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Onion Pub & Brewery / Wild Onion Brewing Co.

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BEER AVG
3.56/5
Based on:
27 Beers
999 Ratings
Place Score: 87
Ratings: 43
Reviews: 26
rAvg: 3.83
pDev: 11.75%
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 SunnysideLilStore
5/5  rDev +30.5%

Photo of Purified
4.52/5  rDev +18%

Photo of sweetlou25
4.5/5  rDev +17.5%

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 mbmiche
4.5/5  rDev +17.5%

Decent food and decent distro brews. Where they really hit it is with their on-tap-at-the-brewery-only-and-we're-not-bottling-it experimental brews. If you missed the BA Drago, that is unfortunate...

Photo of sdonegan
4.25/5  rDev +11%

Photo of gotek
4.25/5  rDev +11%

Photo of jaqo4
4.25/5  rDev +11%

Photo of Quattrofiend
4.25/5  rDev +11%

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 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.

Photo of maxcoinage
4/5  rDev +4.4%

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 77apm
4/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of Weaselbob74
4/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of crossovert
4/5  rDev +4.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3.5

This place is in the middle of nowhere it seems. It is tucked behind a few car dealerships iirc.

It is a huge place but the bar area is pretty small. That is where I sat. There was a wedding going on and an Irish guy playing music in the corner. I sat there and watched some hockey.

There seemed to be room for about 4 taps and 4 casks, but there were about 10 taps available on this night.

I tried the Weiss, Oktoberfest, CenteniAle, and Pilsener. None of them are available in cans. The Weiss amd CenteniAle were good but the other two lacking. The O'Fest was more like a Vienna, and an oddball one at that. The Pilsener was super watery.

There was a selection of bottles ranging from Hoppin Frog to Miller as well.

The bartender was pretty attentive. Overall a nice place.

Photo of Hopheadjeffery
4/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of carmike813
4/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of emerge077
3.9/5  rDev +1.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.75 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 3.75

Back when Illinois brewpubs were few and far between, new breweries weren't popping up every other week, and The Onion was among the last handful I haven't been to. This was mainly due to it's obscure location in an industrial park (a la FFF) in a suburb I never had a reason to go to. Recently had time to grab lunch here over the weekend, after drinking their beers for a few years now.

Oddly we were the first patrons at 11:40am on a saturday. The expansive parking lot was deserted, leading us to do a drive by on the front door to doublecheck the hours before parking.

The building is nice, definitely has lots of rustic, homey ski-lodge decor, with a fireplace in the bar area and a pair of little corner snugs flanking it on either side. The bar area is to the left past the host station once inside the heavy double doors. There were a dozen staff working, many sitting at one table doing prep work for Easter brunch. The bartender came over and served drinks and got us menus when we asked for them. They had some spring specials, I had the footlong jalapeño cheddar brat, and it was good.

Beer selection was decent, seemed like less than a dozen house taps, I had a Beggar's Brown and Drago Imperial Stout. Most of the standard lineup i'd had before. Kainz Brau is a surprisingly solid Pils, Hop Slayer is also good. Doesn't seem to be much variation seasonally, and more of a focus on the commercial canning operation of their regular lineup. The bartender mentioned they do a sign-up brewery tour on the first Saturday of every month. Village Tap and Owen & Engine will still be my go-to's for Wild Onion beers, where they tend to send their rarer one-offs and cask treatments.

Overall good, but probably not a place i'd return to soon. Locals don't seem to have many options though. Solidly just above average sums it up well.

Photo of USAF77
3.86/5  rDev +0.8%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.75 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4.25

I went to a wedding reception here and had a great time. I was sitting at the bar drinking a diet coke when the smell of the beer just overwhelmed me and I ordered a few Pilsners. Their Pilsner is a really nice one and they allowed me to sample most of the rest of their Beers.

I really like this place. The Beer was fresh and delicious, obviously brewed with care. I wont go into detail about the different brews here but I consider Onion to be well worth the hour drive just to have lunch. Most of all a liquid one. I had a very good time there.

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 rmcnealy
3.8/5  rDev -0.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3 | food: 4

Onion Pub & Brewery - Lake Barrington, IL

After first really being exposed a few months back to Onion by trying their canned Pumpkin brew, I figured it's worth a visit. The aesthetics are awesome. Having visited in early November, the outdoor portion was unavailable. The inside features a high ceiling with tons of wood accents. It reminds me of a ski resort. I can imagine in a few weeks when there is a bunch of holiday decor up. Sat at a table in the bar area and was able to catch some Alabama/LSU action. My first request was Hop Slayer which unfortunately they were out of. I then requested a Pumpkin ale which although the site said was unavailable on tap was apparently available. I thought the Pumpkin brew was good in a can but was exponentially better on tap. I then tried the Centenni ale which was refreshing and robust. The food was simple but very good. Had a fondue that went great with the sausage included. The entree consisted of (don't laugh) an exceptionally awesome fried chicken and waffle plate. Although a staple in some areas, it's not so common in the Chi-land area. Turned out awesome. A buddy had oyster sliders and said they were unedible. Brews were solid, food was great (at least for 2 of the 3 people eating) and atmosphere was top notch.
If you're in the area, check it out.. especially on a cold blustry night.

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 SeanLC
3.77/5  rDev -1.6%

Photo of ralerwen
3.75/5  rDev -2.1%

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