Welcome to stop #17 on the Brews and Choos project.
Note: closed permanently on 23 October 2022.
Brewery: Empirical Brewery, 1801 W. Foster Ave., Chicago
Train line: Union Pacific North, Ravenswood
(Also CTA Brown Line, Damen)
Time from Chicago: 16 minutes (Zone B)
Distance from station: 800 m (1.4 km from CTA)
Living by the Ravenswood Metra stop is almost an embarrassment of riches. One of those is the Empirical Brewery on Foster. They have an experimental streak that produces some epic beers.
From left to right, Endothermic Baltic Porter, Proton "No Coast" American IPA, and Covalence Juicy Pale Ale:
All three were great. Endothermic (9.0%, 30 IBUs) is available through the end of March. It's smooth, full-bodied, chocolaty, malty, and delicious. Covalence (5.5%, 32 IBUs) is exactly what it says on the tin: juicy and pale, and less bitter than hop-porn IPAs you might get elsewhere. And when I visit Empirical on most of the time, I'll have a Proton (6.0%, 40 IBUs), their best pale.
Beer garden? Yes
Dogs OK? Yes
Televisions? Two, avoidable, usually playing classic or nerdy movies
Serves food? No; order-in kiosk and menu pile, sometimes a food truck
Would hang out with a book? Yes
Would hang out with friends? Yes
Would go back? Yes