Off-course from some of Chicago’s most extravagant bars like Kelly’s or Irish Eyes lies one of finest of the many Chicago microbreweries, Vice District Brewing.
Located off Michigan Avenue in the South Loop, Vice District feels like a small den a big city. With a friendly atmosphere and welcoming staff, the craft brewery feels not like a typical bar, but a friend’s house.
Guests can bring their own food in or order food to be delivered to the bar, but they can also bring their own dogs in. With your own food, your dog and the handful of board games Vice District has on tap for guests to play, the craft brewery adds all of this to the atmosphere that Vice District is just like your friend’s house.
Being only the size of your average living room, Vice District is cozy enough to have a drink with some buddies, though where it does get crowded occasionally, the smallness of the space becomes apparent.
If the place were to ever start serving food, I’d say it’d be a safe bet that it was time to expand the room. But the whole idea of serving food could also take away the home vibe of Vice District. The lack of food also focuses the attention on the quality of the beer.
While the craft brewery is not considered a sports bar, it does play Chicago sports team games on their televisions whenever requested, so if you’re looking for a place to catch the Cubs game, Vice District might be a quieter place for you.
The microbrewery was even mentioned in a City of Chicago press release last week, where Mayor Rahm Emanuel wagered a friendly bet against San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee that the Chicago Cubs would beat the Giants. In it, Emanuel offered a growler of Bad Intentions beer from Vice District Brewing, one of the company’s most popular beers on tap.
With the extensive list of craft beers on the Vice District menu, it may be hard to choose a favorite.
The Habitual, a dark Cascadian ale – otherwise known as a black IPA – is one drink not to be missed. Described to be made to give a type of classic Pacific Northwest flavor and aroma, my taste buds could only describe it as a type of dark chocolatey flavored beer. And there aren’t many things that taste better than beer and dark chocolate.
With stronger tasting beers comes bigger expenses to your wallet, and though the prices of beer at this craft brewery may be more expensive than a Coors Light can at your local sports bar, they’re worth it.
You’re not going to Vice District to get drunkenly hammered – though trust me, you can – you’re going to the place to have a few beers and talk to someone at a bar where the music isn’t dominating everyone’s conversations.
There’s a lot that Vice District offers to a first timer in their bar, its friendly atmosphere might be one of the most appealing features but the great sense of passion the staff put into their beer would be what makes the place unique.
You ask anyone on staff what beers they recommend from the menu, and you’ll find yourself listening to a five-minute descriptive conversation about the best beers in their book.
This is far from a bad thing, as if you’re finding yourself at one Chicago’s best craft breweries, it’d be good to listen to why that is.
What Vice District doesn’t offer is a snotty atmosphere for those who have never tried a Chicago craft beer, instead it offers a door into one of Chicago’s hottest market for people who deeply devoted and passionate for the art behind making beer.
Vice District Brewery is located in the South Loop at 1454 S. Michigan Avenue.