Pioneers & Pints Beer Tour in Bucktown & Wicker Park

Tour Location and In General

This tour explores Chicago’s Bucktown and Wicker Park neighborhoods that are located approximately 4 miles northwest of the Loop of Downtown Chicago, easily accessible via mass transportation. A trained guide will lead you on approximately a one-mile walk through these neighborhoods where you’ll learn about these neighborhoods, Chicago history, especially related to pioneers and immigration, and beer history over a three hour period. You’ll taste great beer, too!

Where You’ll Visit

We take immense pride in visiting locally-owned establishments that are off-the-beaten-path. In addition to friendly service, these places also have character and uniquely add to the neighborhoods. In Bucktown and Wicker Park, the first two locations pay homage to the area’s historical past, while the new stops show the neighborhoods rapid change into a cool, hip area. Included are the following:

  • A bar that doubled as “Molly’s” on the NBC show Chicago Fire and has compelling history, being owned by Walter “Lottie” Zagaorski, a transvestite with ties to Chicago’s criminal past;
  • a cool neighborhood bar dating back to the late 1800s, with a killer beer list and a fantastic, chill vibe; 
  • a new space that combines a butcher shop, restaurant, and event space with a bar and delightful beer selection; and
  • a new bar that combines one of the best beer lists in the city with old school video games, paying tribute to Chicago’s gaming past.

Please note that other stops are sometimes substituted due to establishment availability.

What is included:

  • Learn about Chicago history as it relates to pioneers, immigration and beer, all the way from 1673 to present day. In particular, you’ll learn about these neighborhoods, which have hosted a variety of different ethnicities – including Polish, German, Eastern European Jewish, African American, and Latino.
  • Explore the basics of beer through historical brewing from 10,000 years ago through today.
  • Walk a little over a mile and explore these neighborhoods, including “Beer Baron Row,” where a majority of the old German beer barons used to live in the late 1800s.
  • Taste several different beers, about 4 normal size beers in total, several of which are Midwestern craft beers. We try to provide a lot of variety – from lagers to porters – while being as local as possible.
  • Pair your beer with a Chicago-style hot dog, provided by 60 year old family-owned restaurant.


This is our most eclectic, neighborhood-focused tour. You’ll learn about Chicago history, primarily related to immigration and these neighborhoods, including how it relates to beer – and you’ll be surprised by how many fascinating stories we share. You’ll taste delicious beer from visiting unique, local establishments, with great variety on both. You’ll also walk and get a feel for these distinctive neighborhoods – Bucktown and Wicker Park have rapidly gentrified the past 20 years, turning them into an eclectic, more “hipstery” area, and are now enjoyable, walkable neighborhoods. We have no doubt that you’ll want to explore the area even more after your tour.

Combining it all together with wonderful people, and it makes for an unforgettable experience. In short, our tour is a really unique activity in Chicago that is fun and memorable. We’d love discover Chicago through beer with you! For more details, check out our “Why Us” page.

We hope that you’ll join us! Purchase tickets today.