The Blind Pig Brewery

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The Blind Pig BreweryThe Blind Pig Brewery
Very Good
131 Ratings
The Blind Pig BreweryThe Blind Pig Brewery

Type: Brewery, Bar

120 N Neil St
Champaign, Illinois, 61820-4023
United States

(217) 398-5133 | map

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Added by emerge077 on 08-31-2009

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View: Beers | Place Reviews
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Ratings: 18 |  Reviews: 12
Photo of Gobearswalter34
4.51/5  rDev +10%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.75

I must start with this...half price drafts including their brews. Great tap list. Cool Irish pub feel. Statted with their Barrell aged IPA draft $3.25. Oh shiit!!!!

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Photo of fredmugs
2.55/5  rDev -37.8%
vibe: 2 | quality: 2 | service: 3 | selection: 3

Stopped in as part of a road trip. The place was very dark with poor lighting like we were in an old 70s dive bar. We had a sampler and the two Blind Pig beers we had (IPA and Hey Porter) were basically undrinkable. The IPA had nothing going for it and we left the porter on the bar.

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Photo of kylehay2004
3.86/5  rDev -5.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5

Photo of gormanv
3.61/5  rDev -12%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 3.75 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5

This was a fun place. Obviously had a ton of college age patron being in a Beg Ten college town. Beware that there are two locations almost next to each other. One is a bar/restaurant and the other is the brewery/bar. Their beer was very good with lots of flavor. Not a very big selection though.

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Photo of redleg411
4.38/5  rDev +6.8%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.25

Photo of BalancingBrooms
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%

Photo of barnzy78
4/5  rDev -2.4%

Photo of JIMTRK16
4.5/5  rDev +9.8%

Photo of NateMac13
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%

Photo of Jackofallbrews
3.93/5  rDev -4.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4

After dinner at Radio Maria, I dragged my family down the street to the Blind Pig Brewery. This is the smaller sister to the Blind Pig pub and is often called The Piglet by locals. They usually have 2-4 house brews, brewed on the tiniest professional brew system I've ever seen (1 barrel?), about 8 other rotating craft beers, and a ton of bottles. The place was hopping, but we managed to snag a small table near the door for our group. I shoved my way to the bar and brought back a sampler of all four house beers to share with our group. All of the beers were very good, showing a lot of improvement from the last visit. The coffee stout was amazing, and the IPA was spot-on.

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Photo of JstnP
4.31/5  rDev +5.1%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5

+ No food, but plenty of beer to choose from. Usually a good tap selection and a ton of bottles. Most bartenders are knowledgeable and friendly, willing to make suggestions. They do trivia nights sometimes, which is a lot of fun.

- It's a college town, so if you go in on a weekend evening you're going to have to wade through a lot of PBR-swilling-hipsters too cool to hang out at the on-campus dive bars. Nice in the afternoon or on slow weeknights, but the weekend evenings here are crowded, dark, and noisy. It's a very small place. I know a lot of people would prefer the small, old, dark kind of bar atmosphere, but it's not for me. I want to see my beer when I'm drinking it, and I don't want to have to scream at the bartender to ask a question while he/she sprints around filling orders.

Overall, a great place to drink, and probably the best I've been to in Champaign. Just avoid it during peak hours. If you do end up here on a crowded night, just grab your brew as quickly as possible and then duck through the dimly-lit back door and you will find respite on a roomy patio with several free tables.

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Photo of DoubleSimcoe
3.93/5  rDev -4.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4

Another one of Champaign's great beer spots, this one with beer brewed on premises. Inside it looks like a replica of the older Blind Pig- all wood, dim lights, coziness and nice low-key music.

Selection is not as good as in the main Pig, though. Only 12 taps during my visit, of which ten were guest and only two house beers (APA and Chili Beer). APA was very good, but really, more choices are a must.

(On my second visit, I had the newly-tapped Imperial Stout, which was delicious and rather impressive, and half-pints of Port Brewing Anniversary and Boulevard Collaboration #2). Subsequent visits had seen me trying their Grand Cru, Oatmeal Stout and British Mild. All very solid, some excellent (Grand Cru).

Among the guest taps, Two Brothers Hop Juice, Green Flash Barleywine, Smuttynose Old Brown Dog, Schafly Kolsch, Spaten Optimator.

They had just ran out of Flossmoor Black Magic and their own Uber Weizen, both of which I wanted to try.

(It looks like the house brews are mighty popular, as FOUR are announced outside but only two are actually available, plus five "on deck", including an Imperial Stout)

No food, as with the bigger Pig, but they do have a cool mug club- I saw a bunch of folks leaving the bar with their own mug. I would happily be one of them if I lived in Champaign!

I will give this Pig another try and hopefully have more of their house beers. But for now, I will go to the bigger Pig, where selection (and even service, by the way) is better. Prices are always great in both locations, and I appreciate that.

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Photo of emerge077
4.36/5  rDev +6.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4

Really enjoy drinking Blind Pig beers every year in Madison at the Great Taste, and at the Mason Lounge party, which is always a great time. They do flagships as well as experimental stuff, high quality stuff and always a good variety. Heard a rumor they would start distribution, hopefully it's true. An underrated midwest brewery.

Finally had the chance to drop by and check out the new brewery operation of the Blind Pig. We lucked out and were able to chat with Bill the brewer, who was great to talk to. One important note, their capacity is currently too small to meet demand, so no growler fills yet.

From outside, it almost looks like a quaint cafe with a pair of patio tables, a sidewalk sandwich board, with a black wood facade and gold trim. The brew kettles in the windows tip you off that this is no cafe, in fact it's a tiny brewery inside a cozy bar. Atmosphere is similar to the main Blind Pig bar, dimly lit, old barn wood, heavy beams overhead lined with old obscure bottles. Past the bar is a row of weathered nooks, appointed with equally time-worn tables and mismatched windowpanes set into the walls. Further back is a row of fermenters in a side room, and an open door leading out to a sizable back patio.

Tap selection was good, including Curmudgeon, Lakefront IBA, Bells Java, Avery DuganA, and a few others. Bottle list was similar to the other location. They were in between house batches, serving only their west coast IPA, which was excellent. Sadly they currently only have capacity to meet the demand of on-site consumption and don't offer growlers to go yet.

Champaign is lucky to have a high-quality microbrewery like this in town. If passing through, Blind Pig Brewery is a mandatory stop...

Blurb from 2010 GTOM program:
"Established in 2009, the Blind Pig Brewery is Champaign-Urbana’s first real brewery since prohibition. Brewer Bill Morgan brews three times a week on our tiny system and turns out hand crafted brews full of flavor and lots of love. All our beer is unfiltered, unpasteurized, and unadulterated - just wholesome goodness made with quality ingredients and no fear. Bill is a long-time friend of the GTOM, and after a few years away, he is delighted to return with some recipes you may remember from years past. When you are in C-U, come visit our english style pub which features an authentic 1859 back bar, 200 year old barn beams, tables from Svoboda’s Nickleodeon in Chicago, the best beer garden in town, a pub trivia night, and best of all -- no tv's! Drop in, unplug, unwind, and enjoy some of the freshest beer around."

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Photo of bluemoonswoon
3.53/5  rDev -13.9%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 2.5 | selection: 4

Stopped here on multiple occasions and am only just now getting around to getting a review of this place logged.

First stopped in August when this place opened, thinking I was going to be able to try some locally brewed beer only to discover that it would be a few months before any of their beers would be available. So I kept going back and they kept not having their beer ready to drink. Finally, I made the mistake of going there the day after their release party and discovered that the place was drunk dry, not a drop of their own beer in the house.

Finally finally this past weekend I stopped in and got myself a glass of their Belgian Pale Ale which turned out to be pretty good. A step or two below an Orval, which I believe is some pretty high praise.

The place is laid out much like the original Pig. Lots and lots of wood, dimmly lit, the difference here is it's not nearly as worn in, a bit cleaner and it smells like a brewery. I imagine in a few years time this place will take on the look of its big brother.

The only thing I didn't really like about the place was the service. Granted it was a Sunday afternoon, but the bartender didn't seem all that interested in being there. Beyond that this place serves as a nice switch up from the normall Pig and will carry things that you might not be able to find elsewhere in town.

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Photo of Gehrig
4.5/5  rDev +9.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

Just a stone's throw from The Blind Pig bar, the Brewery offers Bill's crafted brews to complement a wide and impressive assortment of bottled micros and tap selections. Like the original, the Brewery's atmosphere is dark, dimly lit on the perimeter, looking shadowy even when it's bright and sunny outside. Long and narrow, the bar area is classic--plenty of woodwork on the walls, wooden floors, and tall stools with comfortable seats. It also has a courtyard out back for the warm weather which, in east central Illinois, can be frequent. A very good setting.

The beers are excellent, both Blind Pig's own and the rest. Their Belgian Stout is terrific, really exemplary, and I enjoyed the Belgian Pale Ale quite a bit also. All Blind Pig brews are fresh, right from the big copper casks aside the bar. They rotate taps frequently and blend styles well, incorporating Arcadia's Big Dick's Old Ale recently along with Avery DuganA, and Left Hand wares. The selection of bottles is varied and impressive. Bell's is well represented, with HopSlam, Two Hearted, and Third Coast Old Ale available. Founders is also in abundance--Double Trouble, Curmudgeon, and Breakfast Stout. Two Brothers Cane and Ebel, Brother Thelonius, and Coffee Porter are also stocked. Avery, Great Divide, The Lost Abbey, and more adorn the coolers. Plenty to enjoy.

The bartenders are very good, attentive, and knowledgeable about beer generally and their own wares specifically. I had a good chinwag with a bartender about IPAs, Belgians, and hoppy beers overall, and it was very stimulating.

I'd highly recommend stopping by The Brewery, a very good complement to the original and a splendid place for local micros. Impressive, a fantastic hangout.

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Photo of gregalobeer
4.5/5  rDev +9.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

The Blind Pig Brewery was still not a brewery as of about two months ago, but is certainly a pub worthy of its namesake.

Decor is much like the original, lots of wooden framing and furniture, low lighting. The "vanity" vats (for now) add a nice touch of authenticity. Back patio surpasses the front patio of the mother pub in space and atmosphere. No cars passing, so less noise and air pollution.

The beer menu is modest but ample. The wait staff, I would say, is a bit friendlier than at the Blind Pig proper. Maybe the smaller bar invites friendlier client interactions. Maybe the tenders at the other bar have a chip on their shoulder. Maybe I'm crazy.

Recommendation: Go to this bar. It's a lot of fun in a beer-drinkers town.

(anticipating the home brews!)

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Photo of champ103
4.53/5  rDev +10.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

If you like the original Blind Pig, then you will no doubt love this place. It looks the same, and has the same wood work as the original. With an old barn look and lots of dark wood. The wood is taken from a 200 year old barn and antique tables. A relatively small and centrally located bar in front of the taps, the bar back is over 150 years old as well. The area has a couple of tables out front, and a great beer garden out back. Character oozes out of every wood poor here. Really laid back and relaxing. The service was good. The bar tender knew his stuff and was fast to boot.

The house beers are great. Usually 3-4. There was a Winter Warmer, a Belgian Dark, and an IPA the first time I visited. The house beers are constantly rotating, and they are always something interesting and unique (A Peach Wit, and Dry Hopped Pale might be the best two that I have had recently). They also have about 15 taps of other good micros and imports that rotates regularly as well. There is always something different to try. There are a ton of bottles as well. The quality is always exceptional, just fresh as can be.

You can't beat a quality brewpub, and this one is excellent. Very fresh and always enjoyable. It is about time there was a good brewpub in Champaign. Really, one of my favorite brewpubs I have been to. I can't recommend this place enough.

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Photo of Gonzoillini
4.34/5  rDev +5.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 5 | selection: 4

First Review for the new Blind Pig Brewery.

The Blind Pig Brewery is a great beer bar that doubles as the smallest commercial microbrewery in the world (according to Chris Knight, the Owner of both Blind Pig and Blind Pig Brewery). It had its beer release date today (11/17/2009) and they were pretty impressive.

This bar / brewery comes from the same owner who started the Blind Pig, which is the 26th best beer bar according to BA last year. Same atmosphere as the original (slightly dark, wood furniture and bar, no TV's, old school pub feel). A very beer / conversation focused establishment with a very large beer garden that should be great come spring.

The starting lineup was Kolsch, Hefeweizen, IPA (English Style) and Hard Cider (from the local Curtis Orchard). The beers were all solid to pretty impressive, with my favorite being the Kolsch as it was a solid fresh example of a beer that I often feel tastes old on the shelves when you find one.

In addition, the bar has 10 other taps dedicated to craft selections and relative unknown imports, with one tap that offers Old Style. It lacks the selection of craft drafts that the original Blind Pig offers, but has about the same number of bottles.

Big fan of both Blind Pig's, and hopefully the quality beer that Bill Morgan produces will make it a bar / brewpub that lasts for a long time.

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The Blind Pig Brewery in Champaign, IL
Brewery rating: 3.91 out of 5 with 131 ratings