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Best Breweries

Top 5 local breweries, ranked.

1. Crystal Lake Brewing Co.

  • On tap: Slalom King Rye IPA: Big hop aroma and firm, but not harsh, bitterness, finishing with a terrific spicy note. Wake Maker Pale Ale; Traditional American-style pale with a bold citrus hop flavor and aroma. Beach Blonde American Wheat Ale: Balanced, light ale that people new to craft beer will find very approachable.
  • While you’re there: Enjoy food trucks, BYO food, live music, beer to go, tours, private events, bags and other games. Family-friendly until 7 p.m. daily.Call: 779.220.9288.
  • Origin story: John OʼFallon and Chuck Ross co-founded Crystal Lake Brewing in 2014 with a focus on  fresh ingredients from premium local sources whenever possible. View more photos here.


2. The Onion Pub and Brewery, Lake Barrington

  • On tap: The brewery has variety of year-round ales and lagers along with an ever-changing line-up of seasonal beers. It has 17 different beers on tap and the list gets updated weekly.
  • While you’re there: Stop in for a meal at the restaurant, drink the freshest beer or schedule a tour of the brewery. Call: 847.381.7308.
  • Origin story: The Onion Pub began as the Wild Onion Brewing Co. in 1996 wishing to brew the finest beer available to local beer drinkers. The company began dreaming of building a taproom and pub and that was when the Onion Pub was founded in 2003. “Our goal is simple: To provide a quality dining and beer-drinking experience in a space that inspires.”


3. Scorched Earth Brewing Co., Algonquin

  • On tap: Hickster (American cream ale); Base Jumper (India pale ale); Test Pilot (India pale ale), General Resin (imperial India pale ale); Rugged Coalminers (robust porter); Night Hound (Cascadian dark ale); The Frites King (Belgian single), Pit Master (ginger peach gose); Barrel #22 St. Pepin Brett (saison barrel aged).
  • While you’re there: Enjoy the relaxing feeling in the taproom for tastings and gatherings, brewery tours, beer to go, and food trucks on occasion. Call: 224.209.8472.
  • Origin story: Mike Dallas had a passion for craft beer and home brewing. He decided he wanted to open a brewery of his own, and with the support of wife Jen, the vision became a reality in August 2014.


4. Chain O’Lakes Brewing Co., McHenry (closed)

  • On tap: The most popular beers include Fox River Scotch Ale and COL’s IPA.
  • While you’re there: Be sure to bring your own food or get it delivered in, enjoy the beer pub and taproom, get your beer to go with growlers and grumblers. Call: 815.331. 8345.
  • Origin story: This is McHenry County’s first brewery in 50 years – located in the same spot as the original McHenry Brewery Co. Opened in the early 2000s, Chain O’Lakes Brewing boasts: “Good Beer – Made Here.”


5. Village Vintner Winery & Brewery, Algonquin

  • On tap: Selection of craft beer.
  • While you’re there: Enjoy a casual dining experience with selections of food, handcrafted wines and house brews. There is a full-service bar and a separate wine and beer tasting bar. You can also get a Wine & Mug Club membership. Call: 847.658.4900.
  • Origin Story: Chicagoland’s only winery, brewery and restaurant opened in 2012.


Details are subject to change at any time – always call ahead! 

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Crystal Lake Brewing
Crystal Lake Brewing, North Main Street, Crystal Lake, IL, United States
Onion Pub & Brewery
The Onion Pub & Brewery, North Pepper Road, Lake Barrington, IL, United States
Scorched Earth Brewing Co.
Scorched Earth Brewing Company, Berg Street, Algonquin, IL, United States
Chain O'Lakes Brewing Co.
Chain O'Lakes Brewing Company, Pearl Street, McHenry, IL, United States
Village Vintner Winery & Brewery
Village Vintner Winery & Brewery, Esplanade Drive, Algonquin, IL, United States

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