The Windy City’s original company for beer tasting tours, Chicago Beer Experience Tours offers top-rated beer-tasting and bar tours. Guests will learn about various neighborhoods in a fun, unique way that provide fascinating historical facts combined with beer tasting throughout these walkable tours. Some food is even included that compliments the some of the best beers of the Midwest.
Serving more than 15,000 people since its inception in 2011, Chicago Beer Experience Tours provides guests with information about the city’s colorful past, specifically as it relates to beer. Learn about the 1855 lager beer riots, beer expansion projects by the Germans of the 1800s, Prohibition, bootleggers of the mob, and so much more. Tourists and locals will both enjoy the experience.
Types of Chicago Beer Experience Tours
Beer experience participants will visit several locally owned establishments that bring the beer and the city to life. From a blues bar to an arcade bar; from new microbreweries to an old-school Irish pub; from a beer-and-bacon bar to a bar with ties to Chicago’s criminal past, these beer tours offer so much more than just your run-of-the-mill beer.
Tour topics may include classic Chicago; pioneers and innovation; gambling, gangsters and architecture; and eclectic neighborhoods. Tours typically include tasting of approximately 10 beer tastings that amounts to 4 pints of beer. Some tours may include food, such as a slice of deep-dish pizza, a bacon pairing, or a Chicago-style hot dog.
What You’ll See on a Chicago Beer Experience Tour
Depending on the specific tour chosen, guests may experience something of these iconic Chicago neighborhoods:
Loop & South Loop
Located right downtown, this tour allows for visiting some of the oldest neighborhoods in the city. Check out neighborhood establishments such as the Exchequer Pub—an old school style pub that is famous for its connections to Al Capone and his swarthy activities.
Bucktown & Wicker Park
Explore the basics of beer throughout historical brewing in this eclectic tour located about four miles north of the downtown Chicago area. Learn how the neighborhoods of Wicker Park and Bucktown have rapidly gentrified over the past two decades as they’ve become filled with interesting hipster gatherings and walkable streets. Drop in on Lottie’s Pub, a bar that was used on the show, Chicago Fire, as “Molly’s”.
Lakeview & Lincoln Park
Located over three miles north of the downtown Loop, these two neighborhoods have locally owned establishments that are off the beaten path. Guests learn the basics of Chicago history while experiencing an Irish Pub, a British Pub, a Pour-Your-Own Pub and more.
Chicago Beer Experience Services
Standard service public walking tour with beer tastings and a small amount of food are available year-round. Private tours for 6 or more people can be schedule any day of the week. Beer tasting classes are also provided year-round.
Chicago Beer Experience Tours Timing
Beer experiences typically run around 3 hours, often scheduled to run from the late afternoon into the early evening. The walking portion usually encompasses approximately 1-1 ½ miles while time seated in restaurants may be 1-2 hours, more or less depending on the tour. Tour times may run long based on busy restaurants—participants should plan to leave plenty of time at the end of the tour, just in case.
Tours are available on weekends. Some are year-round while others are only available March through December. Check the calendar on the company website for details.
Chicago Beer Experience Tours Considerations
Things to know prior to booking a Chicago Beer Experience Tour:
- Participants must be 21 years of age or older, even if they don’t plan to drink. IDs will be checked.
- Groups are somewhat small—up to 18 people.
- Persons who do not want to drink the beer can purchase a no-beer ticket.
- Guests will be invited to taste at least 10 beers—up to 4 pints total.
- Many of the beers included on the tour are Midwestern craft beers.
- Tours encourage the support of local Chicago businesses.
- Tickets must be purchased in advance.
- Tours run rain-or-shine and are not cancelled due to inclement weather. Guests should be sure to dress appropriately for the type of weather.
- Beer tours include 1-1 ½ miles of walking. Participants should wear appropriately comfortable footwear.
- Gratuities are welcome at the end of the tour, depending upon experience.
- Children and pets may not participate of the tour because of bar policies and legal regulations.
- Meeting points vary based on the tour chosen. Pertinent information will be provided upon purchase of tickets.
Book a Chicago Beer Experience Tour
Tickets for Chicago Beer Experience Tours must be purchased in advance online. Tours often sell out. Booking is easy online. Online bookings show weekly availability including tour times as well as revealing tours that are already sold out. Pay for your tour in advance with a credit card and receive an email with all of the information you need about where and when tours meet as well as what to expect.