Alright, so the title might be a bit too grand. What I really mean is "Three Chicagoland breweries that I know about and like."
Two Brothers Brewery is located out in Warrenville, a suburb to the west of Chicago, close to Mitch's parents's place. Started by, yes, two brothers and is housed inside an old gymnastics warehouse. Brewed with kind of funky-tasting well water, their beers are a little hit and miss. They do have two excellent ones: Northwind Imperial stout, almost black in color, medium to heavy body and chocolaty. 8.5% alcohol, Mitch and I had a good time filling up the growler and riding our bikes home on the Prairie Path. The other good one is called Domaine DuPage (DuPage is the county) and is considered a "French Style Country Ale" which is fancy for "a pretty solid amber." This is just a good beer, golden, balanced, refreshing.
Finch's Beer Company is only a little over a year old, putting their cans out on shelves only a few months ago. We took a tour of their unmarked brewery that fits inside of one room, the best part being that we got unlimited beer. They sell two beers outside of the brewery, their "Golden Wing" amber and their pale, in four packs of sixteen ounce cans (think Seven Seas). I like their pale and am not impressed by their amber, but the beer they are not distributing, just brewing in small batches for tours and staff, is incredible. Their IPA and Dunkelweiss were delicious, and I helped myself to seconds and thirds. I also helped myself to a conversation with the brew master's brother who claimed "Midwest brewers are the best in the world!" To which I couldn't agree, but it encourages me to see that kind of enthusiasm.
Yesterday, we were lucky enough to get a tour of Half Acre Brewery in Ravenswood, Chicago. (One of Mikey's friend's roommates works there, he went to Wheaton.) This brewery has the best artwork of the three -- its cans of Daisy Cutter being so awesome that I kept one for several days before convincing myself to recycle it. (That logo, on an unfinished silver can looks really fucking good.) And back when I was commuting from Glen Ellyn (we moved last weekend!), this was my beer of choice for the train ride. Half Acre's other beers, an American brown ale and an amber, are alright -- the amber will probably be better in the summer. Daisy Cutter's great though, unfiltered, bitter, crisp.