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The Beer Temple

Not Rated.
The Beer TempleThe Beer Temple
BA SCORE
100
world-class

92 Ratings
Ratings: 92
Reviews: 32
rAvg: 4.8
pDev: 4.79%
[ Store ]

3185 N Elston Ave
Chicago, Illinois, 60618-7133
United States
phone: (773) 754-0907

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap @thebeertemple

Notes:
None, yet.

(Place added by: MasterSki on 01-01-2013)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 92 | Reviews: 32 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of joe1510
5/5  rDev +4.2%

The Beer Temple, my favorite shop in the city. Each and every time I walk in the door I am instantly greeted by the owner who's more than willing to help steer me in any direction I may be leaning and fill me in on the latest beer happenings. There is always a good beer or two for sampling while browsing the very well thought out selection.

The store is immaculately clean and each beer labeled with the delivery date to help us consumers make the most informed decisions.Shades keep the sun off the bottles and the utmost care is taken to ensure the most well kept product possible.

The selection is very well thought out with the newest releases, top notch imports, and classic favorites stocking the shelves and coolers. I need a shopping cart when perusing The Beer Temple.

I hate to label anything as perfect but while sitting here trying to figure out any little thing that would make this place better, I simply can't. Great selection, well cared for product, and customer service that is top notch.

joe1510, Aug 20, 2013
Photo of Monsone
5/5  rDev +4.2%

Stopped in on opening day.

Atmosphere - Really cool layout. Clean and new but with some very solid design choices. The register stand that is made from reclaimed Bourbon County Rare barrels. Beautiful solid wood top on that as well. The shelving also very nice for a beer shop.

Quality - No crap here. Every item on a shelf or in a cooler belongs in a craft beer store. From local craft to imports, almost every beer is great.

Service - Chris and Margaret are tremendously helpful and friendly. They were also pouring free samples from 3-4 beers at the time.

Selection - For an opening day selection this was pretty top notch. Three Floyds sixers (Gumballhead), Bourbon County Coffee, Green Flash, etc, etc. Will be exciting to see how the inventory develops over time, because there is plenty of space for additional bottles.

Food - DIdn't see any food offerings (but Pork Shoppe, Urban Belly (BYO) and Kumas are all in stumbling distance)

Value - This is high end beer (and some wine), so it isn't cheap per se, but the prices are right in line with the West Lakeview, and Binny's in Chicago. When you considering the free samples that they plan to always be pouring, I think that represents a good value.

Overall, this beer boutique has tremendous potential to be the best beer shop in Chicago. Will they ever do the volume that Binny's does? No. But do think they could rise to the top fairly quickly based on selection and customer service.

NOTE: They plan on starting on shipping on some time. And FREE PARKING behind the building.

Monsone, Jan 07, 2013
Photo of Alextricity
4.64/5  rDev -3.3%

Can't believe I forgot to post this review I typed up last year on Yelp. Well, here it is

Naturally, after going to Kuma's Corner, I had to come to The Beer Temple. If it weren't from the help of a fellow BeerAdvocate, I probably wouldn't have known of this place.

Upon entry, I initially thought the place seemed a little small. After looking around for awhile and asking the owner, Chris (more on him in a minute), where certain beers were, he pointed me in the direction. The Beer Temple really isn't small at all. How dumb of me.

Being from Michigan, I wanted to get me some stuff that I can't get there. Well, I spent about $60 and got plenty of beer. Revolution Anti-Hero, Ballast Point Sculpin, Sixpoint Resin, among other things.

While in the middle of looking around, Chris mentioned that he was having a free blind beer tasting -- guess any of the four specific beers and you'd get a free bottle. I could tell that all of the beers I had were probably IPAs, so I was right about that, but without having a sheet of paper with the list of beers in a random order, I had no chance. The whole idea of the blind tasting is a cool idea, and something that I wish places around here would do more of... it turns out I like Stone IPA more than I thought I did. Maybe that was because the bottle I had bought previously wasn't very fresh, I don't know. Alright, I'm rambling.

My only gripe with The Beer Temple is the severely limited Mix-a-Six section. I would have loved to have gone in and gotten about 5 or 6 mixed six packs so I could have 30-36 different beers, but I instead walked out with about six different brews. On the plus side, I think *every beer* has a little label on it that lets you know when the beer was bottled... this is a crucial thing for IPAs in particular.

This place has a wonderful selection, and I'm going back the next time I am in Chicago.

Alextricity, Jun 27, 2014
Photo of rhoadsrage
4.29/5  rDev -10.6%

I usually stop in here once a month, as part of the run for chicken feed, Pork Shoppe smoked meat and then The Beer Temple. The first time I walked in I was expecting a "Beer Boutique" with a limited offering of mostly rare and expensive beers.

It is a small space, compared to many big box stores, but it has a great selection of local and unique beers for a reasonable price. I always find something new to try and the owner is really helpful in giving information about the beers. I get the impression he had been in the beer retail game for many years.

I park in back and go thru the back doors and as you walk in there are coolers on each side of of the short hallway that open up to the main room of beer. He also offers some good craft spirits and other interesting things, and definitely uses the space to its fullest potential.

There is a picnic table outside the back door so it would be a nice spot to drink some beer and eat a pork belly pastrami sandwich from the Pork Shoppe, but I never seem to have time.

Well worth a stop if you are looking for a good selection of Chicago craft beer, but they also have a good selection from all craft beer genera.

rhoadsrage, Jun 23, 2014
Photo of kustard
5/5  rDev +4.2%

Been here about a dozen times. Most recently came on 6:30pm on a Saturday and the place was packed. I even had to wait in line for 10 minutes but would gladly do so again in order to patronize a place this amazing with such stand-up owners.

Best bottle shop I've ever been to. Well-curated, reasonably-priced, attentive, and informative. Not enough superlatives to describe my love for this shop. Not everything I get there is a limited release or the new hotness, but I put my trust in Chris Quinn and his crew to challenge my palate because I know that anything I purchase is going to be stellar and eye-opening.

kustard, Feb 24, 2014
Photo of MrShake
5/5  rDev +4.2%

AMAZING Place! We stopped to complete some trades, and did some shopping, and had time to do some serious looking. Not a huge shop, but clean, organized, and with an AMAZING Selection.

They also tag each bottle with the date it was recieved, so you know your IPAs are fresh! Great staff, friendly, attentive, and more than willing to talk beer!

MrShake, Jan 31, 2014
Photo of SeanBond
5/5  rDev +4.2%

I don't over here as much as I'd like, but I'm always happy when I get there. Chris has a great selection of craft beer (and a lot of it), is extremely knowledgeable, and very personable. He stocks pretty much every world class beer he can, and is very fair about the big releases of the year (think BCBS, Darkness, etc.).

In terms of pricing, I don't always check MSRP for the beers I buy, but everything I have has been pretty much exactly what you'd expect. There's never any price gouging; this really is a place where you can tell the proprietor cares about making sure as many people as possible get to enjoy the beers he sells. A must-visit in Chicago, and a world-class beer place overall.

SeanBond, Jan 23, 2014
Photo of Dad_of_Rad
5/5  rDev +4.2%

I've been to the store several times, coming from the SW suburbs. They say opinions are like a$$ho!e$...everyone's got one, however I think I have a good sample size to offer the opinion here.

A: The store is well laid out. Lots of cold storage to keep things fresh. The counter is unique (made from barrel staves), there's a bit of tasteful brewery art on the walls for display and best of all a low key sales approach. More of an opportunity for beer education than sales.

S: I appreciate the approach. I usually know what I'm looking for but like the fact that everyone is approachable. Love the tastings! I've been thre during a BB stout tasting and when Societe beers were delivered. Everyone at the counter was offered a taste and given info about the beers. I also appreciated the way the Goose Island Black Friday release was handled - a three-day release.

S: If you can't find something you like, I'm amazed. The store is not big, but there's a large selection. Lots of locals and Belgians. Freshness is also important with dates on deliveries and quality control of stock. Also has wine, bourbon and can offer recommendations on these as well.

V: Absolutely no price gouging as seen in some other smaller stores. Everything is fairly marked in my opinion. The added service that you get here has a definite value.

I would HIGHLY recommend The Beer Temple. The location is pretty easy to get to, there are also two very good options for food if you want to make it an "experience". Both The Pork Shoppe and Hot Doug's are very close and have excellent food. But the real reason to go is for the beer and Chris's knowledge of beer and helpful nature.

Dad_of_Rad, Jan 08, 2014
Photo of PopnLoads
5/5  rDev +4.2%

I've been to several bottle shops around the country, but I must boast that the best bottle shop I've ever been to is located here in my home city. Entering the store, I am completely overwhelmed with beers I've been looking for, new releases, and beers that I was unaware of.

Chris has always made a point to converse each time I am in there. I can't articulate Chris' enthusiasm and knowledge for beer. The guy loves talking beer, and it would be an honor to have such a valued beer geek in your inner circle. (I also have to mention, the other gentleman who I embarrassingly can't remember his name at the moment, has been helpful and sincere as well.)

Every day at Beer Temple, there is a tasting of usually between 2-3 beers. There has been several times where the beer tasting is a whale, something out of our distribution area, or something hard to find. (Most of this comes from Chris' stash, so add generous to the final bill of asskissing he greatly deserves.)

While you will find several bombers that are worth bending your budget, there is also a great collection of 6-ers that will make you finish that week so you can come back and get some more.

It's worth noting that the Beer Temple website is a great tool for learning about craft beer (From beginner to expert.) Chris' tastings are worth watching, as it can give you an idea of what to purchase in the future.

My only complaint is that this opened a couple months after I moved from this neighborhood. I was a block away! C'MON!

PopnLoads, Sep 26, 2013
Photo of MasterSki
4.87/5  rDev +1.5%

A - It's a new and modern shop, with plenty of space, well-organized shelves, intelligent layout, and simple, unobtrusive decor. Perhaps lacking a bit in character, but that will change over time as it gains a more lived-in feel to it.

Q - One thing I love about The Beer Temple is that attention to making sure the beer is stored in ideal conditions. Chris dates hoppy beers without bottle dates as they enter the store, so you at least have *some* idea of freshness; if it's old beer it's the distributor's fault and not his. Same thing goes for the window treatments and lighting; if something is skunked it didn't happen in this store.

Sr - You're always greeted with a cheerful hello upon entering the store. Chris knows his stuff and has great suggestions about what's new and interesting. There's almost always something being sampled, often rare out-of-market brews. The Beer Temple also hosts a lot of interesting and unique events

Sl - While not the *biggest* selection in the city, it's well-curated and has virtually all the beers I would want to purchase. Chris also does a good job of avoiding beers from overseas that aren't likely to travel well (Mikkeller IPAs and such).

Prices on regular stuff are in line with other Chicago shops; perhaps slightly more than Binny's due to their volume advantage, but marginally so. I appreciate that rare beers are priced in line with everything else; no gouging here.

The Beer Temple has quickly become one of my favorite places to shop in Chicago. Chris has done a masterful job in listening to customer feedback and integrating the best attributes of other stores. I'm very lucky to have another world-class store a quick bike ride away from home.

MasterSki, Sep 17, 2013
Photo of gregdafdxguy
5/5  rDev +4.2%

The Beer Temple is the perfect Chicago beer store. Really. Kinda weird, but I’m thankful it happened in my lifetime. Why? 1) Chris and Margaret aren’t crazy or nasty or both, and as a plus are both cicerones. 2) You’re picking the best from around the USA and the world from the carefully chosen selections, from the smallest producers to the regional giants. If it’s good, he’ll carry it. 3) Chris freshness marks all the beers so you don’t get any six-month-old IPAs, plus takes pains to order whatever is freshest from his distributors. 4) NO PRICE GOUGING ON RARE BEERS! 5) The entire store is actually designed to decrease the amount of light radiation getting to the bottles. Ask Chris about it. It’s geeky, and I love it. 6) There’s a “box of beer of the month” club (I don’t know what’s it’s really called) that Chris picks out, for a good price. 7) All the prices here are reasonable, and usually lower for the good stuff than anyone else. 8) Chris consistently uses twitter/facebook to update the new releases, so it’s easy to see what’s coming in. 9) He’s very accessible. I’ve probably abused his accessibility with private facebook messages, but the net effect is I feel like I’m shopping at my friend’s store, not a stranger’s. 10) Not least of all, EVERY DAY there are a few beers open to sample, and Chris has no qualms about opening up his collection of the best beers in the world. I’ll stop at 10 reasons. But I could keep going. The only problem here? The rest of Chicago is finding The Beer Temple, too, and once Chris posts on social media, you have maybe an hour to get a bottle of something he got only a case of. If you miss out, which recently happened to me (I got there in 90 minutes from when he posted about a limited release, and missed it), console yourself like I did: get six bottles of other beers that you’ve been wanting to try. Or just ask Chris or Margaret to pick them. You’ll win. The Beer Temple is destined to be a Chicago institution, like Hot Doug’s down the street.

gregdafdxguy, Sep 11, 2013
Photo of justyouraveragebeerguy
5/5  rDev +4.2%

The Beer Temple is every beer geeks dream. It gives the brewpub atmosphere just minus the food, and beers on draft (hopefully thy will be able to fill growlers soon!). The cash wrap is made with old bourbon county rare barrels which is beyond cool. All the bottles are dated for bottling date. If you want a fresh ipa this is for sure the best store in all of Chicago to find it. You are greeted by Chris and Margret Quinn who are beyond friendly. They give the whole place a sort of "mom and pop" attitude. They will never try and sell you anything. Both of them always have a good sense of just guiding people to find what they are looking for. The selection is unparalleled. The beers he has sitting on the shelf are some times ridiculous. I have gone in and seen 3F golden blend just sitting there calling for me. I do like how he doesn't hold beer for anyone and usually just puts it on the shelf. If it is super limited there will be a sign politely saying (one per person). I never in my life thought a beer store could be a destination place but this one definitely is. If you are in Chicago and a fan of craft beer, this is a must to stop by.

justyouraveragebeerguy, Mar 25, 2013
Photo of Treebs
4.93/5  rDev +2.7%

Chris has been planning this for a while and it's great to see it finally come to fruition. Congrats Chris!!

I really enjoy the atmosphere of the shop. Semi-industrial with lots of exposed brick and high ceilings, yet cozy and modern. The front desk/cashier's table made from old GI Rare barrels is an awesome touch and the shelving is nice and clean. Freshness dates everywhere the eye can see, or at the very least dates of when the product was received if freshness dates aren't available. No old product will ever be put on the shelves, or kept on the shelves, just like it should be.

What can I say about the quality that isn't already apparent. This is a top notch, clean shop that Chris really takes care of. The passion shows.

Chris and his wife provide impeccable service. Friendly as always and they both treat each person the same. Be it a beer geek like me or someone that doesn't the difference between a stout and an IPA, each person is treated with respect. All questions are answered with out the slightest bit of arrogance that some shops tend to have. Oh, and I forgot to mention the free tastings that Chris hosts daily. What more can you ask for.

The selection is very solid overall, especially for being a new store that just opened up. In Chicago you have to play the game a lot of the time to get what you want, but it's nice to the selection of local, regional and imports that Chris has already established in a short time the store has been open. The prices were all reasonable and on the normal side of the spectrum across other local stores.

Great to see this store finally open. Cheers.

Treebs, Mar 16, 2013
Photo of emerge077
4.9/5  rDev +2.1%

The Beer Temple just opened in Avondale, and it's exactly what the neighborhood needed. For some reason this part of town has been lacking a good beer store, but not anymore...

From the second you walk in, attention to detail is clearly important here. All beer is marked with a received/bottled on/best by date, making freshness a priority, something rarely seen in retail stores. The store is super clean and easy to navigate, and the counter is even custom made from Bourbon County barrels. Front windows are UV-film coated to protect from sunlight, also something rarely seen in retail stores.

Service is absolutely top notch... they host free daily tastings (in stemmed glassware no less) and the owners are full of endless beer (and wine) knowledge. On opening day they had some extremely hard to find beers from their personal stash open for tasting. Pricing is very fair and competitive, a refreshing change from other gouge-happy shops around town. It's clear the owners are a part of the craft beer community, they are extremely invested and put their heart and soul into it.

There's a broad mix of American craft and imports alike on the shelves. Currently there are two large islands in the middle of the store, two wall shelving areas, and a long cooler past the counter (2 coolers now, mid-2013).

On opening day there were plenty of interesting things to be had: Pipeworks Coffee Break Abduction, Deschutes Hop Henge IPA, Goose Island Big John and BCS Coffee, 50/50 Eclipse varieties, and many more. Overall selection is well rounded, with full lines from US brewers like Founders, Victory, DFH, Stone, Ommegang, Jolly Pumpkin, GLBC, Sixpoint, Port, Lost Abbey, O'so, Dark Horse, Central Waters, Metropolitan (only 1-2 weeks old), and more from Pipeworks, FFF, Rev, Green Flash, Firestone Walker, Deschutes, etc. Great selection of Belgian imports including traditional lambics and Flemish ales (Rodenbach x3, Lambickx, Timmermans Oude Gueuze, Tilquin, Drie Fonteinen, Oud Beersel, Girardin), Trappist styles (Orval, Achel, Rochefort, La Trappe, St. Bernardus), several obscure Saisons like Cazeau, Pipaix, Feullien, Fantome, Perennial Saison De Lis, and Avec Le Bon Voux. Scandinavian, British, and German beers on the back island and in the coolers, including varieties of JW Lee's Harvest and Ola Dubh. Tried & true German staples like Ayinger, Weihenstephaner, and 1809 at peak freshness. Brand new imports from To Øl, Evil Twin, and Haandbryggeriet.

They are in the process of expanding the selection all the time, huge potential here... I'll be checking back regularly to see what's new and fresh on the shelves.

emerge077, Jan 08, 2013
Photo of Eman17
4.75/5  rDev -1%

Eman17, Yesterday at 11:39 PM
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4.5/5  rDev -6.3%

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5/5  rDev +4.2%

whalezticker, Oct 20, 2014
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5/5  rDev +4.2%

turbo622, Oct 16, 2014
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4.75/5  rDev -1%

BRami127, Oct 15, 2014
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4.75/5  rDev -1%

Spike-likes-beer, Oct 13, 2014
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4.75/5  rDev -1%

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4.75/5  rDev -1%

McAndrew, Sep 30, 2014
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5/5  rDev +4.2%

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5/5  rDev +4.2%

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The Beer Temple in Chicago, IL
100 out of 100 based on 92 ratings.