Top 5 local breweries, ranked.
- 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!
Cast your vote in next month’s poll by subscribing to our Facebook events page.