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Beer Bistro

Beer BistroBeer Bistro

Taps: 20 / Bottles: 130
Cask: Y / Beer-to-Go: N
BA SCORE
88
very good

18 Ratings
Ratings: 18
Reviews: 15
rAvg: 3.87
pDev: 10.59%
$$ - reasonable


[ Bar, Eatery ]

1061 W Madison St
Chicago, Illinois, 60607-2050
United States
phone: (312) 433-0013

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap @thebeerbistro

Notes:
None, yet.

(Place added by: BeerAdvocate on 12-22-2005)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 18 | Reviews: 15 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of joeseppy
joeseppy

Illinois

4.36/5  rDev +12.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5 | $$

I've been going here for the past 12 years or so even when it wasn't the BBistro.

The atmosphere is comfortable. You could dress up or down. One of the best Hawks bars I've been to. Plenty of tv's with any and every sport you want to watch. Of course a nice crowd and friendly staff make it so.

Service is spot on. I mainly go here for lunch as I work in the area and once you get to know everyone they treat you like its a pleasure to serve you any may I say, always with a smile.

Always a great selection of beer and 'how'd they get that'. Shows their good relationship with distributors.

When I say their food is great, I only get their burgers, fries and pizza because it's that freakin delicious.

Why I review this now is due to the fact that I realized they kept their same staff for at least a few years now. Chris is very knowledgable of what he's serving. I always! Go there before a Hawks game as it is always crowded with red, white, black and green jerseys. Some of the best Hawks fans you'll rub elbows with and always a shuttle going down Madison to get you to the UC in minutes, so drink up. The owner is there often and always making sure you are having a good time. I would definitely stop here if I was from out of town.

12-07-2013 15:20:58 | More by joeseppy
Photo of Fluffheady
Fluffheady

Illinois

3.54/5  rDev -8.5%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.75 | food: 3.25 | $$

This bar feels more like a craft beer factory than a craft beer bar. This may be a byproduct of being so close to the United Center. They have nice beer, but it’s not all that exciting (at least not often enough to notice). I hate to say it, too, because I know the guys who made it certainly aren't attempting to churn out a factory. I bet the other location attracts a much better crowd.

11-25-2013 00:58:00 | More by Fluffheady
Photo of mjmbeer
mjmbeer

Illinois

4.14/5  rDev +7%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.25 | $$

This a good place to stop in for a decent selection of beers Chicago is an expanding beer market and lots of small hometown breweries are popping up This place ham a nice selections of local beers on tap and a really nice bottle list too. Chris behind the bar was knowledgable about beer and the local beer scene. There is lots of place to go in Chicago this is one of those places you should stop. It's not the top rank but its a good local bar with a good selection and good people

04-07-2013 17:01:53 | More by mjmbeer
Photo of beerwolf77
beerwolf77

Wisconsin

3.8/5  rDev -1.8%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3 | $$

Stopped in here for some pre dinner beers. Long galley style bar. Plenty of seating. The tap list was large and filled with basically pedestrian american craft. Nothing super sexy but enough to keep a beer geek interested for a few hours. We plowed through a few pints. The bartender was awesome. We found out she was from Wisconsin. which led to some hilarious conversation. If not for that we probably wouldn't have enjoyed ourselves as much as we did.

Overall a decent stop for a craft beer but not really a destination.

02-20-2012 03:08:42 | More by beerwolf77
Photo of KDawg
KDawg

Illinois

3.71/5  rDev -4.1%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | $$

I went in here on a west side bar crawl.

Beer Bistro has an odd mix going on. They are an official blackhawks bar but also try to pose themselves as a craft beer place as well. I have no problem being at a sports bar, but if that's what you're gonna be, just be it. The crowd was a mix of young and middle aged people. It was rowdy in a sense, but not in a frat boy way, people were just very happy. I couldn't get a real feel though for what kind of crowd they're aiming for.

The beer quality was good and there was a nice selection. A good selection of midwest brews and that was the main focus along with some revolution brews. I know they keg some of their stuff to other places, but it's nice seeing them available at places other than at Rev.

It was never a problem getting a beer. The bartender was always available even with a good sized crowd and a hawks game going.

A solid place to go, but there are lots of options in the west loop and west side in general. If I lived in the area, I could see myself there frequently. Since I don't, it's good for the odd visit

01-09-2012 23:17:55 | More by KDawg
Photo of Shibbykaiyai
Shibbykaiyai

Michigan

3/5  rDev -22.5%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 2 | selection: 4 | food: 3 | $$

As a person who worked in the west loop, I had great expectations for this place. And although it wasn't a bad place, it wasn't quite what I have expected.

The building is quite nice and there are shuttles (I think through a neighbor business) to events at the United Center, so it is a nice place to start out an event evening.

The beer list was pretty decent, but it did seem to focus on more trendy than good beers (including can night). The food was decent, but nothing to great.

If you are looking for a nice trendy spot in the west loop, this is your place. If you are looking for a good selection of beers, it's not too bad.

11-14-2011 04:24:53 | More by Shibbykaiyai
Photo of FrankWBurnsIII
FrankWBurnsIII

Illinois

4.05/5  rDev +4.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5 | $

This was one of the first bar/restaurants I went to when I moved here. Our realtor recommended it. We loved it the first time and have been going back consistently. We have also taken out of town guests there.

It is on the smaller side upstairs, but they can open the downstairs when needed. Sometimes it is difficult to find a seat. I think we've waited up to a half hour to get one, but generallly we'll try to get there before the peak. I will say that the staff doesn't necessarily seem too concerned when you're clearly standing there not drinking because you want a table to drink and have dinner + dessert. That is the only thing about the place that has always been a pet peeve. It might be worth trying to keep some tables for people who are there for a full meal in addition to plenty of beer, not two girls who will sit there and sip on a Mich Ultra or its equivalent for two hours.

The back left corner has a VIP room/booth that I had the pleasure of sitting in one time with some friends. It was nice to have some room to spread out and enjoy the beer and dessert.

The menu for beer and food is great. I enjoy the Sonoma chicken salad wrap, the BBQ chicken pizza, and sometimes the fish n' chips. You can get tater tots which I enjoy doing sometimes. They have this giant warm cookie a la mode dessert that you have to get. My wife enjoys the salads and hummus plate.

I think they have a beer special going all of the time. Sometimes it's good, sometimes it's not, but the price on it is usually pretty good for Chicago. In the past couple of years I think they have stepped up the on tap selection a lot which is great, as they have always had a great array of bottles.

04-16-2011 18:40:41 | More by FrankWBurnsIII
Photo of ferrari29
ferrari29

Illinois

3.58/5  rDev -7.5%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | $$

The first time I went to this place was April '10 and had my first Gumballhead experience. It was on-tap and my uncle, a beer connoisseur himself, suggested it. He said I would be hooked and have been since the first sip. Besides that, the bar itself is stuffed with locals, young professionals and Chicago sports fans. The bar gets very stuffy, very quickly, especially on Blackhawks/Bulls game night. Most people will hit this bar up after work to burn a few hours before the game and throw back a few. It's a lot easier to head there on the weekend when the area is less crowded and visited mostly by West Loop locals. Bartenders have always provided slightly above average service. They don't have much time to provide quality beer suggestions but are well-equipped to keep the beers coming as the place gets packed. So it helps to know exactly what you want ahead of time.

Having been there a hand full of times I definitely make it my go-to spot when I'm in that part of town. That doesn't say much though since the selection in the area is limited. Still a good place to go to meet up with friends and try something new from a wide selection of beers . I can't comment on the food because I haven't had any of it. I'll update my review again if I have any their food.

11-12-2010 06:05:11 | More by ferrari29
Photo of skberke
skberke

Illinois

3.78/5  rDev -2.3%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5 | $$

We went around 8 pm on a Friday night, and had to wait 5-10 minutes for a spot at the bar to open up. The expansive wooden bar is beautiful, and the handful of sidewalk tables looked inviting. The 10-15 beer options on tap were high-quality, if not particularly unique, and I gather their tap selection changes frequently. The bottle list was more impressive, with a large selection of American craft brews and Belgian imports. Most Belgian styles were represented, though I did not see many sour ales. Nothing particularly obscure or hard-to-get, but the selection was large and high-quality. The American brews reflected some of the most interesting breweries operating right now, and the Belgians were generally very good choices, and included things that do not frequently pop up on menus. Also, they seem to have 12 oz bottles of many beers that I usually only see in a 750 ml size, which was nice.

Beer Bistro seems to be doing a good job of walking the line between beer-bar and commercially successful bar. Many people in the young professional crowd were ordering cocktails or bud lights. The martini list did indeed look excellent, and the food menu seemed to be better-than-average pub fare. The place was crowded and pretty loud, but most places are on a Friday night. Overall, we liked it and we'd go back.

If I could change just one thing, I would reorganize the beer menu by style, rather than alphabetically. A list of beer names is not particularly helpful.

06-21-2010 22:30:45 | More by skberke
Photo of jhoban19
jhoban19

Illinois

4.15/5  rDev +7.2%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5 | $$

This is a great little neighborhood joint in Chicago's West Loop / Greektown neighborhood. Over 130 beers, with 13 on tap at any given time. All the beers they carry are listed on the website. Usually have a "beer of the month" that sells for $2/pint for the entire month. Daily specials range from $2 burgers on Tuesday nights, 25 cent wings on Sundays and half-priced appetizers on Thursdays.

The atmosphere changes almost every time I'm in there. during the week you can catch the after work crowd- both professional types and construction workers from the neighborhood building sites. Most people tend to keep to themselves, though some folks sitting at the bar will strike up conversations with strangers. 3 flat screens in the bar area make this a decent afternoon football destination as well. Also gets pretty good crowds before events at the United Center such as Bulls and Hawks games and concerts. Overall, I get the sense this is a neighborhood hang out.

Food is above average pub grub- the pepperoni and goat cheese pizza is absolutely awesome, while the burgers and quesadillas are also pretty darn tasty. I can't speak for the rest of the food because that's pretty much all I've had. I tried that goat cheese pizza the first time I went in there and pretty much stuck with it.

Bartenders are very friendly and are always willing to offer a small tasting of a new draft.

Small outdoor patio in front used during the summer months and a bit larger side patio used for special events. The back room has tables and a semi-private area for small parties (basically a 4-sided booth with high walls).

Overall I enjoy the Beer Bistro, though it's not exactly a destination given that I live up on the north side of the city. That said, it's my first choice when I'm in the neighborhood for a game at the United Center or one of the summer festivals.

09-08-2009 19:46:04 | More by jhoban19
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Beer Bistro in Chicago, IL
88 out of 100 based on 18 ratings.