Beer Bistro

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BA SCORE
86
very good

17 Reviews
Beer BistroBeer Bistro
PLACE INFO

Type: Bar, Eatery

1061 W Madison St
Chicago, Illinois, 60607-2050
United States

(312) 433-0013 | map
www.thebeerbistro.com

Notes:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 12-22-2005

PLACE STATS
Score:
86
Reviews:
17
Ratings:
32
Avg:
3.73
pDev:
8.04%
 
 
Taps:
20
Bottles/Cans:
130
Cask:
Y
Beer-to-Go:
N
View: Place Reviews | Events
User Reviews
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Reviews: 17 | Ratings: 32
Reviews by Shibbykaiyai:
Photo of Shibbykaiyai
3/5  rDev -19.6%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 2 | selection: 4 | food: 3

As a person who worked in the west loop, I had great expectations for this place. And although it wasn't a bad place, it wasn't quite what I have expected.

The building is quite nice and there are shuttles (I think through a neighbor business) to events at the United Center, so it is a nice place to start out an event evening.

The beer list was pretty decent, but it did seem to focus on more trendy than good beers (including can night). The food was decent, but nothing to great.

If you are looking for a nice trendy spot in the west loop, this is your place. If you are looking for a good selection of beers, it's not too bad.

 635 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of cryptichead
3.82/5  rDev +2.4%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 3.75 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4

Photo of laketang
4.19/5  rDev +12.3%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4.25

hade some great beer on tap, founders dry hopped nitro and some double daisy cutter. the food was good, no complaints. the service was extremely good, we were well taken care of.

 178 characters

Photo of Eman17
4.14/5  rDev +11%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.25

Photo of aussiebeer
4.06/5  rDev +8.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4

Photo of needMIbeerinMD
4.22/5  rDev +13.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4

Photo of Imacopyouidiot
4.66/5  rDev +24.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4

Bob is a great guy.

19 characters

Photo of misternebbie
3.83/5  rDev +2.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 3.75 | selection: 3.25 | food: 4

Photo of Sparky44
3.75/5  rDev +0.5%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 3.75 | service: 3.75 | selection: 3.75 | food: 3.75

Photo of Nuggetz
3.75/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of spycow
3.75/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of birdsellam
4.25/5  rDev +13.9%

Photo of Halfbrother83
3.5/5  rDev -6.2%

Photo of cadaugherty
3.5/5  rDev -6.2%

Photo of Jordy777
4.5/5  rDev +20.6%

Photo of BRami127
4.75/5  rDev +27.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4

This is THEE place where I learned about craft beer. I actually walked into this place on accident on a Sunday in May 2006. At the time, they had my then favorite beer on draft (Paulaner Hefe Weizen). Then I saw they had 25 cent wings on Sundays. And then I saw this Spatan Maibock being served in this weird glass I've never seen before. I ordered one of those and that got me hooked on this place. Then they told me about their "beer passport" program where if you tried all 100+ beers you get a $25 gift card AND a case of beer of your choice. Well, 6 cards later and 8 years going strong, this is STILL my gold standard bar. I go out of my way to come here, hangout, and watch a game or two. If it wasn't for the great staff, I would still be stuck on Budweiser, Miller, and Sam Adams. I wouldn't have known of beers like KBS, Trappistes Rochefort 10, Orval, or any of the great local brews like (surprisingly) Goose Island. This is a great place to learn about craft beer and I'll be a fan of this place for a very long time.

 1,030 characters

Photo of TheRealPour
4/5  rDev +7.2%

Photo of joeseppy
4.36/5  rDev +16.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

I've been going here for the past 12 years or so even when it wasn't the BBistro.

The atmosphere is comfortable. You could dress up or down. One of the best Hawks bars I've been to. Plenty of tv's with any and every sport you want to watch. Of course a nice crowd and friendly staff make it so.

Service is spot on. I mainly go here for lunch as I work in the area and once you get to know everyone they treat you like its a pleasure to serve you any may I say, always with a smile.

Always a great selection of beer and 'how'd they get that'. Shows their good relationship with distributors.

When I say their food is great, I only get their burgers, fries and pizza because it's that freakin delicious.

Why I review this now is due to the fact that I realized they kept their same staff for at least a few years now. Chris is very knowledgable of what he's serving. I always! Go there before a Hawks game as it is always crowded with red, white, black and green jerseys. Some of the best Hawks fans you'll rub elbows with and always a shuttle going down Madison to get you to the UC in minutes, so drink up. The owner is there often and always making sure you are having a good time. I would definitely stop here if I was from out of town.

 1,243 characters

Photo of Fluffheady
3.54/5  rDev -5.1%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.75 | food: 3.25

This bar feels more like a craft beer factory than a craft beer bar. This may be a byproduct of being so close to the United Center. They have nice beer, but it’s not all that exciting (at least not often enough to notice). I hate to say it, too, because I know the guys who made it certainly aren't attempting to churn out a factory. I bet the other location attracts a much better crowd.

 391 characters

Photo of mjmbeer
4.14/5  rDev +11%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.25

This a good place to stop in for a decent selection of beers Chicago is an expanding beer market and lots of small hometown breweries are popping up This place ham a nice selections of local beers on tap and a really nice bottle list too. Chris behind the bar was knowledgable about beer and the local beer scene. There is lots of place to go in Chicago this is one of those places you should stop. It's not the top rank but its a good local bar with a good selection and good people

 483 characters

Photo of beerwolf77
3.8/5  rDev +1.9%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3

Stopped in here for some pre dinner beers. Long galley style bar. Plenty of seating. The tap list was large and filled with basically pedestrian american craft. Nothing super sexy but enough to keep a beer geek interested for a few hours. We plowed through a few pints. The bartender was awesome. We found out she was from Wisconsin. which led to some hilarious conversation. If not for that we probably wouldn't have enjoyed ourselves as much as we did.

Overall a decent stop for a craft beer but not really a destination.

 525 characters

Photo of KDawg
3.71/5  rDev -0.5%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4

I went in here on a west side bar crawl.

Beer Bistro has an odd mix going on. They are an official blackhawks bar but also try to pose themselves as a craft beer place as well. I have no problem being at a sports bar, but if that's what you're gonna be, just be it. The crowd was a mix of young and middle aged people. It was rowdy in a sense, but not in a frat boy way, people were just very happy. I couldn't get a real feel though for what kind of crowd they're aiming for.

The beer quality was good and there was a nice selection. A good selection of midwest brews and that was the main focus along with some revolution brews. I know they keg some of their stuff to other places, but it's nice seeing them available at places other than at Rev.

It was never a problem getting a beer. The bartender was always available even with a good sized crowd and a hawks game going.

A solid place to go, but there are lots of options in the west loop and west side in general. If I lived in the area, I could see myself there frequently. Since I don't, it's good for the odd visit

 1,081 characters

Photo of FrankWBurnsIII
4.05/5  rDev +8.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

This was one of the first bar/restaurants I went to when I moved here. Our realtor recommended it. We loved it the first time and have been going back consistently. We have also taken out of town guests there.

It is on the smaller side upstairs, but they can open the downstairs when needed. Sometimes it is difficult to find a seat. I think we've waited up to a half hour to get one, but generallly we'll try to get there before the peak. I will say that the staff doesn't necessarily seem too concerned when you're clearly standing there not drinking because you want a table to drink and have dinner + dessert. That is the only thing about the place that has always been a pet peeve. It might be worth trying to keep some tables for people who are there for a full meal in addition to plenty of beer, not two girls who will sit there and sip on a Mich Ultra or its equivalent for two hours.

The back left corner has a VIP room/booth that I had the pleasure of sitting in one time with some friends. It was nice to have some room to spread out and enjoy the beer and dessert.

The menu for beer and food is great. I enjoy the Sonoma chicken salad wrap, the BBQ chicken pizza, and sometimes the fish n' chips. You can get tater tots which I enjoy doing sometimes. They have this giant warm cookie a la mode dessert that you have to get. My wife enjoys the salads and hummus plate.

I think they have a beer special going all of the time. Sometimes it's good, sometimes it's not, but the price on it is usually pretty good for Chicago. In the past couple of years I think they have stepped up the on tap selection a lot which is great, as they have always had a great array of bottles.

 1,687 characters

Photo of ferrari29
3.58/5  rDev -4%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4

The first time I went to this place was April '10 and had my first Gumballhead experience. It was on-tap and my uncle, a beer connoisseur himself, suggested it. He said I would be hooked and have been since the first sip. Besides that, the bar itself is stuffed with locals, young professionals and Chicago sports fans. The bar gets very stuffy, very quickly, especially on Blackhawks/Bulls game night. Most people will hit this bar up after work to burn a few hours before the game and throw back a few. It's a lot easier to head there on the weekend when the area is less crowded and visited mostly by West Loop locals. Bartenders have always provided slightly above average service. They don't have much time to provide quality beer suggestions but are well-equipped to keep the beers coming as the place gets packed. So it helps to know exactly what you want ahead of time.

Having been there a hand full of times I definitely make it my go-to spot when I'm in that part of town. That doesn't say much though since the selection in the area is limited. Still a good place to go to meet up with friends and try something new from a wide selection of beers . I can't comment on the food because I haven't had any of it. I'll update my review again if I have any their food.

 1,275 characters

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Beer Bistro in Chicago, IL
3.73 out of 5 based on 32 ratings.
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