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Two New Craft Beer Stores Open For Business On The Northwest Side

By Anthony Todd in Food on Jan 2, 2013 6:40PM

The interior of Bottles and Cans.

While Chicago is overflowing with craft breweries and has plenty of good wine stores, there just aren't many beer-focused stores. Most beer geeks have to buy their beer at bars, at corner stores, at huge liquor superstores like Binny's or at the few grocery stores that have a wide beer selection. For residents of the Northwest side that's all changing, as two new craft beer stores are now open for business.

The most recent addition to the craft beer scene opens Wednesday. DNAChicago reports that the Beer Temple, a new craft beer store in Avondale, will stock 4-500 beers from around the world. We caught a glimpse of the sign a few weeks back, but weren't sure if the location was going to be a bar or a store. The owner, Chris Quinn, is a certified Cicerone, and the store will host regular beer tastings. For lovers of Goose Island's Bourbon County Stout, the counter at the store is made of barrels used to age the popular beer. If you're interested, Quinn also runs a popular beer video blog and episodes are posted on the store's website. The Beer Temple is located at 3185 N. Elston Ave.

Bottles and Cans has been open for a few months now. We stopped in on opening weekend to get a look at the bare-bones store and have been back many times since. It's small, pleasant and without much in the way of decor - but it has shelf upon shelf upon shelf of craft beers from all over the world. The store is on Lincoln Avenue, next door to Browntrout and just down the street from Half Acre's new taproom. The store is owned by a married couple, Carly and Joe Katz, who also live in the neighborhood. While the store does carry some wine and liquor, the vast majority is beer, beer, beer. Prices are comparable to your local grocery store, the staff is knowledgeable and friendly, and you'll find it very hard to leave without buying a bottle or two to take home. Our favorite part? Instead of the anemic "build your own" six-pack station at Jewel with 10-15 mediocre beers to choose from, Bottles and Cans has over 200 beers sold by the bottle. If you need a host gift for a party, or you just want to have an adventurous weekend, that's a deal you can't ignore. Bottles and Cans is located at 4109 N Lincoln Ave.