As if beer lovers needed a reason to throw back a cold one, Thursday was National Beer Day, which is a nod to the end of prohibition.
And Chicago is home to a growing number of craft beer makers, who are all looking to capitalize on the rising market.
North Center's Half Acre Brewery had a full house Thursday night as Chicagoans celebrated National Beer Day. Half Acre is typical of most craft breweries: small, local, independent and offering a modest slate of options, which are four daily varieties, a beer of the month and half a dozen options on draft that are served to go in "growlers" or by the pint in their tap room.
“More than anything we're just trying to be true to our own approach and our own style, and at the end of the day we feel if we want to drink it, we feel good and confident that you'll want to drink it,” said Trent Holten, who is the business operations manager of Half Acre Brewery.
Logan Square's Revolution Brewery is not only one of the biggest craft breweries in Chicago, it was also recently named one of the 50 biggest in the country. At the Revolution Brewery, computers perfect malt to hop ratios and their most popular craft beer is stamped with a revolutionary name: "Anti-Hero.”
The philosophy at Revolution is that creativity sells.
“You can go anywhere from heavy, barrel aged dark beers to sour beers, funky cezans...there's all sorts of different styles to try,” said Gabriel Boden, who is the general manger of Revolution Brewery Group.
Revolution and Half Acre compete with nearly two dozen craft breweries in Chicago, selling to discerning connoisseurs who not only want their beer fresh and local, but they're looking for beer they can't find at the corner liquor store.
“Craft beers are a little more uniquely flavored in terms of what they put in it....flavors like this coffee,” said craft beer lover Chris Schneck.