Beer Temple Pours the Best from Chicago and the World

From our Love Handles files on the world’s great beer bars: Chicago’s Beer Temple serves a smartly chosen mix of craft classics and contemporary standouts, all with extra care.

What it is: Gaining strength in Chicago’s Avondale neighborhood for a decade now, Beer Temple began in 2013 as a savvy bottle shop. Its taproom opened four years later, but today it has the look and feel of an old-school specialist beer bar that’s been around for much longer. Owners Margaret and Chris Quinn and staff have deep knowledge, while the atmosphere and selection are conducive to shamelessly geeky conversation with friends or strangers. No food, but you can bring it in from any of the nearby restaurants, from authentic Mexican to sushi and Thai noodles.

Why it’s great: The 20 taps plus a cask engine cover a range of styles from locals such as Art History, Maplewood, and Off Color to national and international all-stars, whether it’s Sierra Nevada Bigfoot or Senne Taras Boulba; this is also one of the few places you can regularly find southern Illinois’s Scratch beers on tap. Care extends to serving the beers at two different temperatures: 35°F (2°C) for most or 44°F (7°C) for big stouts and barleywines. The shop is still there and impressively stocked for all your takeaway (or local delivery) needs; most beers can also be enjoyed in the pub. Finally, for better or worse: Malört shots for $4.

Hours: 11 a.m.–midnight, Monday–Thursday; 11 a.m.–1 a.m., Friday & Saturday; 11 a.m.–10 p.m., Sunday
Address: 3173 N. Elston Ave., Chicago

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