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Onion Pub & Brewery / Wild Onion Brewing Co.

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BEER AVG
3.56/5
Based on:
27 Beers
1,011 Ratings
Place Score: 87
Ratings: 43
Reviews: 26
rAvg: 3.83
pDev: n/a
Taps: --
Bottles: --
Cask: N
Beer-to-Go: Y
[ Brewery, Bar, Eatery ]

22221 North Pepper Road
Lake Barrington, Illinois, 60010
United States
phone: (847) 381-7308

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap @wildonion21

Notes:
None, yet.

(Place added by: BeerAdvocate)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 43 | Reviews: 26 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of hoosier222002
3.8/5  rDev -0.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Stopped in on a Sunday evening and sat out on the deck. Very nice outdoor seating area right on the water that was very comfortable. I had three of their beers: Hop slayer double IPA, Jack Stout, and Paddy's Pale Ale. All three were solid beers, with the Jack Stout being my favorite.

Quite a bit of choices for food. We enjoyed a few appetizers and split a pizza. I recommend the Brat sliders.

Looks like a lot of seating inside. It was not too crowded but it was a Sunday. Deck seating is nice.

All in all solid choice.

Photo of TMoney2591
4/5  rDev +4.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

I can't believe it's taken me so long to visit this place, especially considering it's close proximity. It's a small-ish place, tucked away in a random spot on what I think may be an artificial (though still lovely) lake in a semi-industrial park in the semi-boonies of Lake Barrington. Wood is the material of choice, though the bar I sidled up to was clad in copper. There are a few TVs hanging around, tuned to the sports, but all were muted. The ten house beers were surprisingly ranged from a nice oatmeal stout to a no-nonsense light lager. They're all pretty good, though nothing's really all that stellar. They also had some guest taps (the highlight being DFH's Palo Santo Marron) and some BMC bottles. The bartenders are all rather amiable and seemed fairly knowledgeable about the beers (though I didn't really pry). My cohorts at the bar were all locals of various ilks, and all seemed congenial. I didn't try any of the food (it was too late by the time I left anyway), but some of the plates I saw from across the room looked pretty good. Overall, a nice little brewpub. I could see myself having a pint or two down here fairly regularly without breaking a frown.

Photo of t0rin0
3.84/5  rDev +0.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4

Visited 10/7/2010.

12 house taps but 2 were empty.

Stopped in on a Thursday night while missing Stone Tap Takeover at Najas, freakin Womencantsail couldnt do something as simple as get me a handbottle of Mad Man Mix IRS. Worthless.

Lots of open seats so we sat at the bar and ordered a flight. There was a guy playing an accoustic guitar in the corner and few people even paying attention.

The bartender was real nice even if she wasn't checking on us very often. Actually I prefer that kind of service if I'm not eating anything. Just give me my drinks and leave me alone. She had no problems answering most of my beer related questions too.

Unfortunately they were out of the mango pale ale and I think the imperial stout. The beers ranged from decent to good with the exception of the Jack Stout which was bordering on crap. Highlights were Summer Wit (a bit out of season in October I know), Louie Light, and Paddy Pale Ale. Lowlights were hefe-weiss, King Paddy DIPA, and Jack Stout.

Would go back to tick, and maybe eat. Oh and to have some Mango Pale Ale if it's half as good as it sounds.

Photo of Czap
3.3/5  rDev -13.8%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3 | selection: 3 | food: 4

I was not impressed. There are not a lot of good places to drink in the North Suburbs, so when I hear about or discover one, I wanna check it out. Even though I heard some not so great things about this place, my wife and I were close by one night and thought we would give it a try.

Never again. The house brews were limited in styles and not very good. I got a flight of everything they had, which was five selections, three of which were light, and I was only slightly impressed with one. I had to end with a guest beer, Founders, in order to leave with a good taste in my mouth.

I ordered a gorgonzola bacon burger medium rare. It was cooked perfect and very delicious. My wife took a bite and said it tasted like a dirty dishrag. She's not a fan of stinky cheese though. Yum. So the food and service was very good.

Maybe they should just scratch the brewery operation and bring in a bunch of Midwest and Great Lake region brews. Until a change is made, I will not be making a return visit.

Photo of Vdubb86
3.5/5  rDev -8.6%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5

I've been to the Onion Pub on several occasions with my family. Overall it seems like a classier place than it actually is. I'm not really sure how to describe the atmosphere. It's a really very quiet place, but that may be due to the fact that every time I'm there it's relatively empty. The quality is average across the board the food is good sometimes depending on what you get. The brews are average at best I prefer the Maibock as their best but in all honesty there is nothing special. It's a place to go for different brews than the mainstream. Sometimes there is a gem in the seasonals but the standbys aren't really the best. The service is always pretty good. I would venture a guess to say that there are better brew pubs out there, but since this one isn't overpriced at all it's worth a try if you find yourself in the area. I wouldn't go and seek it out but every once in awhile that is well worth a stop by

Photo of Star80
4.2/5  rDev +9.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Went to the Onion last weekend with my wife and an old friend, and overall had a great experience. First off, they couldn't have hid the place any better, down and away from the street at what appeared to be a dead-end road in an industrial park! However, the outside sign and appearance of the restaurant/brewpub looked nice and inviting on a Saturday afternoon. The outside mural on the side of the building of a group of foxes eating supper was an odd and interesting touch, made me even more curious about what I would find within. The inside of the place was very nice and upscale, with premium material and darker, classy woods throughout (not a surprise in Barrington), with nice touches like copper metal table tops, fancy light fixtures, you name in, this was a nice place and we were impressed. The back deck was where we ended up sitting most of the night, overlooking a man-made pond with a fountain, and a warehouse not too far in the distance, but still the atmosphere was elegant.

Now on to the beer...when we first arrived our barkeep was a younger man who ended up with good knowledge of beer. When I asked him about the hops used in the Imperial King Paddy IPA, which was VERY tasty I might add, he rattled them off from the top of his head. Good. I ended up sampling this beer, along with the regular Paddy Pale Ale, which had a beautiful fresh floral/citrus bouquet to it, along with the Golden Ale, Wheatstacker, and their Amber Ale. They were out of the maibock, which was too bad, but offered half off the price of a wheat stacker. I really enjoyed all these beer except the Amber Ale, which just plain seemed way off to me, in a stale Pepperidge Farm thrift store smelling tasting sort of way. Just rubbed me wrong all over, to the point that I quickly returned the beer. But aside from that, everything was smooth, crisp and refreshing given I was in the mood for lighter thirst quenching beer.

I had their signature burger made from fresh ground chuck and it was excellent. Everything about it, including the bun was delicious. The meat was well seasoned and tasted fresh and tasty, had fries with it which were, well, your average (frozen?) fries, etc. Ok ok, wrong choice on a few levels there on the side....

Our server outside on the patio was friendly and attentive, and my friend ordered the sample glasses the entire night and she was still nice and friendly,...it started getting pretty busy and later after paying her we went back inside and got a table. The bar was a pretty quiet "older" crowd, which my 3o something wife liked how we were the youngest people there, ha.

So, all in all the beer selection was very good, I found everything save for the Amber to be excellent, especially the IPA, which my friend thought was the best IPA at a hopfest in Chicago a month before, and I would say it certainly holds it own. I would buy a canned six pack of the Paddy Ale at the liquor store someday if I see it and it isn't $12 or something ridiculous, AND I had an idea it was fresh, cause it is a good, hoppy/citrusy ale in the west cost sort of mold. Overall the prices were about what I expected them to be, maybe even cheaper knowing the area and the real estate on the place, which also houses two banquet halls. I definitely look forward to coming back again. Nice job, Onion.

Photo of riboflavin88
3.18/5  rDev -17%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3

I've been to this place several times now, and it has been slowly going downhill. It being so close I would love to frequent it regularly and give it higher reviews, but I can't bring myself to do it. First, the last few times I've been there they haven't had any of their own brews on tap. This is the reason I go to a brewery-restaurant, to try THEIR beer! Second, each time I've gone the food has gotten progressively worse, taking longer to get, and even coming room temp/cold to the table. The only menu item I would recommend highly is their Calzone, pretty tasty and priced reasonably. Not a horrible place, but not a great place. I have to admit, the last two times I went there they had just started a new head chef and perhaps they were still adjusting. Wishful thinking, but the food was better before the switch... They need to get their beer back in the barrels, and maybe I'll go back.

Photo of cgs027
3.23/5  rDev -15.7%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 1 | food: 4

Consider this a warning, as I know the Onion is a long haul for a lot of people to drive out to... The Onion Pub has apparently decided to substantially downsize their brewing operations. I was told on a recent visit to expect only 4 non-rotating house beers in the near future, one of which is the Light (why bother?!?). Pretty sad (and inexplicable), as their seasonals were really where they shined (Pumpkin, Bevo Brown, Winter Warmer, etc). Not only that, but the guest taps they had introduced at the time consisted of things like Hacker Pschorr and Blue Moon--why would someone go to a "brewery" to try things readily available at the local TGIFs?!?

Photo of DaPeculierDane
2.95/5  rDev -23%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3 | service: 2 | selection: 4 | food: 2

The Onion Pub seems to be one of the only actual businesses in the ritzy bedroom community of Lake Barrington. It carries with it a certain air of NW Chicago suburban snobbery with it, or perhaps that feeling I got was only me being overly sensitive. At any rate I was happy to find the place after short drive up 22 from my Grandmother’s house.

Atmosphere: The Onion is housed in a modern timber frame structure and separated into several rooms. The bar area lacks bar space but has an ample number of tables located in clusters between the bar and a large open hearth fire place. Its dark, even during the day and there really isn’t a whole lot going on. I think it will improve with age.

Service: Service was curt and seemed annoyed by my questions about the beer even though there were only four people in total in the bar area when we were there. I was not impressed.

Selection: A short bottle list consisted of Ayinger and Lindeman’s products as well as a large number of macro swill. 12 taps presented two sodas and 9 beers of varying styles, and one nitro tap of a bourbon stout. Two hand pumps sat behind the bar but were not hooked up to any casks that day.

Quality: I would count all of their beers as average in quality. For me the highlights were a dunkel that had full, rich coffee and chocolate flavors and a helles lager that was unoffensive and very drinkable. The Bourbon Stout was above average. Most of their other beers were unexciting but not off putting.

Food: I had a half rack of absolutely revolting ribs. They were overcooked in the extreme and covered with a burnt tomato paste. Just revolting. The sided were good, however, and I particularly enjoyed the home made, fresh cut French fries. The house salad was fresh and enjoyable too.

Overall, I would not call the Onion a destination but as far as beer drinking is concerned in that corner of Lake County, it’s just about the only option and is certainly not a bad one in a pinch.

Prices were reasonable considering the area but would be high in Wisconsin. Growlers cost $5 for the bottle and $10 to fill.

Photo of rhoadsrage
3.53/5  rDev -7.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

When I pulled into the parking lot it is a fancy new pub trying to look like an old English pub. They had a mural of dancing and drinking foxes on the front of a stone and wood building. They had several areas marked "native wildflowers" that were covered in dandelions. Inside the door they have an architectural drawing showing the new addition which will more than double the space. The area is very open with huge log beam construction. The bar is off to the left and it has a old world charm to it. Copper on the bar with dark stained pine to look old.

I was impressed by the 11 taps with one of them being a stout on Nitrous and two of them were soda. They also had 2 beers on cask a stout and an amber. They had 24 beers in bottles with 3 of them being good quality NA beers. They have a fully stocked bar as well. It was kind of interesting to see white gold tees shoved in the pouring attachments on some of the bottles of alcohol. I'm not sure if those were tees found on one of the many gold courses around the area but it doesn’t look appealing.

As I sat at the bar, I noticed all the beer glasses hanging from the bar. Everyone of them had a thick film on them and they were pulling them out of a revolving dishwasher. I think they are in sore need of some jet-dry. The more I sat there the more it drove me crazy to see rows and rows of DIRTY glasses hanging in front of my face. The beer was served at a good temp, not to cold but the cask beer was pretty warm. I like cask beer has cellar temp this was almost room temp.

The beers were 2.50 a glass which was dirt-cheap but the food was much higher priced. I was looking for some pub grub it is mostly burgers, pasta and steaks in full meals. Not much on the English pub theme although they did have plates on the wall listing typical English pub fare.

If you are ever in the area it is worth a stop for a decent beer but I wouldn't go out of the way for the food. Although I would bring my extended family here for food and a pint so that everyone would be happy.

Photo of woodychandler
4.5/5  rDev +17.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4

This is AutumnalDave's favorite spot and he needs to get a review up here! I also really liked it, but I've got to be forthcoming and cop to the fact that this was the third of our three stops on an August evening in 2005 and by the end, I was really feeling it. I got good notes, but I'd like to go back next summer, maybe during my cross-country Tour de Biere. Howzaboutit, Dave? You up for another go-'round w/the Woodman?

This place was really warm and friendly, but it came from a different direction than other brewpubs that I have visited. Usually, the ambiance is created from shades of brown everywhere, starting with light brown and going as deep as mahogany. Here, they use blonde wood, blonde and brown spiles for the joints, blonde wood tap handles, shiny laminated copper on the bar top, tan gingham curtains, grey limestone, and exposed white ducting and piping. The booths are carved wood and the logo is a hip, orange-yellow, oval onion with wild green tufts of hair and a light brown, baided goatee. Hmm, seems to me I've seen a reddish/light-brown braided goatee on another famous personality ...

Going out back, which they only recommend during the summertime, is a beautifully appointed stone deck; a bunch of tables with umbrellas; a spectacular vista, especially at sunset; and a really great man-made lake with a waterfall that would make my landscaper friend envious.

The staff was really helpful, answering my myriad questions, welcoming me in that friendly, mid-western manner and gently steering me towrds the door when the time came. You can bet that I'll be back, Dave willing.

Photo of circuitmonkey
3.7/5  rDev -3.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3

The building itself is absolutely spectacular... you wouldn’t expect it considering all you need to drive by to find this place.

When I visited there were 8 beers on tap. And the only one that really stood out as great to me was there Hefe-weiss (has a great aftertaste). The rest met my expectations. It took my waiter a rather long time to get my beer, but beyond that service was satisfactory.

The food portions were a little small, but so was the price given the quality of the food, so it all evened out I guess.

During the summer be sure to make a reservation if you want patio seating, otherwise you will have to be content with indoor seating (which is no pain, as I said before the building is beautiful). My only complaint was that the parking lot was more than full when I visited ...and for some odd reason the manager decided to ask for my ID half way through my beer even though my waiter did before serving it to me (not a complaint, but odd).

Photo of taez555
4/5  rDev +4.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

I found this place after visiting the Ram brewery and picking up a Craft Brewers flyer on the way out the door. Little did I realize when I decided to check it out on July 7th that their grand opening was 3 days prior. So... keep in mind this review was from the opening days.

Walking in you could still smell the freshly stained wood. Everything was brand new. A beautiful upscale woodsy decore adorned the place. A lovely U shaped bar and bar seating area were off to one side. A fireplace sepperated it from the main seating area which then looked to have several smaller rooms used for parties or just additional seating. Deffinatly not your typical brewpub, a bit more upscale and yet homey at the same time.

The menu was typical mid level bar and grill fare. Standard appetizers, sandwiches, soups, salads, larger entre items of fish, meats, chicken, etc. I tried the portabello mushroom sandwich which was excellent.

As for beer. The menu was quite superb. Nearly 40 bottled and tap beers. Ranging from basic bud and micro brews to a decent asortment of belgians, germans and english beers. I was impressed just to see all 3 Chimays on a beer menu in IL.

As far as their own beers, (they are the Onion BREWERY afterall) the waitress informed us that we were a little too early. They're in the process of brewing them and should have their own beer up and running by the end of the summer. (2003)

Beyond that, they had an extensive wine and liquours list. As well as offering a nice assortment of deserts. You almost wouldn't know this place specialized in beer.

Overall I was quite impressed. The bathrooms alone with their all wood stalls and hand hammered metal sinks were beautiful. I'll deffinatly have to go back once they have their own beer brewing. I'd also like to check it out in the winter time. The fireplace and location, overlooking a small body of water, could be extremely cozy in the cold winter months.

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Onion Pub & Brewery / Wild Onion Brewing Co. in Lake Barrington, IL
87 out of 100 based on 43 ratings.