Sip distinctive suds at these newer suburban breweries
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Sip distinctive suds at these newer suburban breweries

Opening a brewpub is a herculean effort by itself. Opening throughout a pandemic is a wholly completely different story, one which Elburn’s Obscurity Brewing is accustomed to.

“It was undoubtedly difficult. There have been lots of curveballs thrown at us,” stated normal supervisor Nicole Bergner. “It isn’t the perfect time to open a restaurant by any means. However we’ve an excellent group and an excellent crew.”

Sip distinctive suds at these newer suburban breweries

Elburn’s Obscurity Brewing brews braggot-style beer, which is beer brewed with honey.
– Courtesy of Katrina Van Horn

Bergner stated that Obscurity needed to get inventive to climate the state-mandated COVID-19 restrictions.

“We pivoted and designed a pretty big outside beer backyard,” Bergner stated. “We had drive-in films. We amped up our to-go and catering providers. We actually made lots of on-the-fly adjustments.”

Obscurity’s pivoting technique was a hit, rapidly turning the brewpub into an Elburn staple.

Obscurity Brewing serves a variety of craft beer and Mead at its Elburn taproom.

Obscurity Brewing serves a wide range of craft beer and Mead at its Elburn taproom.
– Courtesy of Katrina Van Horn

“The suggestions was general very constructive, not solely with the group however the surrounding cities as properly,” Bergner stated. “There simply is not something fairly like Obscurity round us.”



Earlier than Obscurity, the brewpub’s homeowners operated the Lodi Faucet Homes in Utica and Maple Park, in line with Bergner. The bars weren’t breweries themselves, however served craft beer from Illinois distributors.

“The homeowners are a bunch of craft beer lovers,” Bergner stated. “They determined that we’ve these bars which might be actually profitable, let’s get into the trade and begin making our personal beer.”

Obscurity Brewing in Elburn brews craft beer, cider and Mead at its brewery in Elburn.

Obscurity Brewing in Elburn brews craft beer, cider and Mead at its brewery in Elburn.
– Courtesy of Katrina Van Horn

Craft beer solely makes up a 3rd of Obscurity’s choices trifecta, with the others being Mead made on-site and barbecue from its 1,000-pound wood-burning smoker.



“Not lots of people learn about Mead, but it surely is among the oldest fermented alcoholic drinks identified to man,” Bergner stated.

Mead is a honey-based alcohol with a distinctly candy style. And to save lots of you from any potential arguments, it isn’t beer.

“We brew what’s known as braggot-style beer, which is beer brewed with honey brewed into it,” Bergner stated. “You do not actually see that so much wherever both.”

"It was definitely challenging. There were a lot of curveballs thrown at us," Obscurity Brewing general manager Nicole Bergner said of opening the Elburn brewery during the pandemic.

“It was undoubtedly difficult. There have been lots of curveballs thrown at us,” Obscurity Brewing normal supervisor Nicole Bergner stated of opening the Elburn brewery in the course of the pandemic.
– Courtesy of Katrina Van Horn

Obscurity’s success earns it a spot amongst a brand new technology of breweries, brewpubs and home-brewers which have blazed a hop- and barley-filled path by way of the suburban brewing scene.

“There’s lots of breweries opening up. You’ll find a brewery inside 10 miles of wherever you are at,” Bergner stated. “The actual query is ‘What’s going to set us aside as a brewery? What’s going to make folks wish to come to us?'”

Seeking to check out a unique brewery? Listed here are some choices throughout the suburbs.

Black Lung Brewing Firm

2217 N. Illinois Route 83, Spherical Lake Seaside,

Household is centric to Spherical Lake Seaside’s Black Lung Brewing Firm, which has develop into a city favourite since opening in 2021. Black Lung rotates its choices by way of a powerful gallery of dozens of beer recipes, but it surely’s the brewery’s award-winning pale ales which have gained it probably the most notoriety. Black Lung hosts meals vehicles, reside music and different occasions frequently for these in search of leisure whereas kicking again with a brew.

Goldfinger Brewing Firm

513 Rogers St., Downers Grove,

Goldfinger Brewing Firm, which opened in 2020, makes use of sustainable brewing methods to brew a number of the finest growlers, lagers and pilsners obtainable in Downers Grove. Goldfinger’s beer additionally could be discovered on faucet at a number of eating places and bars throughout the suburbs and in Chicago. Outside seating is offered on the brewery, and brews could be ordered on-line.

Harbor Brewing Firm

136 Cedar Ave., Lake Villa,

The homeowners of Lake Villa’s Harbor Brewing Firm had an up-and-down journey transferring the brewery, which first opened in 2018, right into a 112-year-old former automotive dealership. The spacious new location made for a wonderful taproom and was well worth the wait. Beer followers ought to think about ordering the “Properly Learn” purple Irish ale or the Wildflower Saison. Although the brewery would not serve meals, patrons are welcome to deliver their very own or order from native eating places.

Obscurity Brewing and Mead Corridor & Cidery

Brewing: 113 W. North St., Elburn, (630) 320-2255,; Mead Corridor & Cidery: 21 S. Predominant St., Elburn

Positioned in Elburn, Obscurity Brewing Firm opened its doorways in July 2020. Its mission: present clients with nice beer, Mead and barbecue. You do not usually hear a brewery placing barbecue on the identical pedestal as its brews, however then once more, Obscurity isn’t any bizarre brewery. Barbecue bites embrace beef brisket, pork stomach burnt ends, smoked sizzling wings, smoked barbecue meatloaf, fire-grilled shrimp, barbecue bao buns, pulled pork and extra. Obscurity additionally hosts reside music; the schedule is offered at

Elburn's Obscurity Brewing brews craft beer, cider and Mead in its tanks.

Elburn’s Obscurity Brewing brews craft beer, cider and Mead in its tanks.
– Courtesy of Katrina Van Horn

Riverlands Brewing

1860 Dean St., Unit A, St. Charles,

The St. Charles brewery opened its doorways in 2019 and has rapidly develop into a sizzling spot for beer lovers throughout the Tri-Cities. Riverlands frequently hosts meals vehicles and musicians in the course of the hotter months. The lengthy faucet listing of wildly inventive brews contains favorites such because the Vicious Macaws bitter ale, Ion Tail American IPA and the Avenue Glide Golden Ale.

Roaring Desk Brewing Firm

739 W. Route 22, Lake Zurich, (224) 662-4562,

Roaring Desk Brewing Firm has rapidly develop into synonymous with high quality suburban brewing since opening in 2018. Its vary of cleverly named brews, such because the “A Stout Is A Porter When The Neckbeards Take Over” and the “Tart’s Need” fruited bitter, embrace the experimental facet of brewing whereas nonetheless remaining experimental. Guests can even get pleasure from a restricted menu of snacks and eats to get pleasure from inside Roaring Desk’s cozy 90-seat taproom.

Two Hound Crimson Brewing Firm

486 Pennsylvania Ave., Glen Ellyn, (630) 547-2912,

Meals and do-it-yourself brews share equal billing on the Glen Ellyn-based watering gap, which opened in August 2019. Positioned inside what was Schmid’s Pharmacy, guests can get pleasure from a wealth of home-brews, such because the Beastly Bloodhound purple lager, accompanied by a cheeseburger or loaded fries. Guests can even stick round for grownup sand volleyball each Wednesday in the course of the summer time.

Forge Brewhouse

216 N. sixth St., DeKalb,

Cease by the on-site taproom of Forge Brewhouse’s manufacturing and distribution brewery to pattern the newest beers on faucet. Although it was based in 2015 in Sycamore, Forge Brewhouse has known as DeKalb house since transferring there in 2018. Present beers on faucet embrace the Black Mamba Darkish Espresso Cherry Lager and the Nice Western American Pale Ale.

Breweries opening later this 12 months

Sturdy Shelter Brewing

10 Shumway Ave., Batavia,

Set to open formally later this 12 months after it finishes development inside Batavia’s historic Kluber constructing, Sturdy Shelter Brewing guarantees to be as a lot of a spot to attach with the group as it’s a vacation spot for excellent beer. Its distinctive brews, such because the Huckleberry Bitter and three Amigos Mexican Imperial Milk Stout, are positive to develop into common favorites of the city’s eclectic beer lovers.

Tonality Brewing Firm

169 N. Seymour Ave., Mundelein,

In 2021, the homeowners of Tonality Brewing Firm purchased the outdated Mundelein-Countryside Fireplace Division constructing (initially constructed within the Forties), which they plan to show right into a full microbrewery and restaurant. The corporate is anticipating to open the brewery’s doorways in late 2022, with the promise of providing high-quality brews and meals.