Guaranteed Rate Field
Team: Chicago White Sox
Ballpark Basics: The second city’s second ballpark (but not when it comes to beer).
Its gotta be tough to be a White Sox fan in Chicago. The team, the ballpark, the history, all get passed over by the team a few miles north. The ballpark has even been called the worst stadium name in sports. While one of us will always be a northsider, we both still had a great time at the new version of Comiskey Park.
The ballpark is accessible by train and surrounded by parking lots so you have multiple options when getting to a game. We lucked into a parking pass for the neighborhood surrounding the field, and snagged a spot on a tree lined street a couple of blocks away from the park. There were people sitting out on front porches, kids playing ball in the street, and people out and about. The whole area has has a true neighborhood feel. There are a small handful of restaurants and bars near the ballpark to grab a quick drink before the game.
Guaranteed Rate Field does not have the history of its northern neighbor. It replaced its historic predecessor and was built just before the renaissance of the retro-ballpark craze and when it was built lacked any true character. However, in the 25+ years since it was built the team has done a great job of renovating the park and incorporating some of the unique aspects of its previous incarnation. The exploding scoreboard is still one of the best things in baseball and the team also brought back the showers in the bleachers that Bill Veeck installed to cool off on a hot summer day.
Best Spot for Beer: The White Sox have done a ton in their beverage department. The team partnered with Goose Island Beer Co. before the 2019 season to create “The Goose Island” in the right field corner complete with a 10 foot goose sculpture and CTA train car. The White Sox also teamed up with Revolution Brewing to create the “Revolution Brewing #SoxSocial Tap Room.” However, your best spot to for beer would be The Craft Kave. Located in the right field corner The Craft Kave offers over 75 beers from almost 40 different breweries, many of them local.
If you are looking for an iconic ballpark you might want to take the L a few stops up and head to a game in Wrigleyville. If you are looking for a nice ballpark with downtown views and a great beer line-up (and fewer bandwagon fans) then a game at Guaranteed Rate Field is not a bad way to spend an afternoon.
Motor Row Brewing
Rating: Home Run!
Beer Basics: A must stop in the South Loop.
You can find Motor Row in a great up-and-coming part of Chicago’s south side where decades ago, car dealer after car dealer hawked their wares. Now, in a building where Model T’s were once delivered, you can check out Motor Row Brewing and get something just as innovative and infinitely more edible. Motor Row is wrapping up a “5 year project” that involved the takeover of all three floors of the building they’re currently in. Downstairs is a tasting room, the main bar housed on the second floor, and the third used as an event space for weddings, bands and the like.
On our first visit, We had a chance to meet Lincoln, Jessie and June and even get a tour of the place. They were more than kind and even found a way to hook us up with parking for the White Sox game we headed to after. At the time the renovations are already more than just lofty aspirations and since our initial visit they’ve fully transformed their 8,700 square feet.
They have great logos and an eye for design, but without any of this, the beer could stand on its own. Since they were mid-construction on our first visit, we’ve been twice. The following list includes all of our tastings from both trips:
Reclamation Lager (4.5% ABV) a Munich Helles with American pilsner malts. Pours a clear, soft golden yellow with light lacing. The palate is that of a standard lager, earthy wheat tones and a light, crisp finish. Not a bad beer to start on if you like us happen to be there at say… 10:45am.
Out of the Loop IPL (6% ABV) Golden like one of the ever visible macrobrews. Smells hoppy from a good combination of American and German hops. Lots of lacing but only light-moderate carbonation. Finishes with a floral malt flourish.
Dry Humor Belgian Honey Blonde (5.5% ABV) Yellow with white lacing and a wet hop smell. Very light in flavor and a bit of hops in the end. The batch is brewed with blueberry blossom honey, and you do even get a little bit of the fruit at the end, although that could just be the power of suggestion. Either way, this very light, almost white beer isn’t overly sweet but does have a touch of sugar in the sip.
Multigrain Zwickel (5% ABV) Light, hazy, and unfiltered yellow. No lacing. The front is juicy but the beer finishes with rye tartness. The overall bouquet is strongly lager malts and rye with a hint of citrus.
Coiffable American Red Ale (6% ABV) Has a true red ale color and smells of hops and caramel. This red ale is almost all hops on the tongue but culminates with a malted finish. Little to no caramel sweetness.
BiPolar Bear Pale Ale (5.5% ABV) The smell was unique and hard to identify. Our hosts reported this was actually an experimental ale brewed German Polaris hops. The bready palate overall gave this pale ale a smoother bite, with noted hops but without bitterness.
Pander Bear Belgian Brown Ale (8% ABV) a true brown color with sticky lacing. Smelled yeasty and of American brown malts. The Pander Bear is a well rounded beer with pronounced malts, while also being hop balanced and has a bit of a nut close.
Dumpster Diver Double IPL (8.5% ABV) Dumpster Diver is an amalgam of 6 different hops and 2 breweries (being a collab with Werk Force Brewing). Orangey-gold in color, the hops blend really well and provide a cream ale-esque blossom sweet finish to this lager.
2337 S. Michigan Avenue
Chicago IL 60616