Haymarket Brewery Makes A Statement

January 04 2011 - 7:08 PM

I was fortunate enough to have some friends recently invite me to Haymarket Pub & Brewery, the new brewpub that has opened up in the West Loop at Randolph and Halsted.  I don't know what building was there before, but the interior looks a lot like a Rock Bottom Brewery, spacious, a large rectangular bar anchored in the room's center, and abundant tables, booths, and tv's.  Of course the brewing tanks are exposed in back. 

I went there for food only this evening but make no mistake: this place is poised to be serious about beer.  En route from the bathroom, they had kegs of beers that you won't find at Jewel/Osco's beer section ready to pop.  Sierra Nevada Bigfoot Barleywine, Victory Golden Monkey, and an unspecified Dogfish Head beer were on the verge of being tapped. 

My friends tried an allotment of beers that were very well presented including lambics, ciders, and unclassifiable beer varieties.   One friend had a Founders Porter, a personal fave, that was beautifully served in a large goblet that was filled to the brim with the black-brown beer. 

We had food there which consisted of slightly atypical bar food.  The garlic chicken pizza with white sauce was pretty tasty.  Several friends got a rotisserie chicken that looked very appetizing and straightforward.  And the sweet potato tots were a nice twist.  My white bean chicken chili was too runny, had too much cheese and sour cream and needed a bit more spice and more chunks of things, probably chunks of chicken instead of shredded strips.  It must have felt inferior for it to sit at the same table with those delicious roasted chickens my friends were pulling apart. 

Overall, this place seems ready to be a serious beer bar in a city that is experiencing an explosion of them.  I can't wait to find out how well they are succeeding. 

Haymarket Brewery
737 Randolph St.

–Mark Sheppard