Pig Minds Brewing Co.


Type: Brewery, Bar, Eatery

4080 Steele Dr
Machesney Park, Illinois, 61115-8358
United States

(779) 423-2147 | map

Monday - Thursday: 3pm - 11pm
Friday & Saturday: 12pm - 1am
Sunday: 12pm - 8pm

Added by emerge077 on 05-31-2012

View: Beers | Place Reviews | Events
User Reviews
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Reviews: 7 | Ratings: 27
Photo of Penguins66
3.91/5  rDev +1.3%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.25 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Definitely one of the more unique concepts--a brewery with a [presumably] 100% vegan menu. The food is, in a word, unique. One thing we've learned over several visits is vegan food can actually be quite filling. I wouldn't eat it every day but it's a nice change of pace. The Pig Mind [black bean & quinoa] burger and [meatless] nachos especially pair well with their beers. Portion sizes are generous and prices are definitely reasonable.

Most of the beers we have tried have been excellent. There is always something interesting on tap. For example, on our most recent visit they had a soy milk chili porter. Atmosphere is basic, with a warehouse feel, a smallish L-shaped bar, several tables, and few TV's.

The only negative, and it's relatively minor, is every bartender we've had has not been especially friendly. We've come to expect prompt service but not much else.

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Photo of wapcap
4.14/5  rDev +7.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.75 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4.25

A very good place to check out in the Rockford area. Easily the best brewery around. Food was very very good. Place was family friendly. Beers were good, nothing blew me away, but all good. Check out next time ur in the area!

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Photo of emerge077
3.91/5  rDev +1.3%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.75 | food: 4

Stopped here for lunch while passing through the area, and it was a good experience.

Atmosphere is pretty minimal and industrial, high ceilings, tanks in the back, open dining area with table seating, and an outdoor patio with some young hop bines growing.

Beer selection was good, there were around 10 house brews on and two that I had were good. Oak & Cherries was probably the highlight.

We had the Korean BBQ tacos and T.L.T. sandwich ,and both were flavorful. The tacos had a heavy smoke taste which I liked, but doubt the seitan/meat substitute actually saw a smoker. I cook a lot of vegetarian food at home, and was just glad to see everything wasn't tofu and garden burgers. Overall the experience was good, would be nice to see a little more beer variety.

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Photo of Trifecta1
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%

Clean bar, nice employees, good service. However, I wish the beer were more consistant. Mouthfeel on all beers are lacking. It'd also be nice if there were more taps. Food is extremely good for vegan food, of which I am not accustomed, but very pricy. The beer, on the other hand, is very reasonably priced.. Their best beer is Joe Daddy, by far, so be sure to get a taste of it if you visit.

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Photo of stouts4me
3.25/5  rDev -15.8%

Bad name, should be vegetable minds, there ain't no pork here- so don't think you are getting BBQ with your beer. That said, some of it is not too bad. The best beer they have is Joe Daddy, imperial coffee stout. Their Anniv party where they released bottles, just go drink Joe Daddy. They did'nt have those bottled beers on draft- 1 st clue, not that good, glad I did'nt load up . They should've barrel- aged the Joe Daddy, WINNER ! Hope they read this and do this.Update: at least they bottled Joe Daddy, keep fingers crossed.

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Photo of Mermie
4.18/5  rDev +8.3%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 3.25 | food: 4.5

The atmosphere is just neat, I'd say industrial with warm and vibrant colors. Keeping to their name they also have different sculptures and painting of the pig. They have a large garage door that opens up to the patio and on hot days they open it up so it becomes one large open space. I'd say go in just to get the vibe from how they decorated, I absolutely
adore it.

Quality is what you expect from a brewery in Machesney Park, they have some solid IPA's and stouts and occasionally get more adventurous in their brewing (Like Meredith Rd, very interesting combo.) Every beer I have had there is well made and true to the style. Only reason why they did not receive a 5 is that I tend to prefer stronger brews.

Service is great. I have never had a bad experience, even the Head Brewer is friendly and more than willing to stand and chat with you. Sometimes they are understaffed but even then the wait is not atrocious. The main bartender really knows beer and is a pleasure to talk with!

The selection is not bad but my snob is full blown. Only 10 taps and with such wonderful beer I'd love to see more.

Food... I am in no shape or form a vegetarian or vegan. When I first had one of their appetizers (chicken nuggets by a friends recommendation) I hated it. The second time I went I got a sandwich of my choosing I did not have the pretense of "It tastes like chicken!" and I truly fell in love with it. I haven't disliked a single thing since. Also if you like spicy you'll love it.

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Photo of TheSSG
3.83/5  rDev -0.8%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

Wow, no one's reviewed these guys yet?
I guess I'll break the ice.

I've been here a handful of times over the months (it's great that they are literally a few minutes away). I've tried pretty much everything they've made. Their stouts are very strong, they can make a nice wheat, and I dig the Pales they make.

They do try and branch out and make some more interesting biers (e.g. the current roasted poblano stout), but they also seem to respect the regional tradition of balanced bier, so don't go in expecting some freaky 150 IBU hop-bomb, beer snob wonderbrew. It's a typical line-up with something for everyone.

The atmosphere isn't too shabby. It can get loud on a weekend evening, but I love this place when I can sit outside in the biergarten; it's comfortable and relaxing.

Service is usually pretty good; attentive, knowledgeable, and friendly. I've not had a bad experience with any of the staff. When they first opened, one time, they were a bit short of people, so I waited a tad long...but it's above-average service.

The food...
So, I haven't eaten meat in over 12 years, so a vegan menu is not only refreshing, but welcome!
Being a Vegetarian (I do live 15 minutes from Wisconsin), I'm not a huge fan of dairy-free food, but they do a damned fine job.
They have things like Bruschetta, which is always awesome. I thought a fun twist is that they have a "Hummus of the day." How can you not love hummus? I've had the chilidog, and that wasn't terrible (and, if I've learned one thing over the last 12 meat-free years, it is that soy hotdogs are generally horrid). Their menu REALLY shines in the same way all vegan/vegetarian menus do; when they stop trying to simulate greasy American cuisine, and it embraces the flavor of vegetables. The Sante Fe tacos are fucking awesome, and I mentioned the hummus and bruschetta.
Some people have a REALLY HARD TIME getting over the mental hurdle of "vegan" (my dad is terrible about this). If you know someone like that, you may just not want to tell them, and just let them go into it open-minded. I mean, at the least, you can just eat like every vegetarian/vegan at most American-cuisine Brewpubs; fries, onion rings, and pretzels, hahaha. It works out well.

Prices are GREAT! $4 nets you a 16 fl. oz. pint! You can also do a 12 fl. oz. glass, or a 4 oz sample. The specialty/strong brews are 12 fl. oz. only, and never over $6. The food is reasonable, too (about the same or less than the generic IHOP/Applebee's/Chipotle corporate stuff all over).

Overall, I'm a fan of this place. The bier is very solid. It's nothing that blows my mind, but it's nothing to sneeze at; I've no complaints.
I get that a lot of people will have a HUGE mental hurdle when they find out the menu is vegan...but, c'mon....BEER IS VEGAN! Don't let a "vegan" label stop you :p
I'm glad they're just a few minutes from where I live...since I honestly prefer them to going downtown to Carlye.

If you're in the area, and you've been wondering, they're worth your time to come check out.
If you're passing through the area, or visiting some folks, they fit well into a Carlyle-Oasis-Pig Minds trifecta of good brews in the Rockford area.
I'm just thrilled to see something like this in the area, so I'm hoping they do well.

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Pig Minds Brewing Co. in Machesney Park, IL
3.62 out of 5 based on 364 ratings.
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