Ratings: 22 | Reviews: 22 | Display Reviews Only:
3.43/5 rDev -7.5%
(Visited 11/2010): ABC is located in the Walter Payton Roundhouse in Aurora off Broadway, not too far from I-88. They have a fairly large private lot. The brewpub is located inside on the right.
The space is open, with the bar located immediately inside the entrance, and there are brewing tanks right near the entryway. There is table seating throughout the rest of the room. The interior is dark with stone walls and there is a large stone fireplace. Interesting mural too.
ABC has around 7 house beers on tap, including standard offerings like a Pils and Scottish. More unique beers include a blonde chocolate ale and Cherry Imperial Stout. The beers are pretty average overall with the exception being the aforementioned Stout.
Service was decent on a weeknight at the bar. There were a lot of regulars there and I didn't have any issues getting service.
Food at America's Brewing is pretty good.
All in all I would visit this spot were I to find myself in Aurora again, but it isn't a place to which you would drive from Chicago or anything. Decent overall.
06-24-2011 18:28:57 | More by Dogbrick
2.4/5 rDev -35.3%
Decided to finally check this place out since it is fairly close. I didn't have an awful experience, but I won't ever go back. The beers I tried were pretty bad and barely resembled the styles they were supposed to represent. They had about 8 of their beers on tap and had a few bud bottles available, which I kind of expected. I feel like most of their beers just catered to the masses, mostly light beers, except for the bourbon barrel aged stout. Bartender only acknowledged us three times the whole night, for us to order, and it was a pretty slow night. The atmosphere in there could be better on a weekend if it was full, but its more of a restaurant and it doesn't seem like much focus of the customers is on the beer.
01-26-2011 04:54:10 | More by ahq514
4/5 rDev +7.8%
First time visiting this place, i've tried a couple of their bottled beers before, but had never been to the brewpub. We stopped in on a snowy Saturday afternoon (in March!?) with orbitalr0x.
The building itself is impressive, and houses multiple venues. A weekend absinthe bar for example, coffee bar, and an outdoor courtyard popular for weddings.
The brewpub bar was up a few stairs to the right of the hostess station. Lots of wood planks and dark colors gave it a northwoods lodge vibe. The rectangular bar was front and center, with table seating along the walls, and upstairs on a second level visible above the bar. Lighting was pretty dark, though it was an overcast day and there was zero natural light coming in. It felt cozy, and if we had more time to kill, probably would have been at the bar for hours.
Selection was ok, the crazy highlight being a "jury-rigged" randalizer on the bar. They were running a dry-hopped amber through 1/2 pound of Centennial hops... it was great! We had a sample of the regular amber next to it and the dry-hopped blew it away. Another specialty was a cherry version of the bourbon imperial stout, that was aged 547 days in oak. Other than that the selection was pretty typical, a stout, pilsner, etc.
Service was friendly and timely, one of the brewers stopped by and explained his randalizer, which was cool. We tried a queso fundido app that came with spicy chorizo, which was good. The crowd seemed to be fairly mixed, many just there for lunch, others drinking green st. pattys bottles of bud light :S
It's a BREWPUB for pete's sake!
There were still bottles to go in the coolers, though they seem to be dwindling in the market. We saw a couple palllets in the brewing area too, so they still appear to be bottling here.
03-21-2010 17:05:29 | More by emerge077
2.93/5 rDev -21%
GF took me here for my birthday because even though I grew up in the area I'd never been there. First of all it's a very cool buiding with a very nice beer garden in the center of it. The payton museum was alright (super bowl ring is definately the main attraction), and it seemed like it would be a cool fri/sat night place to hang out due to the multiple bars inside. The beer selection left a little to be desired. Beer overall was fairly average... nothing terrible... nothing spectacular. Payton Pilsner was probably the best. Food left a lot to be desired. Ordered the shepards pie because it's my all time favorite dish and the menu said it had lamb which is pretty rare (usually ground beef). What I got was a soup plate full of lamb chili with some mashed potatos floating on top. It was not good. GF ordered an italian beef, which came as a very oversmoked italian beef that was extremely dry (she had to take a drink water after each bite). It's like they try to put there own spin on classic dishes... and it really doesn't turn out that well.
Overall it's a good one time experience just because it is Payton's Roundhouse... but one time is pretty much enough.
03-19-2010 23:55:10 | More by Kanebanger
4/5 rDev +7.8%
First off, this place is huge. Located in the former CB&O roundhouse, America's is one of several establishments that are housed in this historic building. Because of the building's shape and its former purpose, the brewpub's interior is somewhat unique. There's a large landscaped gazebo that sits where the former turntable was. What used to be doors to the engine bays are now large windows. Although the brewing equipment is on the main floor, the fermentation tanks are on a second floor catwalk. As with many pubs housed in turn of the century buildings, there is a lot of exposed wood and brickwork.
I was there on a Friday night and there was a big crowd. Service suffered because of this, but my waitress was certainly nice. Food is of the standard pub fare. Burgers, sandwiches, pasta and pizza make up the majority of the menu. The food was good, but nothing special. The big crowd made the place quite noisy. There are several TV's showing sports, which makes sense given the Walter Payton connection.
There were seven of the brewery's beers on-tap, plus several bottled macros. It was disheartening to see so many people downing Bud Light and Michelob Ultra when the brewery's beers were so much better. The ones I tried ran from above average to very good. No mind blowers, however.
If I'm back in the area again, I'll probably stop by for a second visit.
07-20-2009 17:36:13 | More by Rayek
4.2/5 rDev +13.2%
Took the family on Sunday for a late lunch, a "big salad," sandwich, two kids meals, two appetizers, a kids' appetizer, three soft drinks, three desserts, a beer sampler, a pint of amber, and a snifter of barrel aged imperial stout was $110. Used a coupon from restaurants.com that brought it down to $85. Overall pretty good value.
Atmosphere was great. This is the only standing limestone railroad roundhouse in the nation. History goes back to 1850s, and was bought by Walter Payton (from Da Bears!) and some investors in the 90s. Had lain dormant for about twenty years before that. They did a great job of refurbishing the building to make it a great place to visit.
Has a restaurant, coffee bar, 14 bars (but I only counted 6, not sure where the other ones were), a comedy club, several banquet rooms, a museum of Walter Payton memorabilia, and an open air brewery. The brewery looks like a homebrewer lives there. Stuff stored everywhere and every piece of available space used.
Food was tasty and selection was good considering we ordered off the lunch menu. Service was very good. Our waitress was knowledeable and friendly, and they quickly replaced my meal after they served me the wrong sandwich (but nothing was comped).
Beer selection was decent, a pilsner, a honey wheat, an amber, a chocolate blonde, and a sweet stout. Although the brewery has won GABF awards for their beers, and I thought they were good, I wouldn't go back just for the beer. This is a great restaurant that has good beer, rather than a great bar/brewpub that has good food, if you get my difference.
This is a place that I'll visit again. But, the draw is the food.
06-09-2009 15:17:06 | More by JamnesCameron
3.6/5 rDev -3%
The atmosphere is by far and away the biggest attraction here. The brewpub/restaraunt are part of Walter Payton's Roundhouse, which is a converted trainstation. Aside from the bar up front, there are two other bars in the place, including a comedy/live music area. There is also a Walter Payton room with a ton of memorabilia. If you are a Bears fan, or even just a football fan in general, I highly recommend checking this out. There's also a nice outdoor courtyard where they frequently have live local bands. In the winter they sometimes have reindeer out there.
The beer is just ok. There are a few beers that I'd say are slightly above average while the rest are about average. There's no single beer I'd say is excellent. However, the price of the beers is cheap for the most part. I was recently there for a wedding and was paying $2 for a pint of the pilsner. Not a bad deal at all. The beer selection is ok, but desperately needs an IPA. There's nothing there to satisfy my hop fix.
Food is decent and is more of a "steak and chops" type menu, but the end-product is not up to par of a top notch steakhouse and is overpriced for the quality. The appetizer menu is the best bang for the buck.
Overall, this is a good option for the area. It is a brewpub, but I get the impression the beer is actually just a throw in and the main attraction is the entertainment and food.
05-29-2009 15:10:49 | More by Vonerichs
3.7/5 rDev -0.3%
Well, if you find youself in Aurora Illinois, there are not too many options. It's a great town, and everyone is so friendly, I just wish there were some more places to get a proper beer.
I tried the Sweet Stout, Aurora Ale, Chocolate Beer and Peat Smoked Scotch Ale.
All but the Aurora were ok. The Aurora was heavy in diacetyl...like a Brach's butterscotch with hops added. Ah well, the Scotch Ale made up for it.
You could do worse.
Oh, and I recommend eating at the bar. A full meal can be had from the reasonably priced appetizer menu.
03-27-2009 03:30:05 | More by hondo2160
3.05/5 rDev -17.8%
This building is extremely impressive. It's cavernous walls house a gigantic restaurant, a huge dining room, an entire brewing system, a comedy club, a museum and a giant courtyard featuring corn hole when I visited. The place is immaculate, and I felt under dressed in shorts and a t-shirt, but oh well.
The beers are very good and moderately priced (when compared to downtown Chicago) but nothing really stood out. The sweetness stout was my favorite of the bunch. They do have many seasonals and experimental brews, which is also a plus.
The food was decent but way overpriced. My tenderloin with plantains and mashed potatoes were, as I said good, but I've had better for less.
Overall, it seemed like a nice place to have a couple of drinks, or to take your boss or significant other out, but it's way too high-class for me to enjoy on a regular basis. It just wasn't comfortable and would soon empty my wallet.
07-29-2008 18:52:26 | More by bigkingken
4/5 rDev +7.8%
Stopped here with friends we were visiting in the area.
The restauarant area is inviting with a large three level dining area. The complex also includes a comedy club, martini lounge, and outdoor concert area. There is also a small Walter Payton museum that is worth a visit.
We ordered a beer sampler, and the waitress had no idea which beer was which when she served it. We had a good time matching the beers with their style. This was the first time I ever had to do that. The menu was typical brewpub fare, and though we did not eat, the selection seemed adequate.
I would suggest a bit of education be given to the bar staff as to the different types of beer.
05-03-2008 01:11:34 | More by tgbljb
America's Brewpub in Aurora, IL
86 out of 100 based on 22 ratings.