I love seeing how food and beverages are made. Sadly, the M&M Mars facility on Oak Park Avenue is locked up tighter than Willy Wonka’s and the Vienna Beef factory on Damen no longer offers tours, but you can still learn a few things while drinking on the beverage-related tours noted below. We highly recommend you contact the businesses mentioned ahead of time to ensure tours are being conducted and spaces are available.
Haymarket Pub & Brewery
Haymarket offers its 15-barrel brewery tours on Sundays at noon, 2:00 p.m., and 4:00 p.m. Explore the brewhouse, fermentation room, and distribution center, and enjoy a tasting of classic styles and Haymarket favorites. Tours are $15 and limited to 12 people (although larger groups can be accommodated). Reservations are required, so contact Haymarket at 312.638.0700. Haymarket Pub & Brewery is located at 737 W. Randolph.
Where else can you see a live demo of the coffee roasting process, enjoy all the freshly brewed coffee your body can handle, and then walk away with a 12 ounce bag of Intelligentsia’s wicked good coffee? Intelligentsia offers tours of its Roasting Works on the second Friday of the month beginning at 2:00 p.m. The tour is $30 (free for kids under 13) and is first-come, first-served so reservations are recommended. Intelligentsia Coffee’s Roasting Works are located at 1850 W. Fulton.
KOVAL offers tours to craft spirits enthusiasts on Wednesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays. For $10, you can learn about the differences between white and aged whiskey, the subtle intricacies of distillation, and the beauty of small-batch spirits. Of course, you’ll also have the chance to sample KOVAL spirits. Tickets are available online. KOVAL Distillery is located at 5121 N. Ravenswood.
Revolution’s production brewery is open to the public and offers free guided tours every day except Mondays and Tuesdays. Tours last approximately 45 minutes and include a tasting. Hours are noted online and no reservations are taken and because they cap the tours at 30 people, it’s highly recommended that you show up early at the brewery and sign up with the bartenders. Feeling hungry after the tour? Head over to Revolution’s brewpub at 2323 N. Milwaukee to grab a bite. Revolution’s production brewery is located at 3340 N. Kedzie.
Sign up for the “Science of Alcohol Tour” at CH Distillery and you’ll get schooled on their process for making vodka, gin, and other spirits from locally grown grains. Tours are offered on Tuesdays and Saturdays and include “The Tradition,” CH’s take on the Russian way to enjoy vodka, complete with rye bread and pickles. Tickets are $15 and reservations can be made online. CH Distillery is located at 564 W. Randolph.