CHICAGO | Are you longing to relive that summer trip through Europe? Then no look no further than Dovetail Brewery North Center.
One thing Chicago isn’t short of is breweries or taprooms. You could probably spend a whole week doing brewery tours at all the city’s breweries and still have some left to see the following week. So, we’re usually keen to find something that makes a brewery stand out from the crowd. Be that in the brewery itself or with their selection of beers.
Dovetail stands out from the crowd because of the European styles of beer they brew. The name Dovetail refers to a strong woodworking technique which is fitting given the traditional and well crafted range of beers. No hopped up IPAs to be found here. Instead you will find yourself being transported to the hills of Bavaria with a small, but solid core range of beers.
Owners Bill Wesselink and Hagen Dost both hail from Chicago, but met in Germany while undertaking the Master Brewer course at the Doemens Institute in Munich. So they come to the game with some serious beer knowledge backed up by some pretty impressive equipment. From the 100 year old copper kettle – purchased from a 1,000 year old brewery in Germany, to their custom made Coolship on the 2nd level of their brewery, this is a place doing things a little differently than your typical Chicago brewery.
Their passion for brewing and traditional methods is evident throughout the Dovetail Brewery, and we were left in no doubt just how seriously they take it when we did a water-tasting, comparing Chicago tap water, completely filtered water through their carbon filtration system, and finally to one with minerals added in the exact scientific proportions to match the water found in Pilsen, Czech Republic (not Pilsen, Lower West Side Chicago!). It truly was enlightening to strip beer brewing back to the very basic principle of water composition to really taste the difference it can make to the flavor profile.
The beers available year round on tap are Hefeweizen, Rauchbier, a Lager and a Vienna Lager. There are some experimental beers in the works such as some Lambic-styles brewed from wild yeasts, ready for consumption some time in the future.
Brewery tours are every Saturday at 11am and include sampling 3 beers (importantly, you are sampling them throughout the tour rather than having to wait until the tour is over). We had Bill running our tour and found him to be informative, engaging, entertaining and personable. It really is one of the better brewery tours we have been on, and there have been more than we can count.
Look out for various events throughout the year. One not to be missed is Oktoberfest, which should be a big event given the brewery’s German influence. Last year they teamed up with neighboring brewery Begyle to throw a party with beer, music and food trucks aplenty.
Pretzels and Landjäger are available as snacks. The lack of kitchen means there is nothing heftier than that, but they do kindly allow you to bring your own food to the taproom.
1800 W Belle Plaine Avenue
Telephone: 773 683 1414
Tue – Thu: 2:00pm to 10:00pm
Fri: 12:00pm to 11:00pm
Sat: 11:00am to 11:00pm
Sun: 10:00pm to 8:00pm