Today, a number of suburban brewery patios are able to open around the Chicagoland area, even while Chicago lags behind by a few days — and Northwest Indiana has been able to open since last week.
While we’re excited about this small taste of normalcy, there are likely to be a lot of people looking to get out and stretch their legs a bit. If you’re planning to head out to one of these places ASAP, be prepared for some wait time in your car if the patios are full.
A few things we’re seeing that make us hopeful that this won’t send us back to a full shutdown again:
Many places are mandating masks at all time when you’re not drinking — upon entry, when ordering, when heading to the bathroom, everything. This is the best bet for overall safety in our highly trained medical opinion: None of this “please wear a mask but we respect your decision if you aren’t comfortable wearing one at all times” garbage. You want to be in the world? Mask up.
Other best practices we’re happy to see: Credit card purchases only, no beer flights or sample pours, plastic/compostable single-use cups only, limited reservation times. Drinking beer outside is fun. Being safe and healthy is better.
Of course, none of this works if it’s not enforced, and it’s extremely hard for a brewery to turn away any business in a time like this, even when someone wants to make a scene about not wearing a mask because they’re some sort of entitled inconsiderate shithead. So! Everyone who wears a mask makes it more normal for everyone else to wear a mask too. It’s on all of us. Just do it.
Here’s who we’re seeing open for patio service as of today:
18th Street Brewery, with extra space between tables and time-limited reservations:
Alter Brewing: Both locations in Downers Grove and St. Charles.
Arrowhead Ales: 27 tables in the parking lot, by the looks of it.
Black and Gray Brewing:
Brothership Brewing in Mokena:
Byway Brewing: Also open for dine-in with a limited capacity.
Church Street Brewing‘s patio is open in Itasca, and they’ve got some new beers and seltzers including a 9.5% ABV Baltic Porter. Sign us up.
Crystal Lake Brewing‘s got an extended biergarten:
Elmhurst Brewing’s biergarten:
Hailstorm Brewing has some temporary outdoor seating:
Imperial Oak in Willow Springs:
Miskatonic in Darien is adding a beer garden to their patio:
One Trick Pony now has an “Outdoor Beer Enjoyment Pergola” — so don’t be “that guy.”
Pollyanna Brewing: Open at all three locations in Lemont, Roselle and St. Charles.
Sew Hop’d in Huntley is opening with some great rules; More Huntley announced they weren’t quite ready yet.
St. John Malt Brothers:
Two Hound Red in Glen Ellyn will be seating people in their parking lot:
Une Annee and their new space is now ready for your beer and barbecue needs:
Wolfden Brewing in Bloomingdale has their biergarten open for beer purchases only, no wine, food or drinks for starters.