“Take one down, pass it around. 98 bottles of beer on the wall.”
I used to love singing that song as a kid along with fellow classmates as the school bus went merrily along on another field trip to some dusty museum. It didn’t strike me as odd until now that a popular children’s sing-a-long encouraged massive alcohol consumption. To be fair, it does also promote sharing, so there is that. Actually, has anyone EVER sung this song once they turned legal drinking age? I really doubt it.
This time, we have a whopping 33 bars, all with 100 or more (in some cases, a LOT more) bottled beer. There’s a nice distribution of 21 in the city, and 12 in the burbs, so there’s a good chance one of these fine establishments is nearby.
UPDATE: Since this article was published, the GM of World of Beer Naperville contacted us to let us know they have 606 bottled beers, so we are happily updating this list to now show 34 bars. Bonus content!!!
World of Beer (Naperville)
1727 Freedom Drive, Naperville
606 Bottled Beers
A late update to the list. WOB Naperville jumps to the top of the list with a staggering 606 beers! Thanks to Dale for giving us this info!
Maria’s Packaged Goods & Community Bar
960 W. 31st St., Chicago
463 Bottled Beers
Bar Native Pick: Dogfish Head Burton Baton
A massive 463 bottles, available for purchase via their store or in the bar. Maria’s is Bridgeport’s hipster slashie with a formidable selection of brews.
The Beer Market (Bolingbrook)
641 E. Boughton Rd., Bolingbrook
403 Bottled Beers
BN Pick: Oskar Blues Gubna
Bolingbrook’s Beer Market makes a return to our best of lists. Previously on our Top Drafts List, the 403 bottles they carry place it as #1 in the burbs on this list.
World of Beer (Evanston)
1601 Sherman Ave., Evanston
394 Bottled Beers
BN Pick: Rochefort 10
Placing third on our list of the largest bottle selection, this makes a three-peat showing for WOB, as they also placed on our Cans AND Drafts lists. They obviously are serious about their beer selection.
Palmer Place Restaurant & Beer Garden
56 S. LaGrange Rd., LaGrange
357 Bottled Beers
BN Pick: Sam Adams Utopia
After topping our list for the most canned beer, Palmer Place places high yet again with 357 bottles.
The Globe Pub
1934 W. Irving Park Rd., Chicago
304 Bottled Beers
BN Pick: 3 Sheeps Ewephoria
Besides having over 300 bottled beers to choose from, the Globe Pub is the recent recipient of Nightclub & Bar Magazine’s Best Sports Bar in the Nation. Congrats to the Globe!
2401 N. Western Ave., Chicago
247 Bottled Beers
BN Pick: Ommegang Three Philosophers
One of Chicago’s acknowledged “Best Beer Bars”, if that isn’t enough to get you there, how about their new feature: Saturday Ping Pong!
322 Yorktown Ctr., Lombard
174 Bottled Beers
BN Pick: Goose Island Gillian
Another three time champ! Beer House makes our list for Cans, Drafts and now, Bottles.
The Bavarian Lodge
1800 Ogden Ave., Lisle
170 Bottled Beers
BN Pick: De Dolle Oerbier
One of the best beer locations in the west burbs. Last time Bar Native tried to go there, we had to park about a mile away. Big crowds pack the bar area—go early to snag a seat.
1970 W. Montrose Ave., Chicago
159 Bottled Beers
BN Pick: Hanssens Oudbeitje
There are many reasons to visit The Fountainhead: Great Beers, Great Roof Deck, and the Great Chef, Cleetus.
Northdown Cafe & Taproom
3244 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago
152 Bottled Beers
BN Pick: Evil Twin Justin Blabaer
An excellent beer bar in the city, hosting a great event this Friday: The Brewtal Truth Guide to Extreme Beers Book Signing. Details here. It starts early at 4pm, so you have our permission to skip out of work early.
The Bad Apple
4300 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago
148 Bottled Beers
BN Pick: Allagash Merveilleux
Excellent beer selections, walking distance from Half Acre Brewery, and one of ChooseChicago.com’s Top 5 Places for Poutine in Chicago. That’s a pretty unbeatable combination.
3258 N. Sheffield Ave., Chicago
120 Bottled Beers
BN Pick: Arcadia Shipwreck Porter Barrel Aged
This is where I would normally insert the compulsory Cubs joke, but I’m in a good mood today. Instead, I’ll just mention their excellent beers, which will help drown the sorrow of what’s happening a half mile to the North.
Chuck’s Southern Comfort Cafe (Darien)
8025 S. Cass Ave., Darien
129 Bottled Beers
BN Pick: Arcadia Sky High Rye
Chuck’s Southern Comfort Cafe (Burbank)
6501 W. 79th St., Burbank
111 Bottled Beers
BN Pick: One Trick Pony Spotted Saddle
Chuck’s Cafes get 2 mentions on our list. It’s good to know someone’s representing the beer scene in the south & southwest burbs.
Geneva Ale House
319 W. State St., Geneva
122 Bottled Beers
BN Pick: Ale Syndicate Municipal IPA
Housed in the old Geneva movie theater, the Geneva Ale House has refurbished the venue into an excellent beer bar. I’m hearing rumors they might be looking to open a location in Wheaton as well.
4600 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago
126 Bottled Beers
BN Pick: Dogfish Head Immort Ale
A cool gastropub up in Lincoln Square just down the road from Bad Apple and Half Acre. Sounds like a beer crawl in the making to me.
Merkles Bar & Grill
3516 N. Clark St., Chicago
125 Bottled Beers
BN Pick: Two Brothers Domaine Dupage
Back to Wrigleyville. Merkles is named after the infamous 1908 baserunning mistake by the New York Giants’ Fred Merkle, which led to the Cubs making it into the 1908 World Series, the last time they won it all.
1949 N. Hoyne Ave., Chicago
123 Bottled Beers
BN Pick: Schloss Eggenberg Samichlaus Bier
A beer list wouldn’t be the same without the Map Room. One of Chicago’s best beer bars and a huge selection of Belgian beer. All roads lead to the Map Room.
JP Burke’s Patio & Tap
2913 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago
123 Bottled Beers
BN Pick: Affligem Blonde
A good way to spend a beautiful day is to hang out at Burke’s secluded patio, drinking a few $3.50 select Craft Bottles each and every Thursday.
Fatpour Tap Works
2005 W. Division St., Chicago
119 Bottled Beers
BN Pick: Goose Island Juliet
Known for their taps, Fatpour is another 3 time winner; making our Cans and now Bottles list as well.
1061 W. Madison St., Chicago
116 Bottled Beers
BN Pick: Troubadour Magma
Beer Bistro North
1415 W. Fullerton Ave., Chicago
107 Bottled Beers
BN Pick: Duvel
Both Beer Bistro locations are serious about their beer. After both showed up on our Best Canned Beer list, they return in all their bottled glory here as well.
701 S. Dearborn St., Chicago
116 Bottled Beers
BN Pick: Sam Smith Nut Brown
The South Loop represents! Proving that a good beer selection can be found all over Chicago.
180 N. Smith St., Palatine
114 Bottled Beers
BN Pick: Dogfish Head World Wide Stout
Known primarily for their fantastic music, Durty Nellies in Palatine provides 114 bottles to choose from while getting yo groove on.
The Compass Bar
433 W. Diversey, Chicago
113 Bottled Beers
BN Pick: Evil Twin Yin
We paid a recent visit there to sample their excellent canned beer selections. It looks like we’ll need to make a return visit for their bottles as well.
The Garage Bar & Sandwiches
6154 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago
112 Bottled Beers
BN Pick: Dogfish Head 120 Minute IPA
A great place for sandwiches as well as 100+ bottles. And drinking in a garage? Always cool.
205 W. Lake St., Chicago
111 Bottled Beers
BN Pick: St. Bernadus Abt. 12
One of Bar Native’s favorite Loop bars, Monk’s offers an extensive beer selection and hosts frequent craft beer events.
Chalk Craft Beer House
7414 W. Madison, Forest Park
110 Bottled Beers
BN Pick: Three Floyds Zombie Dust
A quick trip down I-290 to Forest Park, Chalk will be holding a Three Floyds Zombie Apocalypse party this Saturday. Details here.
14 s. 3rd St., Geneva
108 Bottled Beers
BN Pick: Pipeworks/Niche Elijah’s Revival
A great upscale restaurant in downtown Geneva, Niche also offers a great bottled beer selection at their bar.
1102 W. Webster Ave., Chicago
111 Bottled Beers
BN Pick: Ommegang Game of Thrones Take the Black Stout
One of Chicago’s best brewers, their guest selections are exceptional as well.
Lunar Brewing Company
54 E. St. Charles Ave., Villa Park
102 Bottled Beers
BN Pick: Lost Abbey Deliverance
A cool bar featuring great in-house brewed beers as well as a ton of good craft brews.
Fireside Restaurant & Lounge
5739 N. Ravenswood Ave., Chicago
102 Bottled Beers
BN Pick: Three Floyds/Surly Blakkr
Another place with great food to pair up with a great beer selection. Fireside is hosting a Hop Rhizing Tap Takeover this Thursday. Check it out here.
2535 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago
100 Bottled Beers
BN Pick: Rogue One Brew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
Just making the cut with 100 beers on the nose, Logan Square’s Rocking Horse also has incredible live music and a huge whiskey selection
So there you have it, the Best Bars for Bottled Beer in the Chicago area. Check one (or several) out tonight, and let them know you read about them on Bar Native!