Visiting Chicago next week...

Discussion in 'Great Lakes' started by sublime313, Feb 24, 2012.

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  1. sublime313

    sublime313 Initiate (0) Sep 11, 2008 Michigan

    I'll be arriving Tuesday night, staying in the Mag Mile area downtown. Only staying for 2 days, and won't have mich chance to stray much from the immediate area from my hotel.

    I plan on visiting the downtown Binny's. From the reviews, it appears to be the visiting one, but can I expect to find anything exciting? Any other good stores nearby to recommend?

    I also plan on making a quick stop at Rock Bottom on Tuesday night. Any other recommendations?
  2. MarkIntihar

    MarkIntihar Initiate (0) Mar 17, 2010 Michigan

    If you can make your way up to the Goose Island Clybourn location, you will not regret it!
  3. SwillBilly

    SwillBilly Zealot (536) Feb 4, 2004 Virginia

    Jake Melnick's downtown usually has some pretty decent taps as does the Clarke St Ale House. Both pretty close.
    1noa likes this.
  4. danimalarkey

    danimalarkey Initiate (0) Mar 3, 2008 Illinois

    Personally, I'd skip Rock Bottom -- yes, they make beer on the premises; no, I don't think it's particularly worthwhile (and the food... blech). Jake Melnick's is a solid option -- lots of interesting stuff on tap usually, despite it having the feel of a second-rate TGIF (though the wings are actually pretty amazing). Clark Street Ale House is usually a good bet (no food) and I've been hearing some good things about a new-ish spot, Fork, but haven't been myself. It looks like Clark Street Ale House and Fork update frequently - Jake Melnick's not quite as often - so it might be worth it to check that sight out before heading out.

    Close to Navy Pier is a store called Un-Cork-It - they don't get quite as much traffic and you might find something that has been long gone elsewhere. There's a shop just south of the Loop called Warehouse Liquors that is probably worth checking out, as well. As for specific releases? I dunno... there have been some new stuff from Jolly Pumpkin lately. Goose's Lolita might still be around... plenty of the fancy-stuff from Central Waters, too.
  5. sublime313

    sublime313 Initiate (0) Sep 11, 2008 Michigan

    Thanks. Rock Bottom is right by my hotel. Don't they have a decent imperial stout? And a barrel-aged tap?
  6. xfactor9600

    xfactor9600 Initiate (0) Dec 9, 2008 Indiana

    Second, third, and Fourth the recommendation on Jake Melnick's. Wings and good craft beer.
  7. Nachos4two

    Nachos4two Zealot (525) Nov 26, 2011 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    A great restaurant with unbelievable drafts and bottle options is
    Twisted Spoke
    501 North Ogden Avenue Chicago, IL 60642

    I was just there and had some Hopslam and Lil Sumpin on tap, but there lists are endless, and excellent food!!
  8. danimalarkey

    danimalarkey Initiate (0) Mar 3, 2008 Illinois

    You know, it's entirely possible that they do but that doesn't mean either option is particularly worthwhile (barrel-aging doesn't always mean it's any good!). Ever since Pete Crowley left to open Haymarket (another decent destination, particularly if you're into IPA's and Belgians - though I have found the food lacking), I think this Rock Bottom location has kind of fallen off people's radar. If they're brewing great stuff these days, they're not getting the word out and/or people aren't reporting back.
  9. DROOO

    DROOO Initiate (0) May 5, 2009 Illinois

    for what it's worth, i stopped in at rock bottom on the 12th to try their imperial IPA, Jimmy Hoppa. i personally wasn't a big fan. however, i followed it up with a cask conditioned coffee porter that was delicious. i think it's safe to say that they have a BA beer on tap most of the time.
  10. sublime313

    sublime313 Initiate (0) Sep 11, 2008 Michigan

    Thanks guys. Looks like Jake Melnicks and Un-Cork-It are short walks from my hotel. Will be skipping Rock Bottom and Binny's.
  11. danimalarkey

    danimalarkey Initiate (0) Mar 3, 2008 Illinois

    Time allowing, I wouldn't necessarily skip Binnys (the one off Grand). It's smaller than some other locations but there's still a lot available, generally speaking (Black Xantus is still on the shelves, even). Again, depending on what you can already get or want to try, they might have what you're looking for. Particularly with European beers, they have a much larger selection than Un-Cork-It.
  12. sublime313

    sublime313 Initiate (0) Sep 11, 2008 Michigan

    What are the prices on the "fancy stuff" from Central Waters? Never had anything from them. Which ones are out, and how readily available? (Im not a sour /belgian / session beer guy. Imperial stouts/ wee heavy/ strong ales are my thing. And of course, love barrel aged. )
  13. danimalarkey

    danimalarkey Initiate (0) Mar 3, 2008 Illinois

    Bourbon-barrel aged barleywine, bourbon-barrel aged imperial stout (called Peruvian Morning), and possibly the standard bourbon-barrel aged imperial stout. Available in 4-packs, they run about $11-13. I found the imperial stout at World Market so I'd say it's easy to pick up. Well worth it, too, especially for that price. They also released a Scotch ale for the first time (Slainte) - not sure how good it is. The Grand Ave. Binnys has a nice selection of individual bottles so you can make your own 6-pack (though the bottles are limited to what's normally available in a $10 or less 6-pack -- so, Slainte, yes; Peruvian Morning, no).

    A new local brewery called Finch's released a vanilla milk stout -- even if you're tempted, I'd suggest avoiding it. Not sure about price, but this brewery seems to be succeeding on account of marketing rather than the beer. Worth a shot if you can find it on draft, but I'd pass otherwise.

    Sucaba (fka Abacus), Firestone Walker's barrel-aged barleywine, is around, too.
  14. spicoli00

    spicoli00 Zealot (539) Jul 6, 2005 Indiana

    Public house is also nearby. Huge tapper and tons of tv's. I'll second Clark street ale house.
  15. HopsMatt

    HopsMatt Initiate (0) Dec 1, 2011 Kentucky
    Beer Trader

    I went the weekend they released the BA HiFi Rye at Flossmoor. I second the Jake Melnick's! They had some pretty decent bottles. I got the GD Hercules IPA. And the food was great too! I went to two places. Binnys in Clybourn (awesome!) and West Lakeview. Skip West Lakeview. Everything they had, which wasnt much, you could get at Binnys. They had a lot of Mikkeller (which is very common here in Louisville) but everything else was just one or two botttles. Anyway, I can only speak for what I did. Binnys was pretty sweet and ill be going back when I get back up there. Be sure to get some CW BBBW. Its almost better than King Henry.
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