There is something very exciting happening all around Chicago where local, craft beer is concerned. I mean, if you just look around you’ll see that local brews are popping up everywhere around the city. And I’m not just talking about a place to sit and drink local beer, I mean straight up for real brewed-in-house, drank-in-house spots. Just eyeballing the Brewer’s Association list, I see at least 50 in Chicago that are either open or have plans in the works compared with 19 in New York (city, not state) and 23 in Los Angeles. Now I’m a little sleepy so maybe those numbers aren’t the most accurate but it shows the way things are going and I think that’s awesome! And interesting on so many levels, too, because then I start to think about selection, competition, and what sparked all of this in the first place. But then I remember that there are some really great bloggers here in Chicago that cover this stuff way better than I do so if you’re interested in learning more, go check them out: Chitown On Tap (my personal favorite), Guys Drinking Beer, & GirlsLikeBeerToo.
Last night we decided to go out and grab a few beers so we headed over to Half Acre. I just love a cold Daisy Cutter and we needed to check out their new Tap Room, which was AWESOME! The Tap Room opened just a few days ago and is pretty much perfect in its simplicity. You walk in to a big room (wood floors, brick and/or wood on the walls, a big bear head over the tiny bar) filled with long tables and benches. There’s a small-ish bar at the back and they pour whatever beers are on tap. You order at the bar and sit and drink at your tables. They also have water. The end.
As my husband, Greg, put it: it is the perfect place to drink beer. The atmosphere is easy, the service is spot on (someone asked me if I wanted water, instead of it being the other way around). All the beers are $5 or you can do tastings, most of which are $2 although the Double Daisy Cutter and the Sticky Fat are both $3. We decided to do full glasses of the Double Daisy (which I now love more than the regular Daisy Cutter) and the Sticky Fat (dark beer with hints of chocolate and that warm roast-y flavor).
We also sampled the Daisy Cutter (for comparison’s sake), the Gossamer Golden Ale, the Over Ale (brown and nutty), the Ouija Pilz (pilsner-style but with a bit more zest, if you ask me), and the Alpenglow (a dark winter ale and my new favorite Half Acre beer… or maybe second favorite…).
And then there was none but we were so happy we came and cannot wait to go back.
Beers at a pub is a classic and, for a while, cocktails were big, the more ingredients the better. Wine is making a come back and I’m all for it but, I have to say, that when I want a beer and I don’t want to drink it from my couch, this is the best way to do it. Oh, but if I did want to drink it from my couch, you can also grab a growler from Half Acre to take home.
Now if only Begyle Brewing (Ravenswood) and Dry Hop Brewing (Lakeview) would open… until then Half Acre also does tours so stay tuned, that’s coming up soon! Follow Half Acre on Twitter and stop by the Tap Room (4257 N. Lincoln Ave), open every day from midday (either 11am or 12 pm) to night (11pm on weekdays) or early morning (2am on weekends). They have a pretty cool blog, too.