If someone were to ask you where famous beers are made, Chicago might not come to mind right away, but it should. Although cities such as Milwaukee, Denver, and Boston have long been associated with the brewing of quality beers, Chicago has its own rich brewing history, and is the home of the most respected brewing school in the United States, the Siebel Institute of Technology, established all the way back in 1872. So, it makes sense that there are going to be great breweries in the Chicago area that can offer you award-winning crafted beers.
With all that in mind, and because here at Pequod’s Pizza we appreciate a good beer, we wanted to share with you seven famous Chicago beers that we hope you’ll get the chance to try.
Bourbon County Stout From Goose Island Beer Co.
You don’t have to live in Chicago to find the famous Bourbon County Stout, which is sold far and wide and has been the standard that bourbon barrel-aged beers are measured by for thirty years. But if you’ve never tried Bourbon County Stout, be warned: these are thick and boozy beers with hints of dark chocolate, vanilla, toffee, almond, and other rich flavors.
In 2022, Goose Island Beer Co. is offering six variations along with the outstanding original. These include a Coffee Stout, a Biscotti Stout, the fig cookie-inspired Sir Isaac’s Stout, a tropical fruit option called Proprietor’s Stout, the rich malt Two-Year Barleywine Reserve, and a 30th Anniversary Reserve Stout. With all those amazing choices, you might have to try more than one kind.
Daisy Cutter Pale Ale From Half Acre Brewing Co.
Half Acre Brewing Co. came together in Chicago in 2008 and went from small business beginnings to a regional brewery with over 100 employees. Much of their success came from producing the Daisy Cutter Pale Ale, a unique ale full of hops that is also dry.
This West Coast-style pale ale was introduced by Half Acre Brewing in 2009 along with two other beers. Daisy Cutter Pale Ale proved to be a special and inspirational beer that is still going strong today and is available in stores across the nation. This ale has hints of pine and citrus, but the bitterness and tartness are balanced by the sweetness of papaya and mango and blended with a pleasant biscuit and malt flavor.
Anti-Hero India Pale Ale From Revolution Brewing
Revolution Brewing is a Chicago success story that is now the largest independently owned brewery in the state of Illinois. One of the reasons for Revolution Brewing’s success is its Anti-Hero India Pale Ale. This ale has a crisp West Coast style, balancing fruity, heavy citrus, and pine notes with a touch of caramel and toffee sweetness.
The comic book-themed beer names and graphics (seen on Anti-Hero Pale Ale cans) inspired the creation of Revolution Brewing’s own comic book universe, featuring “Galaxy-Hero” (named after a kind of Australian hop), and who has had a presence at the Chicago Comics and Entertainment Expo (C2E2) since 2016.
312 Urban Wheat Ale From Goose Island Beer Co.
312 Urban Wheat Ale from Goose Island Beer Co. is a refreshing beer with light hints of citrus and has won multiple awards in the English-style Summer Ale category since the mid-2000s.
You’ll find 312 Urban Wheat Ale in our Best Beer for Pizza guide. The lemony flavor of Goose Island 312 is a great combination with the busy flavor of a Supreme or Works pizza.
Domaine DuPage French Country Ale From Two Brothers Brewing
In the late 1990s, Jim and Jason Ebel used their grandfather’s bulk milk tanks to ferment beer, and Two Brothers Brewing in Chicago was born. They then made a name for themselves with their award-winning Domaine DuPage French Country Ale.
The roots of this kind of beer go back to northern France, where beer was brewed on farms from crops during winter, and Two Brothers Brewing hit a home run with their version of it. Domaine DuPage is a beer with a caramel and nutty richness, perhaps a little darker and stronger than most farmhouse ales, and has been described as an elegant beer.
Tome Hazy Pale Ale From Half Acre Brewing Co.
Another triumph from Half Acre Brewing Co. is the Tome Hazy Pale Ale. This has the creamy and sweet foundation of a pale ale, but its thicker “haze” makes it somewhat opaque and carries a fuller flavor. Some have described it as being on the sweeter and fruitier side, which gives it the potential to be a refreshing ale option on hot summer days.
Flywheel Pilsner Bier From Metropolitan Brewing
Husband and wife team Doug and Tracy Hurst have only seen Metropolitan Brewing continue to grow since they formed the brewing company and shipped their first beers in 2009. Their interest in industrial imagery has inspired them to name their original beers after mechanical parts, which is how Flywheel Pilsner Bier got its name.
As you might guess from the second half of its name, Flywheel Pilsner Bier, which was introduced in their very first year, is Metropolitan Brewing’s take on a German-style Pilsner, with perhaps a little more emphasis on a biscuit and malt flavor than traditional Pilsners.
Of course, we’re just touching the tip of the iceberg with this list of seven famous Chicago beers. With somewhere near 200 breweries in the Chicago area, there are going to be hundreds of amazing beers to try from great local breweries, such as Pipeworks Brewing Co., Piece Brewery, and Off Color Brewing. If you have a beer suggestion we absolutely should have mentioned, come by and let us know about it, so we can get it right next time.
You can’t go wrong when choosing a Chicago craft beer to go with one of our famous pizzas, but if you do, we encourage you to just order another pizza and try again. We hope you’ve found this article helpful, that you’ll drink your beer responsibly, and that you’ll come visit us at one of our Pequod’s Pizza locations sometime soon.