There are hundreds of beers brewed at more than 80 breweries in Illinois, as listed in the Illinois Craft Brewers Guild. These include famous classics like Goose Island's 312 and smaller, niche brews known only to locals and true hops aficionados.
A scan of user ratings on the website beeradvocate.com shows the 25 brews listed below earned the highest marks for Illinois beers. Most of the beers came from just a few different breweries, most notably Half Acre, Pipeworks and Goose Island.
Goose Island began in Chicago in 1988, inspired by founder John Hall's interest in the local breweries he saw while traveling in Europe. The brewery was built in 1995 at its original location of Sheffield and Clybourn Aves. in Chicago.
Half Acre began in 2006 with help from a contract brewer in Wisconsin. The company's brewery, taproom and store now are at 4257 N. Lincoln Ave. in Chicago.
Pipeworks, brewed at 1675 N. Western Ave., is sold throughout Chicago and the Chicago area. It does not currently operate a taproom and its brewery is for production only, not for retail sales.
ABV refers to the alcohol content of each beer. Rankings are based on a combination of expert ratings and user votes on the site.
25. Double Daisy Cutter-Half Acre Beer Company
ABV: 8.5 percent
BeerAdvocate description: Double Daisy Cutter is a monster version of the original Daisy Cutter Pale Ale. A heftier grain bill amps up the weight and double dry hopping insures there's enough hops to recede your gums.
24. Spotted Puffer-Pipeworks Brewing Company
ABV: 9.5 percent
BeerAdvocate description: N/A
23. Mathias Imperial IPA-Haymarket Pub & Brewery
ABV: 10 percent
BeerAdvocate description: In honor of Officer Mathias Degan, the first of 8 of Chicago's Finest to lose their lives in the line of duty during the Haymarket Affair. Copious amounts of Citra Hops deliver wonderful citrus and mango notes. At 10 percent ABV, we feel Mathias is a proper representation of the strength and courage of our Boys in Blue. Raise one to thank the fine Officers of the Chicago Police Department for their sacrifice.
22. Mosaic-Pipeworks Brewing Company
ABV: 10 percent
BeerAdvocate description: This shadow warrior is known for epic stone fruit and citrus notes. This merciless mercenary will most certainly stun the senses. Pipeworks Mosaic is our IIPA generously hopped with pounds and pounds of Mosaic hops per barrel.
21. Unicorn Hits Rock Bottom-Pipeworks Brewing Company
ABV: 9.5 percent
BeerAdvocate description: (Read to the tune of the "Cheers" theme song OR sing aloud on a bus to the tune of the "Cheers" theme song)
Makin' this beer in the world today takes all the Citra you've got...
Grainin' out with some buddies sure would help a lot...
Wouldn't PW like to collaborate
Sometimes the brewers at Rock Bottom want to go
where everyone knows their names
and pdubz is glad they came
You wanna brew where you can see
all our troubles are the same
As part 1 of a 2 part collab with Rock Bottom Brewery Chicago, we've made a single hopped Citra DIPA brewed with honey.
20. Barrel Aged The Jones Dog-Pipeworks Brewing Company
ABV: 13 percent
BeerAdvocate description: The first batch of Imperial Jones Dog we ever brewed found its way into some Heaven Hill and Buffalo Trace barrels for 10 months and we are sure glad it did. The imperial milk stout brewed with cacao nibs and vanilla beans came out of the barrel with wonderful notes of bourbon, oak, barrel char, vanilla, coconut, dark fruits and dark chocolate. Delicious now or good to cellar in a temperature controlled environment.
19. As You Wish...-Pipeworks Brewing Company
ABV: 11 percent
BeerAdvocate description: In my own story, you are roaring off into the unknown on a grand quest, with beer and bacon to nourish and nary a green vegetable for miles. One day, I'll read that book aloud to you. Go then, my love, there are other worlds than these. Until we meet again.
18. Galactic Double Daisy Cutter-Half Acre Beer Company
ABV: 8 percent
BeerAdvocate description: We've brewed a variant of Double Daisy Cutter we're calling Galactic Double Daisy Cutter. This version highlights Galaxy hops, a bruiser grown in Australia specifically to make palates numb. This beer insisted on being a beast. Uber-hazy and jam packed with the sticky, Galaxy hops, this beer isn't for the faint of heart.
As if pulled from the core of a distant, inhospitable planet, The Galactic Double Daisy is juicy and dank, rough and tumble and beautifully ugly. Strap on your boots and pull down some of the ooze, Galactic Double Daisy is here.
17. Three Floyds Anicca-Half Acre Beer Company
ABV: 7.3 percent
BeerAdvocate description: Anicca IPA is single hopped snake juice showcasing the Mosaic hop, a plant throwing off a cornucopia of fruit flavors. Bitter sweet and full of force, this IPA bends your brain into a tropical storm of writhing glory. As the philosophy explains, Anicca will come and go, so come sip this before all is gone.
16. Crimson Snapper-Pipeworks Brewing Company
ABV: 9.5 percent
BeerAdvocate description: Imperial IPA brewed with honey & blood orange juice.
Duuuuuuude. Wait what was I saying? Oh that's right. Doritos, like what if they grew on trees? Dud, if a Dorito tree fell in a forest, and no one heard it, I'd like eat the whole thing. Ever get insulted by what Netflix like suggests you would like? I don't want to watch Roseanne. Again.
To check out the top 15 rated Illinois-brewed beers, visit Reboot Illinois.
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