Commuter ales: take a car-free road trip to these Metra-friendly brewpubs


Photo by C. Blatchley

[This article also appears in Active Transportation Alliance’s Mode Shift newsletter.]

A cozy brewpub serving house-made craft beer and hearty fare can be the cornerstone of a thriving retail district, and a magnet for out-of-towners seeking memorable drinks and eats. That’s especially true when the brewery is located a short walk from, or even right next door to, a commuter rail station. Chicagoland is fortunate to have a growing number of snug brewpubs a stone’s throw from Metra stops, making them ideal destinations for a car-free suburban safari. Here’s a guide to some of the best ones, including feedback from the staff about why brewpubs and transit go together like beer and pretzels.

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The Long March


Additional reporting and bridge photo by Michael Burton
All other photos by Travis Taylor

Revolution Brewing owner Josh Deth passes out black military-style caps with red six-pointed Chicago stars to the forty people who’ve showed up at his brewpub on this gorgeous June morning for the Communist-themed Long March. This eight-mile hike from Logan Square to Comiskey Park is named after the 8,000-mile retreat of the Chinese Red Army’s led by Mao Zedong in 1934 from Chiang Kai-Shek’s nationalist forces.

After brunch and glasses of pink, hibiscus-infused Rosa beer our parade steps off southeast on Milwaukee Avenue, led by march organizer and pedestrian activist Michael Burton. I’m walking near the front of the pack holding aloft a Chicago flag, wearing a t-shirt with the image of a walk signal and the words, “Walking is NOT a crime.” The shirt is a souvenir from a 2004 Pedestrian Critical Mass demonstration that Burton organized in response to a proposed crackdown by the city’s Traffic Management Authority on downtown jaywalkers. I soon hand off the flag to a more photogenic woman with pink hair wearing knee boots and hot pants.

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