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Type: Brewery, Bar, Eatery, Beer-to-go

1824 W Division St
Chicago, Illinois, 60622-3113
United States

(773) 862-8686

// CLOSED //

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Added by jackndan

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Ratings: 14 |  Reviews: 6
Photo of Nuggetz
2.5/5  rDev -29%

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3.75/5  rDev +6.5%

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3.5/5  rDev -0.6%

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1.5/5  rDev -57.4%

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3/5  rDev -14.8%

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3.5/5  rDev -0.6%

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3.5/5  rDev -0.6%

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3.5/5  rDev -0.6%

Photo of WoodBrew
4.2/5  rDev +19.3%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

I had lunch today at the Moonshine Brewery and left with a satisfied feeling. I had actually been to this address several years ago before it was Moonshine. The atmosphere is like standard bar/eatery....solid wood tables and bar, with industial type decor. The quality of the beer food and service were all decent. The service was attentive and willing to help with selections. The selection of beer was plentiful....six of their own beers on tap plus many other micros....in addition they had a good bottle and can menu. The food was good....had the chips and salsa as well as the pizza. Overall it wasn't too expensive. Beers we $5 a piece....standard for Chi-town.

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Photo of t0rin0
3.28/5  rDev -6.8%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3 | food: 4

Visited 8/1/2010.

Had most of a day to kill so I stopped in here and had lunch and sampled the beers. It's a bit of a haul from the north end of Chicago by bus but I got to see a lot of the city.

I had no trouble getting a table and some service. I was seated by myself at a large booth. I ordered a burger that was way too much for me to eat and some good fries. I ended up taking some of the food to go.

The beer was all in the mediocre to decent range. The best was the Second City Irish Stout and the worst was Dizzy Blonde.

If I go back it'll be for the food.

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Photo of emerge077
3.68/5  rDev +4.5%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

2010 update:
Gave Moonshine one more chance, and stopped in on a pub crawl recently. First thing I noticed were all the new names on the beer list, and a good variety of styles. There were 6 house taps: IPA (great), Smoked Porter (good), Dark Mild (good), Pale (mediocre), Irish Dry Stout (decent), Scotch Ale (ok). So the selection and quality have improved. During the day the crowd was relaxed, and they had all the windows open which was nice. They have a new chef i've heard good things about too. Worth a try if you're in the area, but still not a destination in my opinion.

12-09-2008: overall 2.8
This year Moonshine finally hired someone to brew beer on-site, to fit in with their pseudo-bootlegger theme. For years it has been a trendy see-and-be-seen concept bar/restaurant, with arguably the most irritating patio patrons in the neighborhood, wooo-ing and cackling while blocking the sidewalk in the warmer months. Club DJs play at night, catering to the martini trixies and button down/khakis crowd. I've avoided it like the plague for the 5 years that I lived nearby, passing it by on the way to more craft-friendly options nearby like Jerry's, Small Bar, Piece, Rodan, Handlebar, etc.

So in the spirit of being objective, I went over after work to try the beers and something off the menu. It was early in the evening, there were a couple suits with mason jar mixed-drinks at one end the bar, and some loud swearing guys on the other side, shouting "conversation" at each other across cavernous room. The place was large with high ceilings, and definitely gets pretty noisy. Lots of flatscreens playing sportscenter. The bartender was talking to the server and running a football pool, so it initially took a little while to get service. Once he noticed me, service was smooth after that. I tried all five beers they had, and there was a $3 house pint special on Mondays, (typically $5). Nolan the bartender was able to describe all the beers, and deferred to the manager for the abv on a couple. He said the brewing ingredients are sourced locally from other brewers in some cases. Sadly the only beer worth mentioning was the Sin City Stout, which was decent at best. The other pale ale variations all seemed similarly undercarbonated and pedestrian. The only other notable tap I saw was Matilda, the rest were pretty typical pseudo craft like Blue Moon, Fat Tire, and common imports like Stella. They served tastes of the tap beers in little baby food jars. Bottled beers weren't on display or listed on the menu, though their website has a list that is 2/3 common macros and imports.

The Austin burger ($11) turned out to be the highlight, with bacon, cheddar, fried onions, and green chiles. It was on a brioche style bun and was very hearty and tasty. The specialty burgers were a new addition to the menu (last month or so), there were maybe 9 of them, all named after cities. The food seemed to have a southwestern slant, likely because the owners live in New Mexico apparently. Overall, this place had some decent food, I would come here for lunch possibly, but would skip it for dinner or drinking in general.

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Photo of gljenso
4.47/5  rDev +27%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

This place has been brewing for several years (except for a few months when they had equipment problems). I visited on 12/02/09, and they had 5 of their own beers on tap. The Truth IPA was excellent. They also had a very interesting triple IPA called Elwood. In addition, there was a pale ale, an Irish stout, and a blonde ale, as well as other good taps (Alpha King, for example). It has a relaxed atmosphere during the day, which is the only time I've been there. It's in the Bucktown/Wicker Park area, which is a trendy area in Chicago. But it's a long way from being an upscale neighborhood, such as Lincoln Park. They are listing their own brews on the beer menu finally and are offering more of their own beers and better beers than previously. They now deserve mention along with Chicago's other fine brewpubs (Piece and Goose Island). Just adding a note on 9/9/11, to say that this place is way underrated. Those two earliest reviews are from when they opened. Things have been much better for several years. Also, the food here is better than at Gooose Island or Revolution or Haymarket. The sidewalk tables are great.

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Photo of Backer2004
2.3/5  rDev -34.7%
vibe: 2 | quality: 2.5 | service: 2 | selection: 2.5

For convenience sake, this was the only Beerfly bar I could make it to on a business trip to Chicago (right off the Blue line in Wicker Park). Not a bad area for bars.

This should not even be in Beerfly IMO. Five boring taps-only good one was Bell's Oberon and the Octoberfest Sam Adams was out. Maybe a dozen bottled beers, nothing to write about.

This is really a trendy restaurant turned trendy party/night club (if they moved all the tables). Not great for conversation, unless you are at an outside table. Pricey, even for Chicago. Try somewhere else.

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Photo of jackndan
3.18/5  rDev -9.7%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3 | food: 3.5

Moonshine: As it stands, I’ve added this relatively new place as a beer bar. The bartender promises me they are going to start brewing on premises, but could not tell me where (they’ll brew) when they will start. However, they do have a brewer, and at least one of their own beers on tap. They brewed it over at Goose Island. It was actually pretty good, kind of a hop bomb, however it did not have a name, and none of their own taps were labeled. So as it stands, I’ll characterize it as a beer pub.

And I hope they hurry, because their guest taps are pretty weak: eight taps, two macros and a handful of Midwestern micros, plus the usual import subjects. The bottled selection isn’t much better. Actually, their own tap was better than any other beer they had available.

The space is fairly nifty, with huge garage doors, and some old weathered boards they got from a barn in Wisconsin. There is a smoking bar, raised from the rest of the place. However, it does have the wicker park vibe too it: trendy hipsters, couches from goodwill, you know.

I only had toast, but the food looked great during a recent brunch, and I tried a bloody mary and it was great. Oh by the way, FREE PARKING! Not too much of it, but there is some.

I’ve got my fingers crossed for this place, but for now, I’ll have to call it incomplete.

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Moonshine in Chicago, IL
Brewery rating: 0 out of 5 with 0 ratings
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