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The Beer Temple

The Beer TempleThe Beer Temple
BA SCORE
100
world-class

55 Ratings
Ratings: 55
Reviews: 30
rAvg: 4.89
pDev: 3.89%
$$ - reasonable


[ 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: 55 | Reviews: 30 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of kustard
kustard

Illinois

5/5  rDev +2.2%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | $$

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.

02-24-2014 05:10:37 | More by kustard
Photo of JackOC85
JackOC85

Illinois

4.97/5  rDev +1.6%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | $$

Best source for craft beer in Chicago. As a suburbanite, I routinely look for excuses to be downtown so I can pop in and see what they have. The owners and staff are extremely knowledgeable and helpful. Chris Quinn's video blog is particularly good, too.

02-14-2014 21:58:50 | More by JackOC85
Photo of MrShake
MrShake

Illinois

5/5  rDev +2.2%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | $$

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!

01-31-2014 02:40:44 | More by MrShake
Photo of SeanBond
SeanBond

Illinois

5/5  rDev +2.2%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | $

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.

01-23-2014 16:59:35 | More by SeanBond
Photo of chief53
chief53

Illinois

5/5  rDev +2.2%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | $$

First, I must say that this review is probably not the most unbiased you'll come across. Chris and Margaret opened up about 367 days ago. I work a block away, so I've been here at least 200 times. If you've ever been to Vegas on a payday and have seen the line of people just waiting to exchange their checks for chips, that's me but for beer.

Anyway, the Beer Temple has eliminated the need for me to go anywhere else to buy beer. If Chris doesn't have it, it can mean only one of two things: It isn't worth the price or it isn't worth the hassle. There are a few exceptions, of course, but for the most part it holds true.

HOWEVER. The beer isn't what makes this place great. It's Chris and Margaret. When they first opened, I came in during my lunch hour and just talked beer with Chris for a half hour or so. It is a great place for someone like me - I know just enough about beer to fake it - that wants to learn. Chris can answer pretty much any question you've got. Margaret is extremely nice as well, and she does a pretty good job keeping Chris on task.

To sum up: Great people, great selection, free daily tasting. If you live in Chicago and haven't been here, GO. It'll be your spot. If you're in from out of town, go here first.

The only "downside" I can think of is that now, if I can't figure out how fresh a beer is, my palms start to get a little sweaty.

01-08-2014 15:27:32 | More by chief53
Photo of Dad_of_Rad
Dad_of_Rad

Illinois

5/5  rDev +2.2%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | $$

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.

01-08-2014 01:12:30 | More by Dad_of_Rad
Photo of CopperMtnPlowboy
CopperMtnPlowboy

Ohio

4.97/5  rDev +1.6%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | $$

Found this place per recommendation of the good folks here at BA. Visited Chicago on our family's annual winter random-team minor league hockey weekend, and looking to add to my "drank it myself" craft beer can collection. Fortunately TBT was open the Monday before Christmas because 1) Chris was open on a Monday when he normally is not 2) he recommended Spiteful Fat Badger - an outstanding beer - and 3) got me a new can I didn't know existed - Half Acre Heyoka IPA - which showed up for the first time right off the delivery truck.

After talking a while with Chris, its clear he knows his local brews. I was looking for Spiteful In The Weeds in a can which another local store knew nothing of, yet Chris knew it was recently obsolete. For having just one visit, its hard to imagine a better place with a more knowledgeable owner (I assume Chris owns?). I just wish it wasn't 6 hours for home.

12-28-2013 07:28:04 | More by CopperMtnPlowboy
Photo of ferillo
ferillo

Massachusetts

4.85/5  rDev -0.8%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 5 | selection: 4.75 | $$

I was lucky enough to be able to pop in here twice while in town for work. The store was well laid out, spacious, and best of all it has Chris. I was also lucky that he was pouring some nice tastings including some tired hands. Chris spent time with me talking about the beers of Chicago and the scene in general and had a good knowledge of things that were on tap to try around town. It was the night before an in store event so he suggested to stop in the next day to pick up some of the new releases from the night before. I did that and once again the next day had a chance to try a few more samples of semi rare offerings. He then proceeded to convince me to drive up to Wisc to grab a stash of New Glarus suggesting where to go and who to ask for when I got there.

That is what a true beer lover does and I thank Chris and the Temple for the experience and hospitality.

12-06-2013 22:41:09 | More by ferillo
Photo of PopnLoads
PopnLoads

Illinois

5/5  rDev +2.2%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | $$

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!

09-26-2013 18:02:50 | More by PopnLoads
Photo of MasterSki
MasterSki

Illinois

4.87/5  rDev -0.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.75 | $$

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.

09-17-2013 18:04:19 | More by MasterSki
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The Beer Temple in Chicago, IL
100 out of 100 based on 55 ratings.