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Chicago’s Best Craft Beer

ALE, YEAH!: A thirst-quenching guide to Chicago’s beer scene

Way back in February, we set out to take stock of Chicago’s booming craft beer scene, drinking our way across the city and suburbs to winnow the malt from the chaff and pick the very best local brews and the top spots to find them. Since then, two Chicago breweries have launched (Finch’s, 5 Rabbit); another announced its intention to do so in 2012 (New Chicago Brewing Company); and yet another (Chicago Beer Company, which, we might add, currently brews in Wisconsin) popped up in coolers around town. Then there’s Pipeworks, a brewery-to-be, aiming for a late-2011 takeoff (see “5 Things I Wish I’d Known When I Started Homebrewing”). Meanwhile, Goose Island sold its soul—er, business—to Anheuser-Busch InBev; Two Brothers took over America’s Brewing Company in Aurora; and, at press-time, legislation that could drastically alter craft-beer distribution in Illinois awaited Governor Pat Quinn’s approval. In other words, small-batch beer is big news. Thirsty for more? Click below.
 

   

BEST HOMETOWN BREWS
The 36 best beers in Chicago

 

tips on homebrewing, drinking like a pro
Plus, watch a video of the making of Chicago’s summer beer

 

TOP BARS, GASTROPUBS, AND LIQUOR STORES
Our 15 favorite places to find craft beer

         
   

BEER SCHOOLED
Highlights from the history of Chicago’s own Siebel Institute of Technology

 

WHAT’S IN YOUR FRIDGE NOW?
Four connoisseurs tell us what they’re drinking

 

THROWING A BEER TASTING PARTY
Pros tell us how to pair beer with food


Plus: Photos from Chicago Craft Beer Week 2011, find out where to get our Chicago signature brew from Pipeworks Brewing Company and download your own beer tasting sheets (PDF).

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