Sunday, February 26, 2012

Chicago Beer Tour

A few months back I went on a month long business training trip to St. Charles Illinois.  While there is pretty much nothing in St. Charles itself (though the liquor store in-town that I took a 5 mile hike to had a very nice selection) it is only about an hour's train ride outside of Chicago.

I had never been to Chicago, or the Midwest for that matter, and didn't know what to expect.  While I won't get into all of my time spent in Illinois I must talk about the Chicago Beer Experience, a walking beer tour of the city.  While I was hesitant to shell out the money for it (my girlfriend Alyssa flew in for a weekend and suggested it due to it's great reviews) I gave in and sought out the chance to see Chicago with beer goggles.

The very nice Domaine du Page by Two Brothers at a very nice little bottle shop, one of the 4 stops on the tour
The tour is awesome and I highly recommend it.  Your tour guide/server for the trip is Bruce, a former lawyer turned food tour guide turned entrepreneur who was brilliant enough to start "the experience" himself.  While Bruce has his flaws (he isn't always the most knowledgeable source on beer) he is a really nice guy and great guide with a real love for beer and Chicago and he blends history, jokes, info on the brewing process, a wide range of beers, bacon, brewery facts and charm into an entertaining few hours.  I also enjoyed that the tour is in a less traveled part of Chicago giving a neighborhood experience that most might not experience otherwise.  If I had to recommend to someone how to spend a weekend in Chicago I would say to have a day doing touristy stuff (Willis Tower, magnificent mile, millennium park, etc...) and spend a nice chunk of the other with Bruce on his tour.

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