Microbrew kegs near Chicago?
June 29, 2008 8:35 AM   Subscribe

What microbreweries within a hour or two's drive of Chicago will sell me a keg (half barrel) of a good, micro-brewed beer today or sometime this week?

Great Lakes is too far, Three Floyds doesn't sell kegs to the public, and the selection at the local liquor stores never has all the things that I want (although I may do that as a fallback). I can't get ahold of anyone at Capital to figure out if they sell to the public or not. I know that I am missing some good regional breweries, but every place is either too far, I've never heard of it or they don't sell kegs to the public. Help!
posted by iknowizbirfmark to Food & Drink (12 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Have you asked what you can get at Sam's Wine and Spirits or possibly Binny's Beverage Depot? A couple years ago I was hunting for kegs of good beer, and I was blown away with what they'd sell me at Sam's. Seemed like they might be using the same distributor as the Hop Leaf and the Map Room.
posted by tsmo at 9:04 AM on June 29, 2008 [1 favorite]

Ooh-- Sam's has updated their web site. Their keg list is now online!

They've got a ton of beers from Goose Island, and they've even got the Three Floyds you're looking for, and some great stuff from Abita, Anchor and Allagash.

It's not the Hop Leaf or the Map Room, but it'll do. Enjoy your beer!
posted by tsmo at 9:10 AM on June 29, 2008

Lakefront brewery in downtown Milwaukee (so about 1 to 1.5 hour drive) will sell you kegs. Their beer is very tasty.
posted by King Bee at 9:14 AM on June 29, 2008

I second visiting Sam's, but definetly call first, the stock can be fairly irregular. I can also strongly reccomend Two Brothers Brewery in Warrenville, it is within an hour of anywhere in the area and has some great brew, specifically the Ebel's Wise and the Cain & Able Rye. Flatlander's in Lincolnshire is nice little brew pub that will sell kegs to go as well.
posted by kmadd at 9:31 AM on June 29, 2008

Goose Island. I KNOW they used to sell big graulers (sp?) of beer to the public. Do they still?

Good luck...you should post the result here too.
posted by hal_c_on at 9:33 AM on June 29, 2008

Growler. Much, much smaller than a half-barrel, fwiw, but lots of fun. I like to drink straight out of the jug and pretend I have a banjo. Selling growlers doesn't necessarily indicate that a place will sell kegs.
posted by fishfucker at 9:54 AM on June 29, 2008

Farther afield than Three Floyds or Two Brothers, but not as far as Cleveland, there's also Bell's Brewery and Founders Brewing, in Kalamazoo and Grand Rapids, respectively. A Bell's keg would be especially an especially good coup for the Chicago beer aficionado, as they no longer sell their original styles in Illinois. Their Oberon is particularly tasty.
posted by Johnny Assay at 10:06 AM on June 29, 2008

I was going to suggest (with high marks) Pavichevich Brewing in Elmhurst, but Goose Island bought them out. Baderbrau is gooood stuff, so call this another vote for Goose Island.
posted by Emperor SnooKloze at 10:55 AM on June 29, 2008

Great responses, thanks! I've been through most of the kegs that Sam's and Binny's sell of Three Floyds, etc., but Sam's and Binny's are great fallbacks.

I knew that I forgot about something good - Two Brothers brews great beer. I will check out some of the other selections, too. Thanks for all the great suggestions...
posted by iknowizbirfmark at 11:50 AM on June 29, 2008

Goose Island is microbrew?
posted by piedmont at 12:52 PM on June 29, 2008

You can get kegs of Capital and New Glarus, I believe, at places like Party Port and Riley's in Madison.
posted by Madamina at 6:30 PM on June 29, 2008

Pretty sure Capital does sell to public (I haven't bought directly but do pick Island Wheat up from time to time in local Madison markets).

There are a few others listed here.
posted by mcbeth at 1:09 AM on June 30, 2008

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