The Run Down

If you're on Fulton Market Street in the West Loop neighborhood and you start walking west, the crowds get smaller and smaller, the trendy bars and restaurants start to disappear from sight, and soon you'll be surrounded by warehouses and small office spaces. That's when you'll know you're in the Kinzie Industrial Corridor, which is where we are hanging out for this guide. This corridor has attracted a lot of large and small businesses over the years, and among them are breweries and distilleries that call this area home. We're going to three stops on this day drinking bonanza where we'll be sipping on beers, brandy, and ordering-in some gorditas for good measure. Before we get into, we've got a logistics note. Be mindful of the operating hours for each of the places as some may not overlap on certain days making it harder to hit all three places if you don't time it right. Here are the highlights.

1. Drink @ Goose Island

2. More Drinks @ Rhine Hall Distillery

3. Even More Drinks @ On Tour Brewing

1. Goose Island

The first stop on our expedition into the Kinzie Industrial Corridor is the Goose Island Tap Room where we’ll be doing a bit of boozing and eating. They’ve been operating in this location for over 20 years, but it wasn’t until 2015 that they built out a tap room that’s open to the public.

The one thing particularly enjoyable about drinking in tap rooms is that all the staff have deep knowledge about the beer they’re serving. That was the case here as our bartender gave us a short lesson on the flight of beers we ordered. Here are some other notes about this place to help you plan your trip.

Wed – Th (2PM-8PM); Friday (2PM-9PM); Saturday (12PM-9PM); Sunday from (12PM-6PM)

 – No TVs to distract you from beer and good conversation

– No kitchen, but you can bring in your own food or have it delivered. Ask the bartender for their gigantic binder of nearby food delivery options.

– Tours are also available for $12. Details here.

We brought in food from Dona Naty’s, and pictured above is their gordita which paired very nicely with a cold beer. They also deliver.

2. Rhine Hall Distillery

A few blocks straight west of Goose Island is our next watering hole, Rhine Hall Distillery. We’re making the switch from beer to this distillery’s specialty, fruit brandy. If you’re not familiar with fruit brandy, it’s also known as schnapps, eau de vie, calvados, and rjeka to name a few other monikers. It’s basically a spirit distilled from various types of ripe fruit (e.g. apple, pears, plum, cherries, etc.)

As soon as you sit down at the bar here, you’ll get the whole history lesson about fruit brandy and the distillery itself. Not only can you get a sampling of their various brandy spirits, but they have a pretty mean cocktail menu.

If you’re looking for a recommendation , the “Counter Balance” cocktail was a super refreshing mango brandy cocktail with cucumber, jalapeno, and korean chili.

They only have limited operating hours, so you’ll need to plan accordingly.  Here are their hours.

– Wed – Fri (5-9pm)
– Saturday (2 – 7pm)
– Tours and workshops are available periodically. $10/person. Details here.

3. On Tour Brewing

The last stop in this guide is the On Tour Brewing company. This is the newest resident of the Kinzie Industrial Corridor and they are certainly a welcome addition.  Here are some notes to get you going.

– Open Tuesday – Thursday (3 -10pm); Friday (2 – 11pm); Saturday (11am – 11pm); Sunday (11am – 8pm)
– Tours are also available on every first and third Saturday of the month at 1pm. Details here.
– While they don’t have a kitchen here, they will sometimes have food trucks parked outside.

As you make the 10 minute walk from Rhine Hall, the sound of a crowd gets louder and louder, and as you turn the street corner where the brewery is located, you’ll see a huge garage door entrance welcoming you to the On Tour tap room.

The tap room is massive and has soaring ceilings which makes the space look even more impressive. Sit anywhere you can and order at the bar. If you haven’t had On Tour beers before this, you can get 5oz samples of most of their beers for $2 a piece. Not a bad way to go through as much of their menu as you can.