On the Northern side of Chicago where Belmont and Broadway meet, you will find a local producer that has become an instant favorite for many of the people who have visited. Since opening in 2013, DryHop Brewers has grown in popularity and comes up frequently in discussions about craft beer in Chicago. Prone to collaboration and supporters of the craft, and other local producers working for the same goal, DryHop is a really neat staple in a craft brewing community.
Everything about this place is kept to a small scale to keep the right focus. The focus of keeping things well made. Their menu is short, concise, and well above the usual pub fare. Their beer menu is in rotation which allows for new styles and creativity. Their beers are well made and not overdone either. For instance, their winter warmer is an evenly spiced brown amber that has everything one would expect from a holiday beer, but leaves out the overwhelming flavors as if a spice rack fell into the brew pot. The Porter Jumper Ancho Chili Porter has a noticeable chili flavor derived from the meat of the pepper more than the spice and heat that you would usually expect. One of their upcoming brews is even a lactose black IPA that will be served on nitro.
One of the main draws is the atmosphere and actual space that the brewery inhabits. Repurposed wood and metal are paired with concrete to give a clean, modern, industrialized feel. An exposed brick wall adds character while providing the space to exhibit artwork from local artists. The main dining area looks out onto the street and even spills out onto the curbside patio during the warmer months.
The room funnels back to what doubles as bar and brewery. While sitting, you are staring down holding tanks and draft components while the brew kettle and mash tun stand behind a glass wall directly behind you. Fermenters rage on just around the corner, which emit wonderful aromas of hops from the dry hopping process. The experience is a small and intimate one that could be compared to seeing a concert and sitting on stage while the band performs.
The staff are kind, genuine, and very understanding of a beer nerd geeking out and taking pictures while drinking through a tour of their tap list.
The tap list includes a few guest taps and a variety of house brews. Select bottles from local collaborators and friends like Begyle Brewing and Une Annee are available alongside growler options in 32 and 64 oz sizes.
If you haven't made a stop in to DryHop, it is a high recommendation that you do so. next time you are out to grab a bite or just a brew, make this a destination and a chance to check out a new haunt.
DryHop's Porter Jumper Ancho Chili Porter will be on draft at Solidarity :: Darkside on Feb 23rd at Emporium Arcade Bar alongside 24 other dark beers. Tickets for the event are available HERE.