School meetings will help you navigate their menu, and don’t forget to make a stop at the ATM before visiting this cash-only bar.
With more than 130 taps, Kacey’s Tavern is a beer lover’s paradise. This neighborhood bar on Dearborn Street is Chicago’s second oldest tavern and holds the second oldest liquor license in the city. Nothing about their beer list comes in second─take your time as you peruse the lengthy list of unique beers from around the Midwest and around the world.