Take a sip and stroll along Chicago’s Malt Row


Malt Ros self-guided tours in Ravenswood

CHICAGO — Known to Chicagoans as “Malt Row,” the Ravenswood Industrial Corridor and the surrounding area has earned the reputation as “Chicago’s most diverse beer destination.”

Along the Metra tracks that cut through Ravenswood Avenue, you’ll find dozens of beautiful, massive industrial buildings. Some are home to metalworkers, manufacturers, commercial bakeries, and artist studios. Now, sprinkled with some of Chicago’s best breweries and distillery options.

Over the last decade, a constantly growing and evolving community of craft beverage producers has thrived here in Ravenswood. The combination of available facilities, necessary zoning and infrastructure, city resources, access to public transit, and thirsty residential community are ideal conditions for emerging breweries.

Whether you’re looking for a German-style lager, barrel-aged Barleywine, or a spontaneously fermented saison, you’ll find it on Malt Row. The corridor is also home to KOVAL, Chicago’s first (legal) post-prohibition distillery, and VIN312 Winery.

The CTA’s Brown Line train rattles overhead and the new Metra Station at Lawrence Avenue is bustling; both function as portals from busier, grayer places to scenic Ravenswood.

The corridor intersects with Montrose Avenue, a trendy commercial district that’s home to a vibrant mix of cafes, taverns, boutiques, and restaurants. Sidewalk patios and murals dot the street, which includes art studios, gift shops, and a home brew supply store.

Today, Malt Row is home to upwards of 10 independent craft breweries, an internationally awarded distillery, an innovative winery and the world headquarters of the Cicerone Certification Program.

To find your copy of the Malt Row Guidebook, click here.

For more Chicago Scene fun, follow @tomwgnchicago on Instagram.

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