The 16 Top-Rated Breweries to Visit in Chicago

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Photography courtesy of Revolution Brewing

In 2021, Chicago, IL, topped the charts on the Untappd app as the city with the most number of venue check-ins at 355k. As the third largest city in America, according to the 2020 U.S. Census, Chicago is often recognized as one of the most mature and yet playful craft beer markets. 

This incredible Midwestern city has a bit of something for everyone from lager-focused breweries like Dovetail Brewery to seminal favorites like Half Acre Beer Co. And of course, as the home to giants like Goose Island Beer Co. and Revolution Brewing, it makes sense that Chicago ranked as number one on last year's list of top cities by venue check-ins. 

Undoubtedly, people love to drink in Chicago. From something as simple as chugging Old Styles at a bar in Wrigleyville while watching the Cubs to downing a shot of the infamous Malort to taproom hopping to some of the best breweries, Chicago has a storied and beautiful beer culture. 

Which is why Hop Culture named Chicago one of the best hidden-gem beer cities in the country. 

With all this in mind, if you're taking a trip to the Windy City and looking to stop at a few breweries' taprooms, where should you start?

We should mention that there are plenty of fantastic breweries very close to the city such as Phase Three Brewing in Lake Zurich, IL, Mikerphone Brewing in Elk Grove Village, IL, and More Brewing Company in Huntley, IL. And if you're able to rent a car, definitely consider driving to these breweries. But for this particular list, we are sticking to those breweries specifically in the city of Chicago. Here's a peek at the 16 top-rated breweries in Chicago*. 

*The list shows the top breweries, based on our weighted average formula, which effectively rates all breweries against each-other and gives weight to their beers with higher rating count. A brewery must have at least 1,000 ratings and at least 5 beers in their portfolio to qualify for this list. For more information on our rating system, please view our ratings explainer.

Untappd's 16 Top-Rated Breweries in Chicago and Chicagoland

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Photography courtesy of Half Acre Beer Company

1. Second City Meadery - Co-founders Peter Schultz and Brian David have worked hard to bring a premium meadery to the north side of Chicago. Officially opening their doors just last December, Second City Meadery first began back in 2017. Created from the duo's love of mead, Schultz and David spent a lot of time perfecting their operation. And after many test batches, they've finally found a way to dish out a series of meads that are turning heads. For example, Marshmelomel with blackberry, black currant, cherry, and raspberry. Or This Just In an apple mead with roasted peanuts. Expect fun, quirky, crazy creations from this pair for the foreseeable future. 


Second City Meadery logo

Second City Meadery

Chicago, IL United States


Total (?) 8,523

Unique (?) 2,035


7,127 Ratings

184 Beers

2. Keeping Together - Thoughtful beers for an ecstatic reality. Based in Chicago, IL, Keeping Together is a mixed-fermentation craft beer label founded by Averie Swanson, the former head brewer at Jester King

The move from Austin, Texas, to Chicago, Illinois brought many changes in Swanson's life, but one of the greatest was the ability to put her vast knowledge and experience to the test at her very own place. And the project, which produces mixed fermentation beers, is bringing (and keeping) together people of all backgrounds.

Keeping Together logo

Keeping Together

Chicago, IL United States

Nano Brewery

Total (?) 8,405

Unique (?) 3,702


6,806 Ratings

21 Beers

3. Saint Errant Brewing - Saint Errant is a small-batch nanobrewery inspired by travels and friendships made with the ever growing community of craft brewers. They have a strong focus on mixed fermentation beers while always exploring the boundaries of simple yet distinctive clean fermentation beers. 

If You Go You Should Now: At this time Saint Errant currently does not have a taproom. Instead use their beer finder to track them down. We wanted to keep them on this list because there are plenty of amazing Chicago craft beer bars where you can find their fantastic IPAs and fruited sours. 

Saint Errant Brewing logo

Saint Errant Brewing

Chicago, IL United States

Micro Brewery

Total (?) 127,799

Unique (?) 27,136


105,269 Ratings

112 Beers

4. Hop Butcher for the World - A top-notch IPA making machine, Hop Butcher for the World loves hops and shows it throughout most of its beers. Their IPAs have consistently wound their way into the industry's top lists. For example, Like Be the HBC ranked as one of The Wine Enthusiasts "Best IPAs of 2021" and IPA Your Way landed on beer writer Christopher Osburn's favorite beers of 2021

And great news! While the brewery has been contract brewing for the last seven years, in the past six months co-founders Jeremiah Zimmer and Jude LaRose announced the purchase of two brick-and-mortar locations of their own. First, the duo announced plans to buy fellow Chicago stalwart Half Acre's Lincoln Avenue location. Most recently, the brewery also purchased 5 Rabbit Cerveceria's former production facility in Bedford Park. 

Keep an eye on Hop Butcher for the World. It looks like they're primed to take over the world Chicago beer scene in the next few years. 

Hop Butcher For The World logo

Hop Butcher For The World

Chicago, IL United States

Micro Brewery

Total (?) 965,018

Unique (?) 105,531


742,353 Ratings

358 Beers

5. Is/Was Brewing - A new Chicago brewery exploring the simple complexities in liquid form. Chicago, IL. 

is/was brewing logo

is/was brewing

Chicago, IL United States

Nano Brewery

Total (?) 9,319

Unique (?) 3,591


7,433 Ratings

102 Beers

6.Old Irving Brewing Co. - A craft brewery and kitchen in Chicago's Old Irving Park neighborhood, Old Irving Brewing Co. is a bit of a hidden gem. But don't be fooled. This local favorite has been brewing phenomenal beers next to killer food since 2016. Which actually makes sense because head brewer and co-founder Trevor Rose-Hamblin worked at the former Michelin-starred Moto Restaurant before branching out to start a brewery. Rose-Hamblin brings that same Michelin-starred quality to the beers. For example, Beezer, which nabbed a gold medal in the Juicy or Hazy India Pale Ale category at the Great American Beer Festival (GABF) in 2019.

Old Irving Brewing Co. logo

Old Irving Brewing Co.

Chicago, IL United States

Micro Brewery

Total (?) 161,311

Unique (?) 39,600


129,275 Ratings

222 Beers

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7. Maplewood Brewing Company - Right in Logan Square you'll find Maplewood, a brewery that makes both beer and spirits. Between their year-round pale ales, pilsners, and stouts, as well as their seasonal and specialty sours and barrel-aged releases, they have something for every palate.

And if you're not in the mood for beer, you can always snag a single malt whiskey. The taproom is a great place for a casual meetup.

Maplewood Brewing Company logo

Maplewood Brewing Company

Chicago, IL United States

Regional Brewery

Total (?) 543,041

Unique (?) 129,523


414,075 Ratings

309 Beers

8. Pipeworks Brewing Company - Established in 2012 by homebrewers who had a dream to create quality beers with a high level of creativity and thoughtful experimentation, Pipeworks Brewing Co. has developed a street cred in the local Chicago market that has followed them throughout the years. Beers like their number one selling beer, "Ninja vs Unicorn" Double India Pale Ale have set the tone. Hometown fans of Pipeworks Brewing Co can find a wide and fresh selection of Pipeworks beers available for pickup from "The Dojo", the to-go shop located within their production facility in Hermosa.

Pipeworks Brewing Company logo

Pipeworks Brewing Company

Chicago, IL United States

Micro Brewery

Total (?) 1.67M+

Unique (?) 304,380


1,280,751 Ratings

650 Beers

9. Marz Community Brewing - Marz Community Brewing Co makes small, artisanal batches of beer in a sustainable and socially responsible manner while supporting various cultural and social platforms that help build the community of the future. The brewery's taproom is the perfect place for a wild first date or a fun get-together with work friends, regularly featuring twenty-four on-tap libations, which run the gamut from Chug Life, a sparkling lager, to Marz Beer, a hazy DIPA. Currently, their food menu brings 'za to the table. For instance, the Besto Pesto with red sauce, fresh mozzarella, and kale lemon pesto.

Marz Community Brewing Co. logo

Marz Community Brewing Co.

Chicago, IL United States

Micro Brewery

Total (?) 298,251

Unique (?) 76,557


244,623 Ratings

462 Beers

10.  Half Acre Beer Co Balmoral Tap Room & Garden - A relative OG brewery founded by Gabriel Magliaro in 2006, Half Acre brews what they call American micro beers that push for raw intensity through the selection of brewing materials and the promotion of natural process. While you may have heard of packaged brewery staples like Daisy Cutter West Coast Pale Ale or Pony pilsner, the brewery also makes several draft-only offerings that are best experienced at their Balmoral taproom.

In the 60,000-square-foot space, which also includes an outdoor beer garden, sip on Tome (one of the best hazy IPAs you can find in most stores right now) and Big Hugs, an Imperial stout with coffee.

For food, you'll find a menu full of favorites that go perfectly with beer. For instance, pretzel bites with zesty beer cheese, Daisy Cutter mussels, and bratwurst. You can even visit for brunch, available from 11AM-3PM, Friday through Sunday, offering biscuits and gravy, a breakfast burrito, and more.

Half Acre Beer Company logo

Half Acre Beer Company

Chicago, IL United States

Regional Brewery

Total (?) 1.76M+

Unique (?) 323,231


1,209,351 Ratings

661 Beers

11. Duneyrr Artisan Fermenta Project - Travel a bit farther down Chicago's well-trafficked Michigan Ave into the South Loop and you'll be treated to one of Chicago's most innovative breweries. 

As Duneyrr Artisan Fermenta Project Founder & Director of Fermentation Tyler Davis writes on the brewery's website, "​​Duneyrr is an Artisan Fermenta Project that focuses on the co-fermentation of wine, cider and mead ingredients with artisanal craft beer. Creating co-fermented hybrids and mixed-culture wild ales with modern approaches, Duneyrr adapts and manipulates the methods of natural winemakers, cider makers and craft brewers alike, blurring the lines of what craft beer can be."

If You Go You Should Know: The taproom is only open Thursday through Saturday. 

Duneyrr Fermenta Winery and Brewery logo

Duneyrr Fermenta Winery and Brewery

Chicago, IL United States

Micro Brewery

Total (?) 4,817

Unique (?) 2,321


3,935 Ratings

58 Beers

12. Open Outcry Brewing Company - Pursues the perfect beer every day. And won't stop until they find it. Open Outcry is an innovative brewery and pizza kitchen located on the southside of Chicago in the Beverly-Morgan Park neighborhood. Stop in for beers like Open Interest, a hazy IPA with Centennial, Citra, and Amarillo, or Speculator, a cream ale.  If you can find it, try Dark Pool with Coconut & Butterfinger Bars (Barrel Aged), the brewery's highest rated beer on Untappd with a 4.57.  

Open Outcry Brewing Company logo

Open Outcry Brewing Company

Chicago, IL United States

Brew Pub

Total (?) 19,143

Unique (?) 4,737


15,596 Ratings

160 Beers

13. Alarmist Brewing - A Chicago based brewery located in the Sauganash neighborhood, Alarmist brews explosive beers. Such as Le Jus, the 2018 GABF gold medal winner in the Hazy/Juicy IPA category. Located in an industrial park, Alarmist manages to keep its taproom feeling like a neighborhood watering ole. Started by Gary Gulley, who like many successfuly brewery owners started as a humble homebrewer, Alarmist gained has really gained steam in Chicago over the last five years. In addition to Le Jus make sure you try the brewery's other flagship beers - Pantless Pale Ale and Crispy Boy, a pilsner. 

Alarmist Brewing logo

Alarmist Brewing

Chicago, IL United States

Micro Brewery

Total (?) 86,748

Unique (?) 35,898


66,686 Ratings

166 Beers

14. Odious Cellars - A sour and funk-focused brewery in Chicago, Odious Cellars strives to "merge contemporary American beermaking with an old-world belief in patience," as the brewery's website states. This means beers that feature the unique and distinctive features of the Midwest terroir, taking in the local microflora and fauna for beers that literally cannot be produced anywhere else in the world. 

If You Go You Should Know: At the moment Odious Cellars is still working on a taproom space. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic delayed plans for a brick-and-mortar. However, you can find them on tap at another brewery on this list, Duneyrr. So go visit Duneyrr and drink some of the best mixed-fermentation beers in Chicago from two standout breweries. 

Odious Cellars logo

Odious Cellars

Chicago, IL United States

Micro Brewery

Total (?) 3,814

Unique (?) 2,305


3,179 Ratings

28 Beers

15. Corridor Brewery & Provisions - Corridor is a craft brewery and restaurant in Chicago's West Lakeview neighborhood, located in the center of the Southport Corridor. Their beer program consists of an ever-changing draft list with styles ranging from hazy IPAs to fruited kettle sours and funk-forward saisons. 

Corridor is a sophisticated project, the brainchild of Siebel- and Doemens-educated Greg Shuff. Also on the team are Director of Brewing Operations Brant Dubovick, who previously led Pittsburgh's Church Brew Works to the Great American Beer Festival's Large Brewpub Brewer of the Year Award, and Executive Chef Ryan Henderson, who cut his teeth at Momofuku, Empellon, and Alder.

The outstanding pedigree has led to flavorful hop bombs like Metamorphazed double dry-hopped double IPA and powerful Belgian beers like Fiendish Ol' Monk tripel.

Beyond the beer, you'll find a refined food menu featuring delicate salads, hearty sandwiches, and artisan pizzas. Plus, fun bites like cauliflower and curds and pickle fries.

Consider Corridor like Chicago's equivalent to Austin's Jester King.

Corridor Brewery & Provisions logo

Corridor Brewery & Provisions

Chicago, IL United States

Brew Pub

Total (?) 94,299

Unique (?) 18,423


78,168 Ratings

364 Beers

16.  Revolution Brewing Brewpub - Founded as a Logan Square brewpub in 2010, Revolution Brewing has since grown to become the state's largest independent craft brewery. You really can't go wrong with any of the beers, which they will tell you are proudly brewed ONLY in Chicago. We're particular fans of the Deep Wood Series, which sees barrel-aged beers canned and sent into distribution.

Revolution Brewing Company logo

Revolution Brewing Company

Chicago, IL United States

Regional Brewery

Total (?) 2.65M+

Unique (?) 422,796


1,806,924 Ratings

428 Beers

Looking for more state- or city-based craft beer guides? Check out the Travel section at to see their recommendations for the best places to visit across the country from "The 11 Best Breweries in Chicago" to "The 7 Best Breweries in Austin."

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