Talk of The Town: April 2019
Brew Up Some Fun
Chicagoans have always loved a good brew, so this month we’re exploring the history of beer in Chicago, mapping our favorite prohibition-style spots, and learning about proper glassware technique (trust us—it matters).
Chicago’s Best “Secret Spots”
Prohibition-style speakeasies may not be a secret in the city, but these hot spots are definitely worth a trip. Check out these local favorites!
- The Office 955 W Fulton Market
- Bassment 353 W Hubbard St
- The Library 230 W Kinzie St
- Three Dots and a Dash 435 N Clark St
- Watershed 601 N State St
- The Drifter 676 N Orleans St
- Bordel 1721 W Division St
- The Violet Hour 1520 N Damen Ave
- East Room 2354 N Milwaukee Ave
- The Ladies Room 2957 W Diversey Ave
- Chicago Magic Lounge 5050 N Clark St
Beer aficionados understand that the perfect ale is best served in the right receptacle. It may seem trendy, but this concept isn’t new. Belgian bartenders have long served beer in its proper glassware—enhancing your drinking experience in pretty much every way.
The most common glassware style, this conical glass is best used for any American style beer.
Common in the UK, these grooved pint glasses work with all manner of British style beers including porters, stouts, and British IPAs.
Available in all shapes and sizes, all with the telltale flare at the mouth of the glass ideal for activated aromas. Pair this glass with Belgian styles from saison to blond ales.
Commonly used for sipping bourbon, the snifter is perfect for boozy, malty brews like imperial stouts, eisbocks, and barleywines.
The standard for mug style glassware, tankards offer a sturdy handle for swift slugging. This is often the preferred method of enjoying German ales.
Often coming to mind for Oktoberfest, this lidded glass holds more beer than the normal 12- or 16-ounce mug. Pair with your favorite seasonal brew!
This glass is as simple as it comes, and is typically uses to serve Kolsch styles and other German beers.
This vase-shaped glass is specifically tailored to wheat beers of any origin.
A Brief History of Beer
One of the oldest beverages in the world, humans have been making (and consuming) beer for nearly 4,000 years. Journey into Chicago’s hoppy past!
1800s: Some of the city’s earliest residents were German brewers. They brought their craft to the states, contributing to the growth and development of Chicago. Markers of this iconic period can be found throughout the city.
1800s–1900s: Chicago became a destination for large-scale breweries, sparking early concerns from the Temperance and Prohibition movement.
1854: Conrad Seipp, a German immigrant, started brewing beer in the city. By the late 1870s, his operation was producing more than 50,000 barrels of beer a year!
1855: Mayor Levi Boone introduced Prohibition in the city of Chicago. As a result, Chicago experienced its first civil disturbance—the Lager Beer Riot.
1900: According to the Chicago History Museum, the 60 breweries operating within city limits brewed more than 100 million gallons of beer a year—enough to fill more than 19,000 Olympic-size swimming pools!
2019: Fast forward to the present—as of 2019, Chicago is home to 167 breweries, and is recognized as having the most of any city in the country!