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Hitch A Ride On The Chicago Brew Bus

By Lorna Juett in Food on Mar 5, 2013 8:40PM


Chicagoans have unsavory and preconceived notions of what a bar crawl looks like, with exemplary models like the expansive northside chaos of TBoX, SantaCon, and the unsanctioned and unorganized mess that is Chicago’s roving St. Patrick’s Day celebration. Besides the violence, filth, and gratuitous stupidity, the problem with most organized bar crawls is that they never seem to go to the bars that nerdy beer drinkers want to go to. Enter The Chicago Brew Bus.

While some accomplished beer snobs may not gain heaps of knowledge on the tour, for the sheer purpose of exploring a few of Chicago’s brew pubs and enjoying beers with friends without driving or hailing multiple taxis, the Brew Bus delivers.

Our tour started at Haymarket, with a tour of their brew facility, and 6 samples of beer. Scott, our knowledgeable and friendly tour guide, led a walk-through of Haymarket’s brewing facilities. We then traveled to Atlas Brewing Company, where we enjoyed another 6 samples and had time for a bite to eat. The final stop for the day was Moonshine. While Moonshine doesn’t strike awe in the heart of Chicago beer drinkers, they do have their own brewing operation. It was a fine stop, and left many guests in the heart of Wicker Park, a great place to continue the party. Guests are also invited to ride the bus back to the starting location, should they choose.

Each tour is different, depending on what is available to the guests on that day. For example, it would have been possible to have Revolution Brewing be our final stop on the trip, but their brew facilities happened to be closed for a private event. Other tours have gone to Goose Island, and Lakefront, to name a few. Also, the crew you choose to got with can make your experience more customized to your level of beer geekery. While the guests on our tour seemed more keen on the idea of drinking beer rather than learning about it, Scott made it clear there would be plenty of time for deeper questions to be answered at all stops, should you wish.

The Chicago Brew Bus also charters private events out to suburban breweries such as Emmit’s, Solemn Oath, Two Brothers, and Lunar, to name a few. For now, the intra-city tours are ticketed events open to the public until they sell out. Tickets are $58, and include all your tastings of beer and transportation around town.