Local Option

Local OptionLocal Option

Type: Brewery, Bar, Eatery

1102 W Webster Ave
Chicago, Illinois, 60614-7020
United States

(773) 348-2008 | map

Sunday - Friday: 12:00pm - 2:00am
Saturday: 12:00pm - 3:00am

Tuesday - Thursday 4pm-10pm
Friday & Saturday 12pm-11pm
Sunday 12pm - 9pm

Added by tyee on 01-16-2008

Beers are brewed at / by another brewery.
View: Beers | Place Reviews | Events
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Reviews: 90 | Ratings: 213
Photo of j_nees
5/5  rDev +16%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

I love that there is an awesome beer and death metal bar tucked away in Lincoln Park where clearly a Lululemon For Pets was supposed to be. Really great beer menu featuring their house beers and a ton of guest beers, including a healthy dose of FFF and a few sours. Looked like about 25 or so draft lines. Servers know their beer. Kitchen was also on point. I had a crab quesadilla and a bacon wrapped scallop roll. Definitely recommend for beer and food.

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Photo of Spider889
5/5  rDev +16%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5

This was one of my must-see destinations on my latest trip out to Chicago. I almost went to The Map Room instead, but after doing some online research Local Option just seemed to have a better beer selection.

The bar is unassuming, near one of the college campuses. We went on an early Saturday afternoon so the place was fairly quiet when we arrived, only one bartender was working.

The bar (and website) is very simple, with heavy metal-esque tattoo style art. Otherwise the walls are all black. One small bar on the side, a few tables in front, and some benches/bar stools on the side opposite the bar. No frills, very small. Someone not in the know (or keen on my level of beer geekdom) might even call the place a dive bar - which is perfectly fine with the owners I would assume.

As soon as you walk in on the left wall there is a gigantic chalkboard with all of the draft beer options written on it. As soon as I sat down and got to study the list I was literally giddy with excitement - it was possibly the best list of craft beer I have ever seen in my life, some of the best choices included:

Gumballhead, Cantillon Gueuze, DH Tres Blueberry, several De Dolle and De Molen offerings, GD Espresso Yeti, four different Jolly Pumpkin beers, Whole Hog Barleywine, Mikkeller including Brunch Weasel, 1000 IBU, and more, three Struisse beers including Pannepot and Black Damnation II, and Lost Abbey Angel's Share aged in brandy bbls.

Holy hell I was in heaven.

The bartender was knowledgeable and fairly attentive, no complaints. We did not order any food as we had just come from brunch, but the menu looked really good to me, I was sorry I had no room to try their food.

The beer was a little pricey imo, even for Chicago, but nothing was outrageous. Though with no prices listed the tab adds up fast - the Black Damnation was the most expensive beer I tried at $12 a snifter.

Certainly a must-hit destination for the Chicago traveler. I will want to go back every time I visit the city in the future, for sure.

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Photo of goethean
5/5  rDev +16%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

Finally went here with my wife and several other beeradvocates. What a great place! The bar has large windows which open to the sidewalk, brightening up the inside of the place. They had a nice selection of local micros and Belgians on tap. Food was very good, and priced typically for this very expensive neighborhood. (Down the street they are selling cupcakes for $2 each, so what can you expect?) Very good service, we discussed homebrewing with the owner which is always nice. Can't think of anything wrong with this place. Very impressed.

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Photo of ianw87
5/5  rDev +16%

This is my favorite spot in Chicago. They usually have some rarer beers on tap plus they have some unique beers of there own. I love the Kentucky Common.

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Photo of sapvt
5/5  rDev +16%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

I was in Chicago on business and a little research showed me this was definitely the place to check out. It absolutely delivered.

Not big place, kind of dark with a handful of tables and the bar. There's a real punk attitude to the place, which the giant skull logo on the wall reinforces. Some unusual neon beer signs (Mikkeller & Delerium) behind the bar and the specials board:

No specials, EVER. So fucking metal.

That's all I needed to see. The selection was incredible, I had Bells HopSlam, Founders Double Trouble, Mikkeller 1000 IBU, Ska Toasters 30th, some Three Floyds. ~25 taps of beer geek heaven. The bartenders were great, very knowledgable and friendly. Thanks Noah!

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Photo of Skeksi
4.95/5  rDev +14.8%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

Best owner, best bar staff, best selection, best atmosphere, of any bar I've ever been to. This place almost seems like it was invented specifically for me. Metal, unique tap list, awesome, knowledgable staff, good pub food, and they throw awesome parties. What the hell else do you want? Stop in and try a Dampf Loc.

Every stupid bar in this city has craft beer and decent imports on tap these days. A new beer bar or brewpub opens up once a month. The shelves at Binny's are exploding with hundreds if not thousands of different beers. The reason I keep going back to this bar is because with the insane selection of taps, I am pretty much guaranteed to try something that I've never heard of before, or couldn't have gotten my hands on in the first place. Like DH Plead the Fifth aged in WR bourbon barrels. Where else, literally?

My main regret is not finding out about Local before last year.

This place is my Cheers.

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Photo of Claybo
4.95/5  rDev +14.8%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

This is MY bar! I love this place. I love everything about it; so much so that I have the glassware to think about it when I cannot be there. The staff is cool, if you are cool. Do not attempt to order Miller Lite. One of my fondest memories of this place was probably the first or second time I visited. It was on a weekend, maybe a Friday night. The place was not too busy, and it was nice and cool inside. I tried many awesome sour ales on tap including Maastricht Aachen (sp? I can never remember how to spell this one), and Maracaibo (Jolly Pumpkin). They had Tom Petty playing. It was magical.

If you come to Chicago, go to the typical brewery tour, or bar, or whatever. But if you want something special, check out Local Option. You will not be disappointed. Unless you are a douchey Cubs fan.

ps. Great part about this place is that it is in the snooty Lincoln Park neighborhood, and sticks out like a sore thumb saying "FUCK YOU PREPPY ASSHOLE!"

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Photo of RayYanks23
4.94/5  rDev +14.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

Great Place! about a 2 mile walk from Wrigley, but it was a nice neighborhood. Wish we didn't end the long day here because they had the best selection I seen in town all weekend!! Pizza Port Anniversary and 3 Floyd's Drednaught were the highlights...

The bartenders were excellent and made us feel right at home, the owner showed up and we tasted some of his beer that he just brewed down south!

We actually bought the shirt the place was so cool, haha. Next time we will make it a point to spend more time there and check out the food and such. They were discussing a possible Brooklyn location! GOOD LUCK! I will definitely be there if it happens...

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Photo of Yetiman420
4.94/5  rDev +14.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

Updating my review after a visit on 4/13/11 where the selection was so amazing, I had a very difficult time selecting a beer. I went with...

Einbecker Mai-Bock - $7 (because I just brewed a Mai Bock)
De Dochter Nobelesse $9.95
Jaipur IPA $8
Peche Mortel $9

I rolled the dice and let the bartender pick a transition beer form the Nobelesse to the Peche and he went with the English IPA which I would not have picked. Their keg had been kept cold since leaving England and was one of the most beautiful beers I've ever had.

Got to chat with the owner as well on a low-key Thursday and can say these guys totally get it about good beer and proper treatment. I made the decision to try Local Option again after a couple of ho hum experiences at the other top Chicago beer bars and this is my new go-to option for the best beer in Chicago.


As part of our twice a year beer/food/shopping visit to Chicago, I plugged The Local Option in as a stop before the Hopleaf. This works out well from a logistics standpoint because they are both a couple blocks from the red line El (different stops).

The wife and I dropped in on a Sunday night around 5:40. I was really excited upon entering - it's a nice, clean place with TV's to watch football and some neat, old Miller brewerania. The bad part was they were preparing for a 6pm beer dinner and it would be standing room only for non participants. More bad news was that they would not serve my wife one of the only three beers she was interested in because they were part of the beer dinner. I'm cool with the beer dinner, but the not serving a beer aspect gives them a lower service score.

The beer selection was comprised of all the very good, readily available craft beers available in Chicago. I didn't notice any of the exception beers as others have mentioned. I was zero'd in on Surly and a bit distracted by the beer dinner and my wife not being able to get a beer she wanted.

I had to quickly down my Surly Furious so we could head out because the dinner folks were filling all the tables.

I'm not going to let this experience jade me and I plan on a return visit in the future. It's a good place to get a number of excellent craft beers. I suspect it's easier to get a table or a seat at the bar here as opposed to some of the more popular beer bars in the city. I'm also very interested in sampling their Cajun/Creole food.

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Photo of bschinelli
4.93/5  rDev +14.4%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

This is the best beer bar in the city of Chicago. I know, there are other places with great beer, but the Local Option always has something on tap that just isn't available anywhere else. I won't say it's always a world class beer, but it's generally interesting, like the Swiss trying to brew an American IPA.

If you're in Chicago, you need to visit the Local Option.

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Photo of hawks10
4.9/5  rDev +13.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

Stopped in last night for a couple beers and some snacks with my girlfriend...had Pens/Caps game 7 on the TV (the only requirement I had for a bar that night)...

Place was empty, maybe 2 other people when we got there, but afterall, it was 6:30pm on a wednesday. Sat right at the bar and since we were the only 2 customers sitting at the bar we got tremendous service all night.

Started with the New Belgium Lips of Faith Biere de Mars and had a FFF/Local Option collab called Dortmunder Einfall. G/F had a Maudite and a Piraat. All beers were served in appropriate style glassware and usually the correct brewery too. Docks (not sure on spelling) was our bartender, extremely nice and knowledgeable, we talked beer for a couple hours and he let my g/f and I sample atleast a dozen other taps...

Definately recommend ordering the gauc which is served with soft warm pita slices, very good!

Had a great time at Local Option and would definitely go back in a heartbeat. The service, friendliness and knowledge of our bartender was top notch!


Stopped back in on 8.21.09 with my girlfriend and a friend of mine...had a tremendous time again. Same bartender we had before, remembered my girlfriend and I and was pouring us free samples (BIG samples) all night, all in all probably had a good portion of 15 of their 20 or so taps...had a St. Bernardus Abt 12, Cantillon Framboise (excellent!) and a St. Feullien Saison. Left with a free glass (not stolen) as well. Was a Friday night and place was half full, we had easy seating all night, but a good atmosphere. Had a great time again and HIGHLY recommend The Local Option to anyone in the Chicago area.

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Photo of LornaLee
4.9/5  rDev +13.7%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

This is without doubt my favorite beer bar in Chicago. I have been to many others, and for interesting selection, knowledgeable (and not snooty) service, this place cannot be beat.

I also like that the staff never condescended to me because I am a woman. I was able to clearly communicate my likes and dislikes, and my excitement for new beers, and try beers without being pigeonholed. That is sometimes hard to find at other beer bars, as the beer world is a boy's club, and it's sometimes hard for me to find my place in it. Note to other restaurants, a beer geek is a beer geek, no matter what kind of junk you pack.

It doesn't hurt that it's two blocks from my apartment in a neighborhood full of bars that aren't my speed, either.

I don't knock the food, but I'm a dick about food just like I'm a dick about beer. That being said, I have no qualms about having a date night with dinner at The Local. The guac is stellar, and you should only order the Muffeletta if you don't have dinner plans for the next three days... its' that big, and that delicious.

I love the constantly rotating taps, and the old standbys mixed in with their own brews, as well as other beers I rarely see elsewhere and probably wouldn't have the guts to try.

Extra points for no jukebox and interesting music always being played (metal, jazz, yacht rock, vocal groups, you name it), and the Big Buck Hunter game in the back.

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Photo of spointon
4.88/5  rDev +13.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

I had been coming to this area for years and never made it in to this place. Damn what I was missing!

Its not a terribly large place but its not too small either. I visited on a sunny Saturday afternoon and it was halfway busy with about 1/3 to 1/2 the seats filled.

The bar has a cool old time look and the overall vibe is very laid back. Just a couple of TVs and the bartender was willing to search out the baseball game for me.

The beer was outstanding, with a totally stellar selection of quality, and in many cases rare, offerings. I walked in, studied the list, and ordered the Schlenkerla Oak Smoke. The bartender took this as a sign of me knowing about beer and we commenced to have a long and wonderful conversation about quality craft beers. Such a great way to spend a Saturday afternoon!

I will certainly go out of my way to visit this place as often as possible form now on!!!

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Photo of BrewsAndBeyond
4.83/5  rDev +12.1%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5


The Local Option is indeed a great local option. There is an alliance of all factors beer nerds look for in a place and it collaborates beautifully. This place has a special impact; there is self-realization and inner reflection involved. You realize the vast array of beers out there in the world you have yet to conquer, you start to question the rationality of becoming a voodooist, but more importantly you realize as you are surrounded by nerds while having an energetic discussion about brews with staff and patrons is that: “Wow, I AM a nerd too! And it’s pretty cool.”

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Photo of n2pux
4.8/5  rDev +11.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5

Hit this place the day after a night at Three Floyds Brewpub, which was great ...but I gotta say I liked Local Option even better. It was early enough on a Saturday that it wasn't packed yet. The soundtrack isn't nearly as metal as the imagery on the wall would suggest ...which is a bonus for me anyway. As mentioned in another review, the servers greet you initially with a hint of suspicion. But they do warm up nicely once they can tell you're not liquored-up Cubs fan. And the beer selection is world class. Had a few that I'd only read about in beer-deprived Texas. I can't imagine ever being in Chicago without stopping here.

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Photo of cratez
4.8/5  rDev +11.4%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

Visited with my girlfriend during a recent trip to Chicago.

VIBE: hardcore metal dive bar and loud music, which put us off initially, but the staff ensure that everyone feels welcomed. Really cool historical portraits of the city and the signs ("No Specials Ever," "Welcome Nerds," "Purveyors of the Miller High Life") made us laugh. We enjoyed the privacy of our booth in the back of the bar.

SERVICE: quick and attentive waiters are readily able to make solid suggestions. I was drinking by style and each server made appropriate recos based on what I was looking for. All of them asked me what I thought of the beers. Food arrived swiftly and the staff were chatting us up on our way out. Very friendly people running this place.

SELECTION: silly and robust list of rare draughts from across the globe. I quaffed a SKA Steel Toe Stout, Green Flash Imperial IPA, and Lost Abbey Avant Garde and also noticed Port Brewing Older Viscosity, Mikkeller Funky E Star, Great Divide Belgian Yeti, and Old Mephisto on tap. Most of the Three Floyds lineup was available. Didn’t even look at the bottle menu since the draughts were so good.

FOOD: we only planned to have drinks but the food menu looked appetizing so we ordered the Guacamole plate. It was super fresh and tasty with a thoughtful presentation. I’d love to return for dinner to try the one of the po’ boys or jambalaya.

OVERALL: had an awesome time here and would gladly revisit. Definitely one of the top spots that we came across while vacationing in Chicago. A mandatory stop.

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Photo of pbass78
4.78/5  rDev +10.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

The Local Option is hands down, one of my favorite bars in the world. They have a fantastic (if not enormous) beer selection, really good and reasonably priced food, great service, and Iron Maiden artwork on the walls. What more could you want? I'm in Chicago for three days, and have already been there twice. The guacamole and po-boys are delicious, and all the beers I've sampled (Dreadnought IPA, Jandrain-Jandrenouille IV Saison, etc) have been quite good. My ONLY complaint about this place is their beer board. The beer names are written (sometimes in abbreviated form) on a chalkboard, but the prices, serving size, style and alcohol content are not provided. Granted, the staff is extremely knowledgeable and helpful, but since all this info IS avaialble on their website, it has always baffled me as to why they wouldn't provide this on a printout menu or on the board. That being said, this a WORLD-CLASS beer bar, and I will always make a point to visit when I'm in Chicago. Happy New Year!

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Photo of crossovert
4.78/5  rDev +10.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

Went here on a Wednesday evening before a Devin Townsend concert (I heard it was a "metal bar")

It is a hole in the wall in a mostly residential area. It is nice inside with 31 taps and some bottles. Lots of rare goodies. There was no metal music but it was a nice quiet vibe.

I got a Dark Horse Plead the Option and it was a bit too cold. The food is well-priced and delicious. Not too spicy but there was hot sauce at the table.

The bathroom is unique.

The beer is pricier here.

Overall a solid place if you want to try some rare beers.

Been here many more times and I think it is the best place in IL.

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Photo of WOTO97
4.78/5  rDev +10.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Of all the spots in Chicago, this definitely has to top the list. People here are great. Tony does a great job cycling through beers on tap and always has great seasonal and specialty beers on tap. He has also done a great job pushing tasting dinners and other events. Noah is solid behind the taps; will gladly bend your regarding anything on tap and what him and Tony have been recently brewing.

As mentioned above, the beers here are really top notch. Also, everyone who works here is pretty generous when it comes to allowing patrons to try tasters before settling on a beer.

The food is really good. First time I was in for lunch, I was not expecting a whole lot. Pleasantly surprised. Definitely not in the ballpark of standard pub fare.

If you are in Lincoln Park and are looking for a great spot, look no further.

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Photo of Morphoenix
4.75/5  rDev +10.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

The Local Option is a bit of a diamond in the rough. Located just off of DePaul University's Lincoln Park campus, this place is surrounded by a rather sleepy and quiet neighborhood. The atmosphere in the bar is fairly laid-back most of the time, though weekends can get a little loud and raucous during the night hours. The place is hardly ever crowded to the point where ordering a drink becomes an issue. It's clean and tidy, and offers various seating options, including tables, booths and of course bar seating. Various beer-related murals, signs and bottles cover the walls and they have a few large flat-screen televisions.

Service is friendly, staff is knowledgable and will carry a conversation if time permits, and will provide samples of any beer you're interested in tasting before ordering a whole glass. Impressive glassware selection; they have the proper glass for any style of beer and will pretty much always use good judgment in choosing a vessel.

Selection here is second to none, with a wide array of beer in bottles and on tap to suit any taste. Though I usually go for the draught offerings, there is plenty to be had in bottles. There are around 30 beers on tap at any given time, ranging from stouts to tripels to DIPAs and more. I have found lots of great stuff here, including offerings from Three Floyds (Moloko Plus, Gorch Fock), Surly (Furious, Hell, CynicAle), Southern Tier (Creme Brulee, Pumking) and much more.

The food at the Option is great, too. They specialize in seafood, so don't be afraid to order something with shrimp, fish or other sea-faring fauna when you're here. The jambalaya is amazing, as are the beer-battered fries. Service is usually quick and the kitchen is open until fairly late, so you can come in and chow down almost any time.

Overall, the Local Option is a great place and well worth visiting if you're in the area. With a wonderful selection of beer along with great food to eat while drinking it, you'll find it compares well with any of the other more renowned beer bars in Chicago. Prices are expectedly not cheap, but this is a bar, and within Chicago's city limits. Expect to pay around $6 per beer and around $10 per entree.

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Photo of ronhocker
4.74/5  rDev +10%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5

I stopped in here on my way through chicago during the holidays. This place is almost right on Depaul's campus.

It is relatively small with about 10 tables or so and a 20' long bar. There are 25 taps and I believe their is a bottle list although I was never offered one.

What makes this place great is the 25 taps are not usual craft brews. Around 80% of them are seasonal or specialty releases from various brewers. I asked a few questions about a couple beers to the bartender and he answered them fully and certainly knew about the beers I asked.

I didn't have food but the menu was standard pub fare perhaps with "Po' Boys" on it for some southern influence.

The prices can be steep, I paid $8 or a 8oz pour of Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout, which was worth it!

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Photo of mcc1654
4.72/5  rDev +9.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

My favorite beer bar in Chicago. They have 31 taps that rotate almost every week. The draft selection is amazing. I can't speak for their bottle selection because I only ever order draft beers when I am there. The service is friendly and they know what they are talking about. The food menu is limited, but everything I have had is solid. I always find plenty of good American craft brews on tap, but I am always amazed by the international small breweries they have on tap that I don't see anywhere else in the city. They are going to start brewing a few of their own beers in January next year. I can't wait. Overall this is a great place to drink some seldom seen in Chicago beers with a great atmosphere (not pretentious at all like some other "beer bars" I won't name).

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Photo of NewGlarusFan
4.7/5  rDev +9%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

Came here during a Lincoln Park bar crawl and wanted to dodge the DePaulsters for an hour. First it was packed took a few minutes to get some services but I understand nothing can be done about it. The beer is great had Morning Wood and Central Waters BA Stout. FFF dorks pack the place only drinking ZD, AK, and any other FFF beer versus trying something new. Wings are good not great but good.

Looking forward to coming back again for an event. Great place I enjoy the "Option."

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Photo of Slap_and_Pickle
4.68/5  rDev +8.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 3

This was a must stop during my trip to Chicago. Absolute amazing collection of rare beers that were on tap! Claims to be cajun regarding the food selection - had the jambalaya, which was mediocre but the bread that came with it was delicious.

Anyways more about the beer. I had the struise st. amatus and black albert on tap - my companion had goose island bourbon county rare and evil twin imperial biscotti.

Selection here is amazing and the staff is patient and well versed. Hats off to the owner for going out of his way to have such a excellent selection of hard to find brews on tap.

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Photo of Weebay
4.65/5  rDev +7.9%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

I've been here three times now and I do love this place. The selection was great, the service was amazing, and best of all Ed the bartender really knows and loves his beer; his bearded sidekick was awesome as well. (Sorry, I forgot his name)

I found the employees to be great people, we ended up chatting with them for most of the night on a quiet Thursday night, talking about everything from beer to the hockey riots in Vancouver. They had some great recommendations of places to check out in town.

The food was good, nothing to complain about, the burger wasn't as good as the one at Kuma's, but then again no other burger I've ever had has been.

I know I'll be going back again next time I get the chance.

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Local Option in Chicago, IL
3.9 out of 5 based on 1,649 ratings.
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