Start your beer tour at The Stable, opened in 2008 in the space that once housed horses that hauled beer for the now-defunct Lemp Brewery, once the country’s biggest brewer. Sample the in-house Amalgamated IPA ($5) or one of the other 36 beers from around the country on tap. If you’re there in October, head to the “Monsters of Beer” gathering, which exclusively features high-alcohol-content brews.
Grab a growler at Urban Chestnut, opened in January, where brewmaster (and former Anheuser-Busch employee) Florian Kuplent taps into his Bavarian roots with beers like the Winged Nut ($5.50), brewed with chestnuts, or the Zwickel, a classic German lager ($5). Sample the beers in the biergarten or the tasting room, housed in a sleekly renovated twenties garage, or take some to go ($27 for first growler, $12 each thereafter).
Head to the southern edge of the city to find Perennial Artisan Ales (opening in September) in a sprawling loft complex that once was a Coca-Cola plant. Avoid the lager-and-ale rut with unique offerings from brewmaster Phil Wymore, who trained at Chicago’s Goose Island Brewery, like a chamomile saison or a strawberry-rhubarb witbier. ($4–$6) Inspired by the city’s burgeoning artisan food scene, Perennial’s tasting room will feature small plates by the cured meat specialists at Salume Beddu.
Get a view of the brewing operation a few feet away at a standing-only table at The Civil Life Brewing Company (opening in September), a former newspaper distribution center that’s been transformed into an old-world-inspired pub and beer garden. The brewing program is helmed by first-time brewer Dylan Mosley; he’s currently producing standards like American brown ale and British bitter ale ($4–$6).