The WISCH LIST
By Dave Wischnowsky
Santa may be fine with milk and cookies, but for other elves age 21 and over with an interest in something a bit stronger, there’s plenty of “Christmas Cheer” to be had in
Chicago’s thriving craft brewery scene.
The following are some of the city’s best taprooms worth visiting this holiday season – or any season, for that matter.
1843 S. Washtenaw Ave.
The newest arrival to Chicago’s craft beer scene is also its biggest. In April, Rogers Park native and Northern Illinois University alum Tony Magee returned to the Windy City after having left more than two decades earlier to found the original Lagunitas Brewery in northern California.
In Pilsen, Magee opened a massive 300,000 square-foot facility inside a former steel plant that has served as a set for NBC’s Chicago Fire. In June, the brewery opened a sprawling 300-person taproom located on the building’s third floor that’s reached via a long hallway playing the theme from Willy Wonka. And it is quite the wonderland, featuring an array of long picnic tables and a large bar that feels like something of a hipster version of Oktoberfest. The taproom also offers a 360-degree view of the brewing operation, live music, delicious food – and, of course, a full lineup of Lagunitas’ celebrated beers.