It’s no secret that people in Chicago drink a lot of beer.   The hard part is choosing just one type of beer.

The ‘Windy City’ --and the country -- is now experiencing a craft brewing boom with the number of local brew houses more than doubling in the past year, according to the Illinois Craft Brewers Guild.

In a sign that Midwestern taste buds are rapidly evolving, “Chicago beer drinkers' palates are becoming more educated, becoming more diverse" says Pete Crowley, president of Illinois Craft Brewers Guild and owner of Haymarket Pub & Brewery in Chicago. “The majority of people (craft brewers) are in it because they are passionate about beer, passionate about flavors and passionate about being a local brand.”

Lagunitas Brewing Company has had its eyes set on Chicago for a while. The California-based brewery is now in the process of expanding into a 300,000 square- foot warehouse on the city’s Southwest side. "This brewery will serve all of the eastern United States from Denver to…all the way to Key West,” says Lagunitas CEO Tony Magee.

In fact, craft brewing is happening at such a rapid pace, newcomers are quickly finding out how much demand really exists. Two years ago, Revolution Brewing started out as a brewpub. A year and a half later Revolution opened a five million dollar production facility in Chicago with plans to distribute beer to Ohio, Wisconsin and Indiana by the end of this year.

Chicago is also home to North America's oldest brewing school, the Siebel Institute of Technology. Established in 1868 before the Great Chicago fire, the famous brew lab stilll attracts aspiring brewer entrepreneurs from around the world.

“Pretty much every brewer around the world knows who we are and our reputation for instruction,” according to Keith Lemcke, vice president at Siebel Institute.

For those beer lovers who think there is stiff competition between craft brewers, industry veteran Pete Crowley says think again.  "We are all a big family. We help each other out. I think there's an exponential room for growth and more brands because we aren't competing with each other. We are competing with imported brands and mass produced brands."

Here are some great Chicago-area craft brewers to look out for:

Argus Brewery

11314 S. Front Avenue

Chicago, IL 60628


Atlas Brewing Company

2747 N. Lincoln Ave.

Chicago IL 60614


Dry Hop Brewers

3155 N. Broadway, Chicago, IL 60657

(312) 513-7162


Goose Island Beer Co.

1800 West Fulton St.

Chicago, IL 60612

1-800-Goose-Me (466-7363)

Half Acre Beer Company 

4257 N. Lincoln Ave.

Chicago, IL 60618

(773) 248-4038

Haymarket Brewing

737 W. Randolph

Chicago, IL 60661


Revolution Beer LLC 

2323 N Milwaukee Ave

Chicago, IL 60647

773-227-BREW (2739)