Frothy Goals

June 2019 View more

Metal Monkey

In between block parties and backyard barbecues, it’s well worth your while to make room on the summer calendar to sip freshly poured beers mere feet from the source. Over the past three years, the west suburban beer scene has continued to blossom, with a number of new taprooms opening their doors near Naperville and beyond. Consider this your summer sipping checklist.

25 West Brewing Co.
Brews to try The namesake 25 West—a classic West Coast IPA—is always on tap, and the Fruit Smoothie sour series is also set to debut this summer.
Good to know The Stratford Square location makes 25 West a prime spot for a pre- or post-movie hang. Set with cherry red chairs and lit by strings of cafe lights, the dog-friendly patio is also a warm-weather draw. Play bags or arcade games while you wait for your food—there’s a full menu of snacks, burgers, tacos, and barbecue.
327 Stratford Drive, Bloomingdale, 630.351.2500,

BBGB Brewery at Hardware Gastropub
Brews to try Earl the Pearl American pale ale is the top seller here, and the main summer offering is Misty’s cream ale, named for the childhood dog of brewmaster Bob Salzman.
Good to know BBGB (a combination of the partners’ initials) shares space with Hardware, a gastropub serving housemade charcuterie and creative, heart-warming fare such as duck pot pies and brisket hot dogs. Both strive to reduce the collective carbon footprint by growing produce in an on-site greenhouse and collecting rainwater to use for irrigation. Looking for ambiance? The patio delivers with a fireplace and views of the brewery’s fruit trees and 1.3-acre hops farm.
2000 W. Orchard Rd., North Aurora, 630.299.3977,

Black Horizon Brewing Company
Brews to try Stealing Sunshine, a blood orange sour, is a refreshing pick; for something darker, you can’t beat Big Chocolate, a rich chocolate stout.
Good to know Dogs are allowed on the patio, which is fenced by beer barrels and decked out with umbrella-topped picnic tables. Come for trivia and food trucks every second and fourth Thursday of the month. Watch the brewery’s website for details on a second anniversary party slated for the weekend of July 12–14.
7560 S. Quincy St., Willowbrook, 630.413.4964,

Metal Monkey Brewing
Brews to try Flagship beers here include Furious George pale ale; Simian Fever hibiscus wheat ale and Fonkey Mucker, a chocolate peanut butter stout. Expect some new fruited sours and easy-drinking Kölsches and hefeweizens to hit the taps throughout the summer.
Good to know Live music, food trucks, outdoor seating, and beanbag games keep the scene lively here on summer weekends. Sox fans: Look for Metal Monkey’s RomeoPils Pilsner and Furious George pale ale at Guaranteed Rate Field’s craft beer stand this season.
515 Anderson Dr., Romeoville, 815.524.3139,

More Brewing
Brews to try Taps change often but you can usually count on Villa Pils, a traditional German Pilsner. As of press time, fans were going crazy for a limited release of Strawberry Marbles, a “strawberry milkshake-style” IPA. More also has a handful of guest taps, so you can try the latest from other area makers such as Tighthead of Mundelein, Soundgrowler of Tinley Park, or Chicago’s Right Bee Cider.
Good to know If you’re hungry, the kitchen serves classic American bar fare alongside Indian fare such as samosas and tandoori chicken. Garage doors on the front of the building open up to let in the breeze on warm days.
126 S. Villa Ave., Villa Park, 630.501.1519,

Oswego Brewing Co.
Brews to try Fans of New England-style IPAs will dig Hay’z for Horsez, while other easy-drinking options include Spur Line Kolsch and Pickin’ Raspberries fruit beer.
Good to know Friday or Saturday nights typically feature a local food truck or musician; on Sunday mornings, Twist Yoga Lounge guest teaches an yoga class for all skill levels (and the $15 admission includes a beer).
61 Main St., Oswego, 331.999.1991,

Skeleton Key
Brews to try The Toasted Coconut golden ale and Friends Don’t Lie American pale ale are best sellers; summer seasonals include Cold Fresh Joy helles lager and a plum Berliner weisse.
Good to know In addition to its 21-and-over taproom, this spacious brewery has a family-friendly front room with big tables for board-gaming. A new event series launched in May and will continue throughout the summer, including First Wednesday Fight Nights (video game tournaments), Second Tuesday Pairing Nights (a local food producer pairs their goodies with beer), Third Throwback Thursday (old-school hip-hop and cask ales) and Fourth Fridays (Gnarly Knots pretzel truck visits).
8102 Lemont Rd., Woodridge, 630.395.9033,

Wolfden Brewing Company
Brews to try The Old Town golden ale is named for this brewery’s location in historic Old Town Bloomingdale. Seasonals slated to debut this summer include a honeydew wheat ale and a French saison with coriander and mango.
Good to know While away an evening in the dog-friendly beer garden, which has a fire pit, picnic tables and hammocks. Food trucks and live music are scheduled for most Saturdays, while foodies will dig the monthly Pickle Party, where attendees learn to pickle their own vegetables and fruits.
112 W. Lake St., Bloomingdale, 847.610.5117,

Photos courtesy Metal Monkey