Adams Street Brewery Review

on July 1, 2020

 

Basics: 

  • Location: 17 W. Adams St., Chicago, IL 60603  [mapNote: A Berghoff Café location exists at O’Hare Airport at Terminal 1, Concourse C, and they will also serve some beer at this location.
  • Website: https://www.adamsstreetbrewery.com/
  • Phone: (312) 427-5820
  • Established: 2018
  • Distribution? No
  • Type: Brewpub
  • Tours: Virtual
  • Untapped Link: Here

Summary: We are very familiar with Adams Street Brewery because we have been visiting The Berghoff since 2016 on our Sin & Suds Beer Tour. Built on a foundation of colorful history, this under-the-radar spot is brewing some excellent beer in Chicago and is definitely worth a visit.

History: Anything connected to The Berghoff is Chicago history royalty. The Berghoff was started in 1898 by Herman Joseph Berghoff, a German immigrant. Unable to obtain a permit to sell his beer at the World’s Fair in 1893, he set up a pop-up shop outside the gates and sold bottles of his dark lager. After much success there, he moved his family to Chicago and opened up a café where he sold a stein of his beer for a nickel and complimentary sandwich. In 1912, Herman moved the original location to the current building, which was built shortly after the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. Following the rules during Prohibition, they did not sell alcohol like many Loop establishments did during the time. They were rewarded with Liquor Licenses No. 1 and 2 when Prohibition ended, which they still have to this day.

Their first ever in-house brewery was started in 2018 by 4th Generation owner Pete Berghoff, along with his parents Hermanand his wife Jan. Anthony Coronato, Head Brewer, is also a third generation Berghoff employee. Both his father and grandfather were the building engineers of our 48,000 sq. foot building. They utilize every floor for the brewing process. The roof has the Glycol system, the third floor contains the granary, the main floor has the brew house tank, and the lower Level contains the fermentation and brite tanks.

Brewpub: Adams Street has taken over the bar area of the first floor of The Berghoff on the east side of the restaurant. It was refurbished as part of adding in the brewery in 2018. The wood of the old bar, paneling, and other accoutrements pay homage to the building’s colorful past, yet it sparkles. The actual bar is one of the longest in the city and there are plenty of small and large tables in the accompanying room for larger groups. Patrons can also order snacks or fuller meals that are served from The Bergoff.

Beer: While they focus on some relatively basic style lagers to pay homage to their German brewing past, including their Dortmunder-style lager, Coronato and company have quickly adapted to the current craft brewing environment. Notable beers include their Cinder & Ash, a Rauchbier, Norse Buggy, a hazy IPA, and many of their porters and darker lager and ales, which are brewed with a deft touch. The beers are, at their worst, solid expressions of particular styles, and often surprise. Not to be confused with Berghoff-branded beer, which the family sold in 1994 and the bar stopped serving since their new brewery opened. Again, definitely worth a visit, and Coronato is a talent worth keeping an eye on.

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