Dovetail Brewery

Dovetail BreweryDovetail Brewery
Dovetail BreweryDovetail Brewery
Brewery, Bar

1800 W Belle Plaine Ave
Chicago, Illinois, 60613-1827
United States

(773) 683-1414 | map
dovetailbrewery.com

Notes:
BEER STATS
Average:
4.08
Beers:
39
Reviews:
101
Ratings:
355
PLACE STATS
Average:
4.24
Reviews:
9
Ratings:
33
pDev:
10.38%
View: Beers | Place Reviews
Reviews: 9 | Ratings: 33 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of soze47
soze47 from Massachusetts

3.59/5  rDev -15.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 2.5 | selection: 4

Enjoyed the beers a lot here. I was in the middle of a road trip when I stopped here, so I had been to a handful of breweries over a few days - these clean lagers were just what I needed as refuge from the hop bomb and pastry stouts of the world.

Space is nice if a little unremarkable. It was dark and I was there on a Friday night. Service, however, was kind of disappointing. A curly haired guy seemed to only want to talk to regulars or buddies, acting somewhat curt when I asked him a few questions about the beer. For such a friendly town, it was a huge turnoff.

Dec 23, 2018
Photo of Hopheadjeffery
Hopheadjeffery from Illinois

4.37/5  rDev +3.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.25

Large space with lots of seating including a long bar and several tables. The quality of the beer here is top notch. Extremely well made lagers and traditional European styles. Everything I have tasted has been delicious. Service was very friendly, helpful and knowledgable about the product. They have great soft pretzels from a local bakery. Highly recommended.

Jul 26, 2018
Photo of Buck89
Buck89 from Tennessee

4.43/5  rDev +4.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.25

Dropped in on a random Sunday. Great selection of traditional German beers. Impressive quality through the menu. Very friendly atmosphere and service. Great vibe. Would gladly revisit.

May 06, 2018
Photo of StonedTrippin
StonedTrippin from Colorado

3.01/5  rDev -29%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4 | service: 1 | selection: 3.5

i must have come here at the wrong time on the wrong day, as the spacious back area was closed for a private event, so the little taproom bar area in the front was super congested, we could hardly find a seat, and had to wait forever at the bar. im a patient guy, i know what its like to be on the other side, but they had three bartenders not look up for about 20 minutes, no joke, i just cant justify that kind of wait time to be noticed in a place, not even a "hey we are swamped hold tight", like no acknowledgement at all, it really turned me off, and when we finally did get service, he was kind of a jerk. if you have the best beer in the world and want to act like that, whatever, i still may drink it, but this kind of attitude for a middling dunkel? heck no! in any event, i ordered the hefe, which they were out of, so settled for the dunkelweizen, which was solid but conventional, familiar, and not particularly exciting to me. i could see the space being cool at a different time, its smallish and could be intimate without so many people in here. there were also about 20 dogs on the loose, which i dont mind, but at this concentration it was a bit of a zoo. i dont know, its just a brewery at the end of the day, nothing to go out of the way for i dont think, but i would like to check it out at a more mellow time and try some more of their beers, but our experience here was just not very good.

Mar 22, 2018
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IckyT2012 from Florida

4.59/5  rDev +8.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.25

Great German brewery. All German beer styles and they knocked them all out of the park. I can't remember the last pilsner I'd actually recommend to a friend. And the sausages are fantastic! Make a point to stop here on your trip. Its also walking distance to 2 other breweries and a bottle shop.

Apr 06, 2017
Photo of jhavs
jhavs from New York

4.48/5  rDev +5.7%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.25

Thoroughly enjoyed my visit. Great authentic lagers and European styled brews. Bartender was helpful and made great suggestions. They have a large bar and plenty of room to stand around. A bit off the beaten path, but another brewery is a few hundred feet away, making it a nice little area to stop.

Dec 22, 2016
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98green from Michigan

4.08/5  rDev -3.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 5 | selection: 3

Stopped by at 2 on a Saturday. 18 seat bar ringed by tables. Nice reclaimed industrial space, painted brick, copper and wood. 6 of their own on tap, all traditional European styles. No IPAs here. Pricing is 5/7 for 10/17 oz pours.

Oct 29, 2016
Photo of haveaduff2
haveaduff2 from Illinois

4.53/5  rDev +6.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 3.75

An excellent taproom just off the Brown Line at Irving Park & Ravenswood. Take the tour. They love talking about beer as much as brewing, it seems. These guys use old world techniques to brew some pretty amazing beers. Their Lager is fresh, creamy and complex...as best as I've had. Their Hefe is also very good. And the Rauchbier is my favorite take on a style I don't tend to like. No food, so bring your lunch and hang out. Looking forward to more beers in the future...in the meantime, I'll sit with my super fresh lager and revel in its awesomeness.

Jul 13, 2016
Photo of emerge077
emerge077 from Illinois

4.5/5  rDev +6.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

2020:
Despite the pandemic and shutdowns, Dovetail has continued to crank out many new spontaneous beers from their barrel program, can some small batch and new seasonals, and pivot on the taproom closure with an outdoor biergarten. Highlights: 1st cannings of their Pilsner & Kölsch, 3 year Vignette blend, Cassis, Framboise Noire, and Cab Franc.

2019:
I've watched this brewery evolve over the last 3 years, and they continue to impress. Turning out both high-quality lagers and innovative spontaneous ales, which couldn't be more different in style and production. Framboise, Special Collaboration Blend, Peche, Elderflower, Vignette, Czech Dark Lager, and Pilsner have been some of my favorites over the last year. Don't miss their spontaneous beers, especially now that their barrels are reaching maturity for blending. If only they could get some comfortable bar stools, maybe i'd love them forever.

2018:
Consistently great service and a solid rotating selection. Their spontaneous barrel-aged beers are starting to trickle out, be sure to check the bottle list. Petit Gueuze was a best beer of the year for me.

One of the more unique breweries in the city, putting out the best lagers in town, hands down. Dovetail's range and attention to detail puts them at the top consistently. Their traditional lambic-style beers even rival some from the Payottenland, which I can only say for a handful of US brewers. Watch this space for great things to come...

A recent review mentioned poor service due to crowds from a private event being held at the same time... sounds like a rare case of bad timing and being short-staffed. Private events there are held inside the brewery itself, and also upstairs in the "barrel loft" space. It's possible the bar crowd was spillover from the private event, though i've been dozens of times, and have never experienced that scenario. The taproom is always packed on the weekend, that's not the brewery's fault. If you want to avoid a crowd, go at off times, which can be said of any popular place. Passing judgement on a brewery based on a single beer is also a pretty questionable practice.

2017:
BYO food, limited snacks menu: cheese plates, Paulina Market landjaeger, pretzels, pickled eggs, and cookies. A cicerone+cheeserone is on staff, now they have cheese paired beer flights. Occasional food trucks, usually on weekends and during special events, Treberwürst on brew days. More experimental beers coming out as their barrel program matures.

July 2016:
Took a Saturday tour, it was one of the best brewery tours i've ever been on. Dovetail isn't your typical brewery and their tour is anything but typical. Highly recommended if you like coolships, lambic barrels, unfiltered lager straight from the tank, water comparisons, and all the technical brewing knowledge you can handle. Obscure historical styles that emphasize quality over quantity. This has become a regular spot for me, and I can't wait for more beers from these guys.

June 2016:
Dovetail's tap room is currently only open on Fridays and Saturdays, the brewers themselves were working the bar when we went. Located on the corner of Ravenswood and Belle Plaine, just a block north of Begyle. There was a good sized crowd, and everyone was enjoying the beer.

The building interior is clean and industrial with high ceilings and cement floors. Plenty of bar & table seating, a few larger wooden tables for groups. They encourage you to order in or bring food, and also have pretzels and Landjäger sausages for sale. Food trucks occasionally stop here, and also at Begyle down the street.

Beer quality is very impressive, they opened with three traditional German styles that were top notch. An homage to the tiny regional breweries of Germany, who often only produce 3 beers at most. A limited and traditional selection like this is intentionally iconoclastic in the extreme beer era we find ourselves. Lager was my favorite, followed closely by the Rauchbier. The hefe leans to the drier clove-y end of the spectrum, and was perfectly drinkable. Hopefully a Weizenbock or Dunkelweizen is in the cards for the future.

Service was quick and friendly. The brewers were around, and chatting with customers. Tours are offered on Saturdays.

Waiting in the wings is a barrel program dedicated to producing lambic-style wild ale in the most traditional way possible outside of the Payottenland. Patiently excited for this development, and wish them the best of luck.

Dovetail is a great addition to North Center, the area is really burgeoning with quality beer establishments.

Jun 20, 2016
Dovetail Brewery in Chicago, IL
Brewery rating: 4.08 out of 5 with 355 ratings