Craft Beer & Breweries in the Aurora Area
The Aurora Area is home to some of the finest craft breweries Chicago has to offer.
From the venerable Two Brothers Artisan Brewing at the historic Two Brothers Roundhouse, to brand new entrants like the B.B.G.B. Brewery at Hardware, a sustainable gastropub in North Aurora developing a reputation for its epic combination of elevated cuisine and a highly drinkable selection of pale ales, the craft breweries of the Aurora Area are renowned as much for their creativity as they are for the consistent, irresistable quality of their beers. Read on for our guide to the craft breweries of the Aurora Area, where in Illinois' second-largest city and its neighboring communities you can find inventive cuisine paired with a perfect beer to match just about any palate.
Two Brothers Artisan Brewing at the Two Brothers Roundhouse
For 20 years this staunchly independent brewery has been synonymous with refreshing, innovative beers that introduced flavors from brewing traditions worldwide to the Chicago market, like its flagship Domaine Dupage, an unparalleled French Country Ale that continues to bring home the gold from the Great American Beer Festival and World Beer Cup. When Two Brothers' award-winning operation expanded in 2011 to the historic limestone Two Brothers Roundhouse in Downtown Aurora, they developed an experimental in-house brewing program to go along with craft beer cocktails, a rotating seasonal menu featuring sustainably sourced meats, seafood, and greens, and a coffee roasterie to supply the spacious Two Brothers Cafe. Next up: an artisinal distillery with a lineup of house-made spirits that will include whiskeys produced from a beer grain base.
Take note: Two Brothers Roundhouse hosts its annual Two Brothers Summer Festival at RiverEdge Park in Downtown Aurora.
Two Brothers Roundhouse is located at 205 N. Broadway in Aurora, IL 60505.
B.B.G.B. Brewery at Hardware
Hardware B.B.G.B. Taps photo courtesy Tara Young
Built from the ground up with a sustainable mission, the Aurora Area's newest brewpub is at Hardware in North Aurora, a location that includes a greenhouse, orchard, "living wall" exterior with greens, herbs, and lettuces grown on-site, and a 1.5 acre hop farm to fulfill the base of its beers at B.B.G.B. Brewery. Ranked one of Chicago's best new breweries for 2016, Hardware appeals to craft beer lovers with an adventurous take on traditional styles. Refined, elevated lunch and dinner menus are centered around vegetarian-friendly shareable small plates, house-cured charcuterie, and a frequent rotation of mouth-watering specials. If you haven't tried their deconstruction of the classic Chicago hot dog, do it now and thank us later for the recommendation.
Take note: Hardware also has the Aurora Area's largest public whiskey collection, with over 300 bottles to choose from for 1oz. or 2oz. tastings.
Hardware is located at 2000 W. Orchard Road in North Aurora, 60542.
Hopvine Brewing Company
A popular happy hour spot near the Fox Valley Mall, Hopvine Brewing Company greets you with the aroma of fresh hops and herbs growing out on its three-season patio and a warm, welcoming wraparound bar. Chef Katie DeStefano and Brewmaster Ken McMullen team up to craft experimental food and beer pairings, turning over their menu multiple times throughout the year, sparing no attention to detail: from house-made jams, jellies, and beer cheese to wild, table-side infusions of aromatics, fruits, candies, and vegetables with their beers. The entire small-batch brewing operation, from the fermentation room to the storage cooler, is exposed to the restaurant. Craft beer aficionados and novices alike can find a diverse array of styles on offer at any given time of year, from sours and root-beer ales to Belgian-style Trippels and Imperial IPAs.
Hopvine Brewing Company is located at 4030 Fox Valley Center Drive in Aurora, IL 60504.
Oswego Brewing Co.
Opening May 2018, Oswego Brewing Co. is a production craft brewery new to the heart of downtown Oswego, Illinois, in the "basement" of the old Village firehouse. Operating at a capacity of approximately 2,000 to 2,800 BBLs per year, the Oswego Brewing Co. is focused on creating beers that will cater to the tastes of every beer drinker, from the novice to the connoisseur. Featuring a 60-seat tap room and 20-seat meeting room, the brewery aims to be a welcoming place where customers can stop by for a beer, play board games, and socialize with friends. Menus from local establishments are always on hand, and food trucks are scheduled to offer varying cuisines on-site most weekends. Join Oswego Brewing Co. for their Grand Opening Weekend, Friday May 18th through Sunday May 20th.
Oswego Brewing Co. is located at 61 Main St., in Oswego, Illinois 60543.
Energy City Brewing
Energy City Brewing is an exclusive nanobrewery located in downtown Batavia, Illinois. Beer lovers are drawn to the refined, limited offerings out of this small-batch operation. Energy City Brewing's current lineup of beers includes citrusy, hop-forward New England style IPAs and Wheat Ales, plus a robust Russian Imperial Porter and a lighter, flavorful American Brown ale.
Take note: Energy City currently hosts one public bottle release at the location from 11am to 3pm on the first Saturday of each month.
Energy City Brewing is located at 2 1/2 W. Wilson St., Suite A-1, in Batavia, Illinois 60510. Entrance to the brewery is at the south end of the building near the parking lot.
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Header photo credit: Michael Allen - Fox Valley Tours