Only Child Brewing Company

Brewery, Bar, Beer-to-go

1350 Tri State Pkwy
Gurnee, Illinois, 60031-9185
United States

(847) 877-9822 | map
onlychildbrewing.com

Notes:
BEER STATS
Average:
3.93
Beers:
75
Reviews:
97
Ratings:
559
PLACE STATS
Average:
4.39
Reviews:
6
Ratings:
12
pDev:
10.25%
View: Beers | Place Reviews
Reviews: 6 | Ratings: 12 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of emerge077
3.84/5  rDev -12.5%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4

Located in an anonymous industrial strip mall, initially passed right by and circled the loading docks. It was a specific sort of dated suburban industrial park, not the easiest to find without street signage, and the area certainly lacks character. But it’s what’s on the inside that counts.

Inside the smell of burnt plastic and popcorn hits the nostrils. Everything else was kind of secondary, as the smell was super off-putting. Decor consisted of a rubber plant, some b/w logo murals, and a skull. The bar was halfway back on the right. Some barrels in the back, separating the brewery from the taproom. Lots of open seating, comfortable couches and tables.

Service was great, the bartender was a very personable guy that chatted plenty and helped everyone quickly.

Beer was alright, nothing great. The citra DIPA was steamrolled by blood orange juice. Schwarzbier was decent. Agave Lime APA was the best of the bunch surprisingly, but the 4-pack I took home tasted much different. I’d had a few of their beers before, infected bombers that had literally exploded on store shelves, so I swore them off for a few years. High time for a re-evaluation, and the beer was decent if not unexceptional. Overall, not a bad stop, but if making one beer stop in Lake Co., i’d recommend Zümbier nearby in Waukegan.

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Photo of AuntBea
4.07/5  rDev -7.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4

The seating area at the bar is small but, there are lots of tables to sit at in the taproom & 2 picnic tables outside. They have Baggo outside & a shuffle board table inside. The amount of beers can vary. One week they had 8 beers & the next week they were down to 5 beers. Friendly staff & knowledgeable. They gave us a basket of popcorn & there were some snacks in a wine carafe on the bar. You can bring your own food into the taproom. It’s a bit dark by the actual bar but, lots of light in front seating area. Nice variety of beers.

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Photo of GreggJ111
4.47/5  rDev +1.8%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.25

A great local place with a clean/industrial vibe compared to another brewery just up the road (small, dark, cozy taproom). there are usually 8 or so beers on tap at any one time. The staff and owners here are very happy to talk beer, family, anything at all. Friendly and welcoming.

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Photo of qcbrewer
4.16/5  rDev -5.2%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3.75

Located in an office park, but with a pretty unique feel to it. Large "murals" of Only Child logos and related themes, mixed with a few other aspects (large skull and antlers), adorn the walls. One thing I really, really loved here was the lighting. Unique bulbs and fixtures helped create an inviting feeling, be it warm or dark (take your pick). 3 TVs and shuffle board are also available to lighten up the mood of the lighting gets to you. They have a decent sized bar (I think 10 seats - I forgot to count) but the majority of seating is found in the 2 tops and picnic tables.

8 beers on draft, with cans, bottles, and howlers to go. Only a medium mix of styles, and certainly leaning towards hoppy, dark, or sour. I was told (by the very knowledgeable and friendly bartender, Charlotte) that the brewery prides themselves on their sours. I had their Ferme Du Chene Rouge (Pinot noir barrel) and immediately thought of Wicked Weed in Asheville, NC - it was good stuff for sure. Otherwise they are known for their Double Dog Dare IIPA, and for good reason.

Honestly, this is great place. So if you're driving between Milwaukee and Chicago, this is a must visit. If you live in Chicago and want to try something new and a little afternoon trip, I strongly recommend Only Child.

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Photo of Penguins66
3.46/5  rDev -21.2%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 3.25

Interesting place. It's tucked away in an industrial area. The tasting room has a peculiar layout. There is a small bar in the middle. The restrooms are next to the bar. Most of the seating is at tables along the wall. It seemed like they could fit a few more tables in there. The brewery itself is in the back, separated from the tasting room by a waist-high iron fence.

Only Child seems to be going for quality rather than quantity. Their beer menu is relatively small but everything we've tried has been good. On the plus side, as of this writing they are the only brewery in the area to have a sour beer. In fact, they have 3 versions of the Ferme du Chene--blanc, rouge, and noir.

Service is a little slow. On both our visits there were 2 people working--in fact it was the same 2 people--one guy behind the bar and one purple-haired girl who seemed to be dividing her time behind the bar and waiting tables. The problem is she kept getting stuck behind the bar, either chatting with patrons or when the guy went off to do whatever. As a result, a line quickly formed at the edge of the bar of people cashing out and wanting to order another round. I think they need to a third person working if they want to have table service.

Prices are reasonable for the area. They do not serve food but allow you to bring it in.

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Photo of Hopheadjeffery
4.08/5  rDev -7.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4

Tap room inside a small warehouse. Very small bar but lots of other places to sit including a comfy couch. Complimentary snacks but no food. Carry out and delivery from local establishments is allowed. They only sell their beer but they have a wide selection to cover a variety of tastes.

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Only Child Brewing Company in Gurnee, IL
Brewery rating: 3.93 out of 5 with 559 ratings