The Beer Temple

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The Beer TempleThe Beer Temple
The Beer TempleThe Beer Temple

Type: Bar, Beer-to-go

3173 N Elston Ave
Chicago, Illinois, 60618-7133
United States

(773) 754-0907 | map

None provided.

View: Place Reviews | Events
User Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 56 | Ratings: 180
Photo of Sabtos
4.14/5  rDev -13.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

They have a very nicely micro-targeted collection of very small brewery and small batch beer for the ultra-geek, as well as some more widely known craft and Euro options. It really is pretty impressive, particularly in such a large city, with an additional walk in cooler that has plenty of space for browsing.

The cherry on top is the surprisingly large bar area with a moderate sized bar top and a number of tables to sit at. The taplist mirrors the bottle list in that it is very focused on unique, hard to find brews, whether there's hype behind them or not is secondary. Cool place overall.

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Photo of dukeandduke
4.76/5  rDev -0.2%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.75 | service: 5 | selection: 4.75

5/13/19 (Chicago): Not sure why it took so long to reach The Beer Temple beyond the location, but well worth my first visit and can't wait to go back. Started in the tap room, over 20 draft pours including an ongoing cask conditioned handle, they offer a wide variety of brewers and styles at reasonable prices, especially considering the quality and availability of their offerings. Bartender was friendly, knowledgeable and provided great service to one and all. Bar and table areas nice and accommodating. Bottles also offered, either from the taproom or bottle shop, which is extensive in terms of styles and quality of offerings, including non beer offerings such as meads and whiskey. In addition to the four (two more than I originally planned on going in), I brought additional offerings home (new offerings and old favorites),with a second and third trip list of additional offerings I plan on snagging in future trips. Friendly and knowledgeable service and selection, I look forward to many future trips to the Beer Temple!

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Photo of LeslieA
5/5  rDev +4.8%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

I've known Chris and Margaret since before they had a store. Chris is very knowledgable. The staff give good suggestions. The tap list always has something new and/or interesting. You can find hidden gems in the bottle shop. This place is great! Support this small business with a great selection of beer, cider and specialty liquors. Why go anywhere else?

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Photo of BillRoth
4.57/5  rDev -4.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.5

Excellent little bottle shop and tap room. Broad and great selections worldwide. Expert advice from team.
Perfect for loading up the Beer Safari suitcase.
Will check out on line service soon.

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Photo of Beginner2
4.68/5  rDev -1.9%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.5

10/27/17 since my original review, I've probably gone to The Beer Temple 10 times. All good.
But it is time for everyone to update the reviews because 7 weeks ago, Beer Temple moved across the alley to their combined taproom and bottleshop. The taproom is very well done, pleasant. It has at least two dozen beers and ciders on tap and many more in bottles ("The Beer Bible" is the list.) Almost everything else below holds the same. But you should visit the taproom.

original review from 3/23/16
This is 1.5 miles from home and been open for over 3 years and today is the first time I walked in.
(I guess I'm lazy about hunting, or try to maximize the yield by going to the big stores.)
I knew the associate from another store. Big-time knowledgeable. I met the owner doing an informal tasting.
I bought enough to stuff my tennis backpack. (The store needs a bike rack.)
I went home and went on their website. Placed an order. Impressive for a small store.
I will go there again shortly.

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Photo of pagriley
4.22/5  rDev -11.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.25

Great little store with helpful staff. Were pouring some really tasty out of distro beers as samples
Great sour and Belgian selection.
Prices are reasonable given that they are small and don't have the buying power of binnys - perhaps 50c or $1 more per bomber than the discount places, but the selection makes up for it.

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Photo of CotterEU
5/5  rDev +4.8%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

Best selection in the city. Not only is the inventory well thought out, it is highly combed through. I have never had a beer that was too old or past it's best by date. Nick always provides outstanding customer service and awesome recommendations every time I am in. This place is what a craft beer shop should be. Impressive.

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Photo of beardown2489
4.94/5  rDev +3.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

Chris Quinn has created something great. All the reviews below say enough. Truly a world class establishment run by a staff that truly strives to provide the best craft beer experience they can.
Bottle shops like this will never go out of style.

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Photo of DoubleSimcoe
4.86/5  rDev +1.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 5 | selection: 5

Down the road from Revolution, Beer Temple was my second beery stop in Chicago. What an incredible store! The neighborhood is a little rundown and not a place where you’d expect to find one of the best beer jawns in Chicagoland. They have some wine, bourbon and ciders from Spain, but you’re here for the beer.

They have a ton of cool stuff here, so I'll tell you about the kind of high-ABV stuff I like: Samael, Eclipse variants, barrel-aged Ovila, Belgians galore, Jolly Pumpkin bottles I’ve never seen (Rojzilla), Telegraph, 3 Sheeps, Bruery, Mikkeller...

Don’t miss the Chicago selection: Pipeworks, Spiteful, Mikerphone and every single Chitown brew you can imagine. Most beer is room temp, but the place is kept cool, and the IPA’s are in the cooler. The beer guy working the store was knowledgeable beyond belief, and fun to chat with. Can’t recommend Beer Temple enough!

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Photo of dannycohen62
5/5  rDev +4.8%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

One of the best bottle shops I have ever been to, hands down. Small but still offers a world-class selection, friendly staff that goes above and beyond, and some of the most honest pricing in Chicago.

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Photo of Jnashed
4.93/5  rDev +3.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.75

I highly recommend ordering beer from here. I did a few weeks ago. Selection was very good, took one week to arrive. Shipping costs were resasonable . All IPA and APA were within 3 weeks of bottle/ canned date.

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Photo of slavall
5/5  rDev +4.8%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

Went out of my way to stop on a visit to the Chicago area from Wisconsin. Excellent selection with friendly and very knowledgeable service. Well worth the extra miles!

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Photo of stephens101
4.82/5  rDev +1%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 5 | selection: 4.75

World-class selection, great attention to detail and excellent customer service makes this one of the best, if not the best bottle shops I've ever visited. Chris was warm and welcoming and free with the spot-on suggestions. You could tell the guy loves beer and wasn't just trying to make a sale. And despite his knowledge, I never felt talked down to.

The store was clean, neat and well laid out. There's plenty of rare beer to be found and the prices are not extravagant, but be prepared to spend if you're not used to this kind of selection. Like a kid in a candy store I spent way more than I should have, but it was worth every penny.

Hope to return sooner than later.

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Photo of AnotherVice
5/5  rDev +4.8%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

Been a regular at The Beer Temple pretty much since it opened about two years ago. The owner, Chris, has created an amazing store. The selection is unbelievable. If you are in Chicago, it's a must visit.

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Photo of chicagobeerguy
4.93/5  rDev +3.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.75

Went in there for the first time yesterday and was blown away. He had a great selection but what really put it over the top was the labels on every beer that let you know when it came in or was brewed. You know your going to get a fresh beer here. The prices were reasonable and in some cases cheaper than other liquor stores around the area. Plus there's free parking around back. Love this place and will be back!

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Photo of BrianBo
5/5  rDev +4.8%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

Always parking in the back, and there is always a good selection of craft beer/cider/mead on site. Good mix of American and imports (large and small format), with plenty of standard 6 pack craft/cider/mead kept cold for your immediate party needs. There are consistent updates on new shipments posted with pictures on Facebook and Twitter so you can see what is arriving multiple times a week.

Staff is amazing, always friendly and always willing to help you find what you are looking for. If you are looking for a flavor profile, they can help point you in the right direction. Something that is lacking in other bottle stores around the city: A hanging plate with price, beer name and type right on the shelf. No need to guess if that vaguely named beer is a red or an IPA. The staff is also willing to pull beers up on the internet at the counter if needed.

Prices are fair for the city and usually competitive to all the local stores.

There is always a bottle open for tasting at the counter, often there are multiple bottles. Friends of the store bring in hard to find beers and the store shares them with customers that walk in. Again, this is something you can find on the social media sites.

Chris, the owner and Cicerone, is also about beer education which has earned him respect from consumers and those in the industry. His VLOG was online long before the store opened and he has continued his regular episodes since opening the store two years ago.

If you are looking for a massive beer warehouse, don't stop here. But if you are looking for a boutique bottle shop that only carries the best beer around, then this is your store. This is easily one of the top three beer stores in the city and worth your time there.

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Photo of Sdamo
5/5  rDev +4.8%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

If you want craft beer from Chicago, this is the place. The experienced staff treats you like the only customer--no matter what your craft beer experience level is. The beer tasting often available is an added bonus to shopping. The back parking lot is easy in an out. This is one to check out.

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Photo of SomethingClever
4.55/5  rDev -4.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 5 | selection: 5

Purely an online experience. Their website and the order process is amazing, step by step of where your order currently is after being placed. Everything was packed great arrived in excellent condition.

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Photo of Dr_Fox
3.54/5  rDev -25.8%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 3.75 | service: 2.75 | selection: 4

Overrated. Sure, its better than most beer stores, but there are better places to buy in a city the size of Chicago. I visited Binny's on the same day, and Binny's had not only a FAR better selection, but lower prices too. In fact, I found the prices at The Beer Temple to be equivalent to several other small liquor stores in the city that mark their beers up by $1-2 per bomber. Selection was ok, but again, I didn't see anything in the store that wasn't available at all of my other stops. On top of that, the guy working gave me a very condescending answer when I asked a question about finding a beer. Just not a great place when there are so many other good ones around.

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Photo of WiscoTerr
5/5  rDev +4.8%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

Rarely is any place perfect, but I can't think of anything negative here. Meet someone for an IP trade here, and went in after. Owner was extremely helpful and walked me around the store showing me some things they had. Place has everything you could think of, and more you don't know exists. Store is clean and well organized, and I enjoyed beer needing out with the owner and other patrons for a while.

Will be a regular stop when in town for mr.

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Photo of donnierickles
5/5  rDev +4.8%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

Amazing selection at great prices (for the most part). The service was great and not snobby. Huge Pipeworks selection. To top it off, they had a free sample of a 2013 Bourbon County Stout. Cheers!

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Photo of chazmcbro
4.82/5  rDev +1%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 5 | selection: 4.75

Stopped in on a Monday afternoon to finally check this place out. What it lacks in size, it makes up in service and selection. i didn't see many beers I wouldn't be interested in trying, and got a few suggestions of things I probably would've passed on otherwise due to my unfamiliarity with some of the less hyped Chicago beers. The thing that impressed me most was how dedicated they are to freshness. If the beer wasn't clearly marked with a bottle date, thete was a price sticker that had it on the front of the carrier. Thats definitely going the extra mile for customers/education, pretty awesome.

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Photo of Barnoloid
4.89/5  rDev +2.5%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 5 | selection: 5

The Beer Temple is an extremely well curated bottle shop with a focus on stocking fresh beer. It is well known that they will not sell beer that is past its’ prime, which is commendable. This justifies the prices of the products offered, given that you know you are getting premium quality. The owners are knowledgable and friendly and provide a welcome offering for the neighborhood. My only regret is that I don’t live within walking distance, although maybe that is for the best.

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Photo of dpische
5/5  rDev +4.8%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

I am fortunate enough to live close to the store and thus get to visit regularly. I can't speak highly enough about Chris, his team and the store he has built, it is truly a destination store. The service and selection are second to none and make it worth the trip.

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Photo of SerialTicker
4.64/5  rDev -2.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5

Can't believe I forgot to post this review I typed up last year on Yelp. Well, here it is

Naturally, after going to Kuma's Corner, I had to come to The Beer Temple. If it weren't from the help of a fellow BeerAdvocate, I probably wouldn't have known of this place.

Upon entry, I initially thought the place seemed a little small. After looking around for awhile and asking the owner, Chris (more on him in a minute), where certain beers were, he pointed me in the direction. The Beer Temple really isn't small at all. How dumb of me.

Being from Michigan, I wanted to get me some stuff that I can't get there. Well, I spent about $60 and got plenty of beer. Revolution Anti-Hero, Ballast Point Sculpin, Sixpoint Resin, among other things.

While in the middle of looking around, Chris mentioned that he was having a free blind beer tasting -- guess any of the four specific beers and you'd get a free bottle. I could tell that all of the beers I had were probably IPAs, so I was right about that, but without having a sheet of paper with the list of beers in a random order, I had no chance. The whole idea of the blind tasting is a cool idea, and something that I wish places around here would do more of... it turns out I like Stone IPA more than I thought I did. Maybe that was because the bottle I had bought previously wasn't very fresh, I don't know. Alright, I'm rambling.

My only gripe with The Beer Temple is the severely limited Mix-a-Six section. I would have loved to have gone in and gotten about 5 or 6 mixed six packs so I could have 30-36 different beers, but I instead walked out with about six different brews. On the plus side, I think *every beer* has a little label on it that lets you know when the beer was bottled... this is a crucial thing for IPAs in particular.

This place has a wonderful selection, and I'm going back the next time I am in Chicago.

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The Beer Temple in Chicago, IL
Place rating: 4.77 out of 5 with 180 ratings