The Firkin

Not Rated.
The FirkinThe Firkin
BA SCORE
99
world-class

81 Ratings
Ratings: 81
Reviews: 51
rAvg: 4.52
pDev: n/a
Taps: 27
Bottles: 50
Cask: Y
[ Bar, Eatery ]

515 N Milwaukee Ave
Libertyville, Illinois, 60048-2018
United States
phone: (847) 367-6168

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap @firkinlbrtyvle

Notes:
Place added by: BeerAdvocate

No notes at this time.
Place: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters
to view more.
Ratings: 81 | Reviews: 51
Reviews by Vdubb86:
Photo of Vdubb86
4.58/5  rDev +1.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

Firkin is one of the best, if not THE best place to get craft beer in all of the northern suburbs of Chicago. I first fell upon this place when my uncle took me there to show off the original remodeling job he'd done on the place. This perhaps makes me bias to the unique atmosphere as well and all of the custom built bar shipped all the way from a saloon in Montana. It's got a unique feel to it and I must admit it was even a nice enough date atmosphere.

As far as beer is concerned there has to be a beer on tap/cask for everyone who goes there (under the assumption you like beer, if not they have a decent wine list and Sprecher Root Beer for the kiddies). Every month seems to bring about a new beer menu some remain seasonally, some are just monthly brews. There are so many beers available on tap they have barely any room to put all of the choices on the 2 chalk boards they have behind the bar, and that doesn't even include the bottles list. You can get beer at Firkin, on-tap, that you'd be hard pressed to find in even the savviest beer emporiums.

The food's nothing to scoff at either. I've tried something new every time I've gone there, and I don't recall disliking any of the dishes. The food is of a high quality and even if you're nervous, you could watch the chefs make your food if you so desired.

The service is pretty good and if you are having trouble ordering a beer, the staff is quite knowledgeable as to all of the beers available, and that takes a lot of time to be able to accomplish. The prices are not cheap, but I wouldn't call them overly expensive either.

Overall, if you're looking for a high quality brew, decent food and good service I highly recommend going to Firkin. But be sure to get there early on the weekends or give yourself lots of time, it's a small and very popular local watering hole.

More User Reviews:
Photo of Jaycase
4.61/5  rDev +2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.25

Big fan of The Firkin. Usually have a few appealing things to me on draft. They keep their draft list fairly up to date on beermenus which is a definite plus. Draft prices seem on par with other local options. Cask options are a plus as well. Available parking in the back lot during the times I've stopped by. Service is good. I typically get the pretezel (great mustard) there so not overly familiar with their food options.

Photo of Hoppity1
4.45/5  rDev -1.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4

Best beer selection outside of Chicago!

Photo of disentombeuvel
4.95/5  rDev +9.5%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

This place is awesome! Always rotating new and exciting beers. Only place i have seen around the area which have two cask kegs on tap, which have a lot more flavor then the regular kegs. Great people to talk to about beer because they know what they are talking about. Always pointing their guests into the right direction from just knowing what kind of beers they like. Overall, a really awesome place to try lots of different kinds of beers.

Photo of scottwestphall
4.89/5  rDev +8.2%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

Everything is spot on and they offer an amazing rotating stock of beer. Bottled, tapped, cask, it's all here. Here beer is a religion.

Photo of slasich
4.5/5  rDev -0.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

This is a must visit if you're in the area.

Photo of AuntBea
4.5/5  rDev -0.4%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.25

Nice atmosphere here with a good selection of beers to choose from. Food is good and the staff is attentive.

Photo of coohoolan
5/5  rDev +10.6%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

I have been coming here for years. It is by far the best beer selection in the area (great job Dave). I love that there are always Belgians on tap and if you are a hop-head you will not be disappointed! The food is not your usual bar fare and they put on seasonal specials that are usually great. Very eclectic styling. No highchairs so usually not a lot of kids.

Photo of BTodd
4.24/5  rDev -6.2%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4

Atmosphere was nice. Good, long bar with plenty of handles. Decor was festive with lights hanging from the high ceiling. Narrow and long with entrance in the back.

Quality of beers was great as they heavily featured Belgian and Belgian inspired styles. Top notch beers.

Service was good and timely. Like most bars, the beer was served far too cold. This is made more evident by the Belgian heavy line up.

Selection was very nice as long as you like Belgian style beers or IPAS. Otherwise, the styles don't have a lot of breadth.

Food was very good. I got tacos that were very satisfying but sides were a little weak. Also feature burgers, entrees, sandwiches, cheeses, etc.

Value was okay depending on what you get. Could be a touch pricey but that's pretty typical in this part of the world.

Photo of Beric
4.41/5  rDev -2.4%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.5

Visited: 6 August 2014

Atmosphere: Dark with high ceilings strung with colorful lights. Full bar with huge seating area and a multitude of taps. Most tables are for a max of 4 people, though they can be pushed together.

Quality: Beer is served most often in branded glassware specified by that particular brewery, though some beers are served in generic nonic pints or snifters. Beer fridge is dark with no lights.

Service: Lots of waitstaff, many of them knowledgeable about beers they are serving.

Selection: Best beer bar Lake County by far. Marvelous selection of high quality American craft brews and a huge selection of outstanding Belgian brews. German beers get left out, unfortunately, and few make the cut (and if they do, they're unnotable at best).

Food: Grass fed beef and trans-fat free foods. A great place for the 'health conscious' who still want to eat a burger. Excellent flavor and decent prices.

Value: Good prices, especially for beer specials and samplers. 4oz samplers generally set you back $1.50-2.00 each, though some of the rarer beers will set you back $3.00 for a sampler. Pints range from $5 (Mama's Little Yella Pils) at the cheapest to $9 at the most expensive (Chimay White).

Photo of lanciloti
4.81/5  rDev +6.4%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.75 | selection: 5 | food: 4.75

One of my favorites. I go for all the amazing brews but the food is also awesome. They always have a wide selection of great craft brew. Definitely take pride in the craft. Always using proper glassware, and great tap maintenance. If your in the Libertyville area be sure to stop by.

Photo of JVB
4.48/5  rDev -0.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.75 | selection: 5

Great beer selection fo a local bar. Friende them on facebook for the updates on what beers are tapped. I work around the corner so its nice to pop over and pick up a fresh pint they currently have bcbs and backyard on tap. The rumor is they have bcbcs and prop but will not confirm.

Photo of jophish17
4.17/5  rDev -7.7%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.25

Visited with some friends on a busy Friday night

I really liked this place - had the feel of a great neighborhood bar (not just a bunch of hipsters or beer geeks), but also had fantastic beer selection. Overall, I'd say the atmosphere was ok - nothing amazing, but enjoyable nonetheless.

The beer selection was the highlight. It was carefully thought out and balanced, with good representation for locals, a variety of styles, some fairly obscure Belgians, and a wide range of American craft. The bottle list was probably no larger than the draft menu, but it was a great compliment as it was mostly Belgians that are probably better on bottles anyway. Everything we had was served in appropriate glassware, which is always a plus, and the quality overall was excellent.

Service was great, though I think one of my friends is a regular and that really helped us :) one thing I think I disagree with others on is the assessment of the value - I thought the prices were fair. Yes, Bourbon County is 1$/oz but it's an expensive beer! Maybe some pints could be a buck cheaper, but I had no real issue with the prices. It's always hard to judge prices as a visitor from another state though (5-6$ pints are the norm in Atlanta). Overall, Firkin was pretty awesome!

Photo of Cindy_C
5/5  rDev +10.6%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

I love this place. Great vibe, great atmosphere. The bartenders were friendly . They were also knowledgeable and just seemed like they were having a good time which in turn rubbed off on my friend and I. I like the crowd its not the kind you would see at a college bar but its definitely still a young crowd. Its right in downtown Libertyville which is just a cute suburb to begin with. If you have a chance to stop by even if its just for a nightcap I highly recommend you do

Photo of Captnlhook
5/5  rDev +10.6%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

The food is never been disappointing. The selection of great craft beers is awesome. They always have Zombie Dust on tap. Great bartenders, hot servers and great music. You see smile on everyone face. Start a great conversation with anybody sitting at the bar. Oh yah tons of wicked hot chicks. Chalk board kicks ass too.

Photo of CesarLopes
4.6/5  rDev +1.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.75

I have been at Firkin 3 or 4 times already, and it was a consistently good experience. A great tap list, coupled with a great menu. Plus, no TVs. There are times for TVs, and times in which it's nice to not have this distraction.

My only not-so-good experience was in a Sunday (late) lunch. 3 of the 5 choices I made from the chalkboard were actually not available. And the replacement suggestions were really off. However, I insist, with a very good tap list it was easy to choose something else...

Photo of Twifiter
4.9/5  rDev +8.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

The Firkin is probably one of the best beer and food locations in Northern Illinois. They are located right in the middle of down town Libertyville, IL which in itself provides for great atmosphere and the Firkin just adds to the appeal. When you walk in it doesn't look like much and it is a bit crowded but there is a lot of seating at the bar and a surprising amount of tables for such a small establishment. The food here is above your standard bar food but the meal portions aren't really on par with their respective prices. Now the beer selection, they don't have the largest amount of taps out of some of the bars in the area but they certainly utilize them better than most do. To top this off they always seem to have at least one beer on Cask which is rare for the area and brings a unique aspect to their bar.

Photo of Chrixsus
5/5  rDev +10.6%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

I think this is my favorite bar in IL. Tucked away in Libertyville, The Firkin is a beer-lover's diamond-in-the-rough; a hidden gem that is discovered anew with each visit. I drive nearly an hour to come here...every trip has been worth it.

Like a 1950's candy store was to kids, this craft beer emporium is to beer-lovers. Upon walking through the meat-locker plastic stripping that separates the entrance from the main area you are treated to one awesome-looking space. Very cozy and ideal for good conversation over some top-notch brews (no TV's! A welcome deviation from a world of bars covered in flat-screens). The lighting changes with the season, but adds an incredible ambiance; like nothing I've seen before and the reason I was drawn to come here in the first place while driving by on Milwaukee Ave. The lights, however, only serve to enhance the main attraction...the beer!

A generous tap list is scrawled out on two chalkboards that hang above a spacious bar. This list is constantly changing, so there is always a new brew to try each visit. A huge list of bottled beers is also available. Both the tap/bottle list feature hard-to-find/rare offerings from breweries all over the world (check out their Facebook page for the most up-to-date tap/bottle listings). Unsure if your pallet will enjoy a particular brew? Just ask your bartender for a sample and they'll be happy to hook you up with one. The bartenders are outstanding...approachable, knowledgeable, and will never hesitate to talk all things beer with you.

The food is high-grade gastropub fare. My favorite item on the menu is the spicy pork sandwich...with their fries...covered in Sriracha sauce...and a fine brew by my side...mmm doggy!

While a little on the pricey side, this place is definitely worth it. The beer speaks for itself, the atmosphere is chill, welcoming, and unpretentious, and the food is delicious with portions that fill you up proper. I feel as though I'm on the inside track of the craft beer world after each visit.

Memorable trips include my first time when a bartender introduced me to a now all-time favorite, Great Lakes Christmas Ale. Then again when a rare keg of Dogfish Head 120 Min. IPA was on tap and I was able to snag a sample of that goodness. According to AnIslandOfGeese (3 reviews down) they tap a rare keg every Wed., and this will most likely be my next excuse to journey north to my favorite watering-hole.

A "must-visit" for beer-lovers in northern IL!!!

Photo of Treebs
4.2/5  rDev -7.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3

Went here for dinner on a Friday with the girlfriend. The set up of the building is neat in that you enter and exit through the back of the building so the rest of the layout space can be maximized for seating. The place isn't huge (it can only seat about 60-70 including the bar), but it's a nice cozy atmospere. The bar is along most of the wall after the kitchen and the seating fills up the the rest of the space.

Our waiter was very nice and personable and seemed very genuine which was nice to see. I didn't ask him any beer questions since I knew what I wanted so I can't comment on the knowledge of the staff.

The beer selection was nice, nothing to obscure, but there was a solid variety of beers. I didn't look into their bottle list, but it seemed above average.

The food was pretty average. We split a baked goat cheese app, I order a chicken sandwich and the girlfriend ordered some steak tacos. Overall nothing jumped out about the food.

Overall our meal was average and the beer was fine. It was a little pricey and if I were to return I would just go for the beer and skip the meal altogether.

Photo of DrGonzoDDS
4.95/5  rDev +9.5%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

I have been going to Firkin since I turned 21. I'm lucky enough to have known about it and been within a few miles of it for as long as I can remember. If you come here for food, they have a great spread. Try the Goat Cheese App. It's incredible. But the real star here is the beer & the Bartender. Dave is the reason I come back to Firkin. Lots of places have good beer now. The secret is out in America, people prefer good beer. The lazy days Miller Lite are over. That being said, Firkin has a great selection that changes continuously. Dave, One of the bartenders there, is the best bartender I have ever come across. Incredibly knowledgeable, friendly & takes the time to educate you about what you're about to drink. If you're lucky enough to be in Libertyville go to Frikin. If you are not close, then, sorry about your life. - Oh yeah, & every Thursday They have an incredible blues band play. It isn't Thursday night at Firkin if the night doesn't end with Purple Rain.

Photo of AnIslandOfGeese
5/5  rDev +10.6%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

Firkin is my favorite bar. The only thing I don't like about it is that it is not within walking distance to my house. But it is next to a free parking garage, and a metra station so I can't complain.

I recommend going on Wednesdays when they tap a rare keg of beer. If you can't make it then, I suggest either getting there right at 5 on a weekday or going before/after the dinner rush. Thankfully I can get from work to the bar by 5:15 and there is usually plenty of space. By 5:20, the place is full and there is a line out the door.

I had gone there several times just for the beer. They have the best selection I have ever seen. There are usually about 20 craft beers on tap and a very nice bottle selection. In the past few weeks I've had 2009 Bourbon County (on tap), 2011 Bourbon County (Bottles), 2011 Surley Darkness (on tap), and some local beers made by Tighthead Brewing.

After going there about 15 times just for beer, and mentioning to coworkers how good it is, people started recommending I actually try the food there. It is as good as the beer. The kobe burger with cheddar and tempura fried bacon is the best burger I've ever had. Goes great with a heavy stout.

All of the staff have been friendly and attentive.

It is not cheap, but it is worth the price. They serve amazing food and top shelf beer so it is easy to spend over $30 on two drinks and burger.

Photo of Penguins66
4.9/5  rDev +8.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

Ah, The Firkin. I spent many years patronizing other locations in downtown Libertyville until I read about this gem on this website and others. After many visits over the past year-and-a-half, I can say quite honestly that The Firkin has become the standard by which I measure all other bars that do not brew their own beer.

The beer selection is always changing and always diverse. Nearly every time I go I have a choice of several beers that I have never tried before. Many times the beer has come in its official glass.

Service has always been excellent but be warned: the place can get packed in the evenings, especailly Fridays and Saturdays. We tend to go during the off times, such as a Sunday afternoon, where we can be seated immediately and relax with a beer or two (or three...).

The food is nearly as eclectic as the beer. The spicy pork sandwich is a favorite but overall we've never had a bad meal.

The only criticism is that it can get a little expensive. Our bill has routinely exceeded $70 for 2 people having an appetizer, 2 entrees, and 2-3 beers each.

Photo of MarcatGSB
4.13/5  rDev -8.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Joined a friend who is a Libertyville native for lunch there this past Sunday and was very impressed.

It is a good size place for the small town, with a very tall ceiling, and a large bar...mostly set off by the beautiful, tall back bar. It looks like the bar for bartenders. Wide work area, plenty of room, lots of taps.

They had a great cross section of brews on their tap list, and an equally encompassing selection in bottles. Everything from Left Hand Milk Stout, Sprecher Abbey Triple to Emmets Saison and some good local Two Brothers products.

The bottle list had some Cantillon, which is as far as I really needed to go. It was a great surprise, and I enjoyed it.

The food was good. Nothing overwhelming, but I had some steak tacos that hit the spot, as well as everyone else in our party was very happy with what they ordered, from burgers to our 7 year old companion enjoying her chicken strips greatly.

Service was great. The server really knew the food menu, and beer menu, and was very informative and listened well. Big props.

I will return to the Firkin...I will make a point of it. Great spot.

Photo of elginirishpunk
4.63/5  rDev +2.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 5

This is an amazing place to grab a beer for any form of Hop Head. They are constantly changing their menu with the seasons for food. And If you follow them on Facebook you now right when any beer is about to or is going on tap. It is a reasonable price if you know the area. It sits in a very trendy high-middle class area. Go there an average once to twice a week. Staff is very well versed in all beers and beer knowledge. They do go through some beers rather quickly, but after speaking with several distributors, if there is a new beer in the area available for tap, they will get it no matter the cost. One of the few bars in area with a 2 casks as well.

Photo of Monkeyknife
4.78/5  rDev +5.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

I love Chicago. I've lived in Chicago and enjoyed many of the great beer experiences that the windy City has to offer. This past visit was due to my daughter's volleyball tournament and we were forced to stay in a hotel out deep in the burbs. Due to rough weather we couldn't head into town. This place was in the area and the bright spot of our weekend.

The atmosphere was warm and friendly with a hip vibe to it. It's small and gave us a 30 minute wait. Not a problem with their beer list. On draught they had Chimay White, Duvel Green, Affigem Blond, Gumballhead, Napa Smith IPA, Burning River, Hairy Eyeball, Robert the Bruce, Two Hearted, Mephistopeles, Matilda and much more. I was quite lubricated by the time we got to our table.

The food was great. We had the goat cheese appetizer and the steak tacos and their special mac and cheese for dinners.

And to The Firkin, thanks so much for the hospitality and fine beers and food, because frankly it would have been a somewhat miserable weekend with the weather and the beatings my daughter's team took in the tournament.

to view more.
The Firkin in Libertyville, IL
99 out of 100 based on 81 ratings.