Updated: Feb 26, 2021
Today, Bromunity tackles one of the biggest questions of our lifetimes – what is the best alcoholic beverage in Chicago? This question was a tough one to answer, seeing as there’s over 160 breweries in Chicago alone. But after decades (a few hours) of extensive research, we’ve narrowed it down to the top 5.
#5 - KOVAL Whiskey
Chicago isn’t really known for whiskey, yet Chicago is home to one of the country’s best-tasting whiskeys – in my humble opinion. I’m talking about KOVAL Whiskey, established in Chicago in 2008. Apparently KOVAL means “black sheep” in some Eastern European languages, and their whiskey certainly is the black sheep of Chicago liquor. This stuff tastes great, and is probably the only drink on this list that esteemed, snobby drinkers will sign off on. I don’t always drink KOVAL (it’s also expensive af), but when I do, I feel like I’m smoking a cigar after a hard day’s work of making snooty business decisions in my Mahogany-wood-line study.
#4 - Moonshine
Yup, you read that right folks. Ya’ll know about Prohibition, right? It was that horrible time period from 1920 to 1933 where the U.S. government placed a constitutional ban on the production, importation, and sale of alcoholic beverages. No wonder The Great Depression hit in 1929 – what is there to do if not drink copious amounts of Moonshine, a spirit so dank it might leave you blind? Anyways, Chicago was basically the de facto headquarters for illegal alcohol production throughout Prohibition, led by no other than the notorious Al Capone himself. For better or worse, Al Capone ran the Chicago streets in the 1920s and flooded it with Moonshine – hence the infamous beverage falling in at number four.
#3 - Goose Island 312
Few beers are as crisp as Goose Island’s 312 Urban Wheat Ale. God, would you just look at this beer? Absolutely gorgeous. Its golden frame is instantly recognizable, its taste is sleek, smooth and hazy. It’s a magnificent beverage for patio drinking in Wrigley, or for drinking on Montrose Beach until the cops show up and everyone quickly shoves the beer can in their crotches, trying to hide the can, until the cops walk up and say “nice try, wise guy. No drinking on the beach.” And then you get irrationally upset at the cops even though they’re just doing their job, and you groan and complain, but they still take your cooler of beer. Needless to say you’re pissed. “How am I supposed to enjoy the beach without an ice cold 312 can with flecks of sand sprinkled in?” Day wasted – until the evening comes and I’m reunited with Goose Island’s 312 yet again. I love you 312.
#2 - Miller Lite
OK, technically Miller Lite is headquartered out of Milwaukee. But there’s no denying the fact that Miller Lite is Chicago’s beer. For decades, thousands of Chicagoans have gotten tanked off Miller Lite on Sundays during Bears’ games, and for good reason, too. Is Miller Lite the supreme American beer? Maybe – it’s classic, cheap, doesn’t really taste like much, and goes down easy. When that icy cold beer starts pouring, the good times kick-in, with shenanigans abound (as seen in this classic 1977 ad). Plus, the Miller Lite logo throughout the 2000’s was f*cking sick. Long live Miller Lite.
#1 - Jeppson’s Malört
What other drink could top this list other than Malört, the drink Chicagoans love to hate. Every time an out-of-towner comes to visit, I pull out my bottle of Malört that I’ve had for almost two years and the outcome is always fun to behold. I tell them to take a shot and put some hair on your chest, like a father talking to his 8-year-old son in the 1800s. Most people make a face, or gag, or straight up vomit – but it needs to be done. Most responses include a mix of “that was awful” and “why does it taste like gnarled tree root?” Who knows why, the fine people at Jeppson’s just threw shit together one day and out came Malört. No questioning the power of Malört, a legendary Chicago icon that makes our bellies churn at the mere thought of it.