Brewery Name: Revolution Brewing
Type of Brewery: Retail Brewery
Location: Chicago, Illinois
Facebook: Revolution Brewing
Background: I absolutely love Chicago. Probably would be my favorite city and place I'd most like to live if not for the winters. I know, I know, I'm a wuss about cold weather, and I'm totally fine with that. Anyway, I was in Chicago for a brief work trip and knew I had to take advantage and try some local brews. Before I get too far into this, let me say that Chicago beer as a whole BLEW MY MIND. There was so much amazing beer, and every local bar had a half-dozen different highly rated local-only brews on tap.
Before my trip, I consulted a few people I know in the city (and resident Together We Drink expert Pete) about what the "must-trys" were. I got a list of brews that I was able to track down, but in terms of breweries to actually go to, Revolution was the one that kept showing up on every recommendation list. That’s what decided it, and I'm happy to say I still trust everyone after taking their advice and checking out Revolution.
Growlers: Big yes on growlers, and plenty of cans/bottles to take home as well.
The Beers: Per my normal method, I tried everything Revolution had to offer the day I visited the taproom. Here are some of the highlights:
Vibe: Revolution has two locations to choose from when visiting. I chose to go to the taproom, which is more of a production brewery vibe. The alternative is their brewpub, which serves a full food menu. I wanted to try to hit both for the sake of getting the full Revolution experience, but ran out of time and only got to the taproom.
Revolution's Taproom is an amazing glimpse into the world of large-production craft beer. I had seen Revolution brews throughout the city, but it's not a brewery I was familiar with before visiting. Their brewing section made it clear that this is a big operation pumping out a lot of beer. It's got a very industrial vibe, fitting for the city, with high-rafter ceilings, massive walls of barrels, a concrete floor, and a giant bar with shuffleboard tables if you need to stand up for a few.
My visit came at a bit of a weird time since I was on my way to the airport, but I was able to catch the early side of happy hour and the crowd seemed to be largely made up of regulars who knew this space very well. I could absolutely see myself at this venue regularly if I had the access.
They offer complimentary brewery tours almost every day of the week, and structure the taproom menu so that you can try as many beers as possible without breaking the bank. Tons of good swag and neat beer-related products are available both at the brewery and online. The space is designed to handle quite a crowd, and looks like it'd be ideal for large groups and events.
Price ($ to $$$$$): $. I didn't think you could possibly find craft beer, especially in a major city, for this cheap. Tasters were a couple bucks and their full pours are mostly at $5 apiece.
Food: Popcorn! If you are looking for food with Revolution beer, you'll want to head over to the brewpub. Free popcorn from a carnival style stand is a nice touch, though!
Final Thoughts: You have to go if you're ever in Chicago. It's on the way to O'Hare, so just make it work. I had a ton of good Chicago-area beer, but as far as breweries in the city, this has got to be one of the best available. The space is great, the beer is great, and there's really nothing not to love about it!
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