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Chicago's beer mecca's Pt 1 (The big guys)

Great brews!
Great brews!

Sitting so close to a beer powerhouse like the state of Wisconsin it can be hard to recognize the greatness that lies right here in our great city! But make no mistake my friends not only is Chicago beer worth picking up at the store, but it's also worth visiting live and in person! Here are a few breweries that you need to put on your to-do list:

Goose Island - Known throughout the land for being a big bad boy in the industry Goose Island has earned its rank as top dog. Not only do they do everyday beers such as 312 and Green line but they have an extensive Belgium collection (Matilda, Sofia, Juliet, etc.), and some really kick butt stouts (I’m thinking of my personal favorite the Bourbon County Stout). If you are a fan (and I know you are) you definitely need to make the pilgrimage to one of their brewpubs. The one in Wriglyville hosts weekly meetings with their brew masters on Tuesdays. A must do for any real fan!

Rock Bottom -Now you may have thought Rock Bottom is just a chain restaurant (I'm guilty) because they have so many locations scattered throughout the suburbs, but please don't get confused these guys are serious! Rock Bottom offers a variety of seasonal and stand by beers that will make even the most snooty beer aficionado take a second sip. Not only that, but their food is pretty awesome as well. Some locations also offer monthly events. If you go and become addicted (which I know you will) you can join their mug club, and get V.I.P. status with them.

Half Acre -No self respecting beer snob can walk around saying they don't know about this brewery. With their roots in Wisconsin this brewery has expanded to the Chicagoland area. With lots of fun beers to try and a cool new space they definitely should be on you brew tour list!

Two Brothers - Ok so I'm saving this one for last today because it is my personal favorite. Located deep in the western suburbs (Warrenville) this place is definitely worth the pilgrimage. They have a great line of beer that is distributed all over the Midwest and east coast, and are rapidly expanding. Started by 2 brothers Jim and Jason Eble this place has expanded out of their large Warrenville space and now they operate a delicious brewpub out in Aurora in addition to their great restaurant in Warrenville. Both locations offer great menus, beers and tours.