Sun rays, cool conversations, and reverential libations are plentiful in the summer months, and the beer gardens at Chicago breweries and beer bars are as quintessential as it gets. See how some of the best places to grab a pint roll out the patio furniture and light the tiki torches.
Mikerphone has been helping grow waist lines for a few years, but now they’re growing their facilities too, with the addition of The Blue Room, an extra bar and seating area decorated in Mikerphone Blue, as well as a new patio area for your fresh air beer consumption. The word is out about their flavor-forward beers with joyful amounts of ingredients, because even with the added seating, this place can get hopping on the weekends.
Half Acre Balmoral
Half Acre’s large production facility has really come into form over the last couple years. Brilliant creations are flowing from both the kitchen and the brewery, and they have carefully pieced together an aesthetic throughout the property. Most notably, the exterior brick has a snappy new white paint job and the patio grew larger with a walk-up window for beer and a new bocce court to pair with those pre-existing chill vibes.
Temperance Beer Co.
Temperance makes smart use of an industrial space with a less-than-attractive parking lot by adding a sizable and uniquely designed wooden patio. It’s a relaxing place to enjoy a beer and a board game with friends and family.
Uncommon Ground (Edgewater)
Greenstar Brewing is Illinois’ first certified organic brewery operating out of Uncommon Ground’s Lakeview location. Lucky for us, the Edgewater location also pours Greenstar’s vegan and gluten-removed brews, and they have a beautiful and spacious beer garden where diners and drinkers are surrounded by garden beds of produce for the kitchen.
Pollyanna’s second home in Roselle gives them some more space to innovate on the beer-making side of things, but also on the hospitality side. The indoor seating for this taproom is probably double what the little balcony at the Lemont taproom can hold, but more importantly the outdoor beer garden is a sea of picnic tables and umbrellas for those who like a cool breeze with their brew.
While there may not be any seating in Metropolitan’s outdoor space, the unique natural appeal of enjoying a lager while overlooking the well loved Chicago River is kind of a getaway hideout—especially since the brewery is housed in an old industrial building that’s in varying stages of restoration. It’s a wonderful place with beautiful custom brick walkways, enormous floor-to-ceiling windows, and some of the best German-style lagers in town.
Suburban Bloomingdale’s latest craft brewery brings a backyard block party experience to their large fenced in outdoor area: a spacious porch, hammocks, picnic tables, cornhole, fire pit, adirondack chairs, chaise lounges, and still plenty of green lawn for doggies to roll around. And on tap is a nice variety of American craft beer styles, plus a small menu of snack options, and BYOF is welcome except when they wheel in a food truck.
Not actually a brewery, but with one of the best curated draft lists in the city, you won’t be wanting for carbonated delights or delicious bites from this upscale pub fare. This beer-forward formula has made Fountainhead a popular haunt on the north side, but on their laid-back rooftop garden and bar, they take chilling with a beer to another level.
One of Chicago’s great gastropubs, from the creator of Paddy Long’s, is also home to one of the hottest beer gardens on Randolph Street—and it takes some serious game to distinguish yourself on restaurant-heavy Randolph. Kaiser Tiger pulls it off with a happening beer garden, exceptional draft selection, meat-centric menu, shuttles to nearby United Center events, and seasonal bocce courts and ice curling rinks.
Middle Brow Bungalow
The recently opened bungalow on Armitage is forging its place in the Chicago beer scene with innovative funky beers and freaky fresh breads. With temperatures rising to a tolerable level, their outdoor space has matured to patio status too. Their many sessionable beer options and shareable and delicious food menu make this patio the perfect location for summertime lollygagging.