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Welcome to my blog where I share some of my favorite things from the Midwest cities along Lake Michigan.

Red Arrow Taproom:  A Craft Beer Fest Everyday!

Red Arrow Taproom: A Craft Beer Fest Everyday!

There’s no better way to describe Red Arrow Tap Room than in their own words “A Chicago Craft Beer-Fest Every Day!”  With a whopping 48 taps categorized by style, It's a beer lovers dream!!!!!

Located in downtown Elmhurst*, it's Chicagoland's first self-pour tap room.

48 Self-Pour Taps

48 Self-Pour Taps

Whatever you fancy, you’re sure to find something that suits your taste here.  For the non-beer drinkers, there are several wines and ciders on tap.

Between the beer, wine, and stellar technology, they’ve thought of everything!

CEO Joe Tota has a background in technology consulting and it's evident in the tap room's many cool features.  This place is pretty high tech!

The tap room, named after Michigan's Red Arrow Highway, adopted the motto 'Embrace Independence.'  Here, the values of the small, independent, hardworking, committed craft breweries are wholeheartedly supported and celebrated, hence, you won’t find any Big Brewing company’s featured.  In fact, they say NO to big beer guys!  

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Thirty to Forty Percent of the breweries featured are of the Midwest and Chicagoland locale. It's a one stop shop for craft beer sampling!  I discovered several new flavors during my visit.

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The way that the tap room is arranged makes it super easy to navigate and enjoy yourself.  

You're good to go in a few simple steps:

First, open a Pour Pass tab and Insert it into the tap.
 

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Second, rinse your glass

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Third, pour your choice (it can be a few ounces or a full glass).

It's priced by the ounce.  I preferred sampling a few ounces of each beer. It's a good way to experiment with new styles without the risk.

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Obviously, I need practice with my pouring…Look at all my foam, ugh.
 

Pour a few ounces or a full glass

Pour a few ounces or a full glass

This pour is better! Oh yeah!

Regulars are invited to download Red Arrow Tap Room’s Smart Phone App which enables users to track the beers tapped, rate them, reload their card, receive event notifications, and track food.

The App is even integrated with the social beer site Untappd, allowing you to share your favorite beers with others on the site.

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Prepare to receive a little beer education to enhance your experience.

Interactive screens educate you about the beer and where it comes from. 

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Placards scattered throughout the tap room are set up for you to scan with your phone to get additional beer information…..for example what goes into beer?

Scan the placards to get beer facts

Scan the placards to get beer facts

Educational pages about the breweries lining the wall were created for you to learn their history and other interesting facts.  

In addition to the interactive stations, beer ambassadors are available to educate customers and answer any questions.  You can impress all of your friends with the knowledge you gained at the tap room!

Learn the history of the breweries pictured on the walls

Learn the history of the breweries pictured on the walls

I was able to see what goes on behind the beer wall in the cooler.

Lines are kept around 5 feet or less to keep beer colder and prevent excessive foam, all to the benefit of the consumer.  It's obvious that careful thought and planning have gone into the concept and design.

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The Food

The menu’s big focus is barbecue!  They use hickory wood with their in-house smoker. I tried the brisket sandwich and wow! It was so tender and full of flavor! The flatbread pizza was also a winner.  

Although I didn't taste it, I was told that the soft pretzel is very popular; it's accompanied with a beer cheese made with Noon Whistle’s Cozmo pale ale.  Noon Whistle brewery is located in Lombard, IL.

Beef Brisket

Beef Brisket

Flatbread Pizza

Flatbread Pizza

Patrons can order food using the table topped tablets. It’s pretty simple and eliminates the need to wait for anyone to take your order.  It's then delivered to your table.

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All of the prices include tax and gratuity.  The restaurant does a revenue share for their team. Every two weeks sales are analyzed, and a percentage is divided among the team according to the hours worked.  Team based approach.  I like it!

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This place is fun and a solid choice for gathering with friends to hang out for a while.

In addition to live music on Friday and Saturdays, the tap room hosts a variety of social events throughout the month.  Make sure that you check the schedule on their website to stay in the know. Another noteworthy thing worth mentioning is Red Arrow Tap Room is family friendly which is always a plus in my book!  So bring the kiddos!

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I had a great time tasting so many different beers and playing around with the tech features of Red Arrow Tap Room.  I highly recommend trying this experience.

With so much variety even the pickiest beer drinkers will love this place.

Make sure you check it out and as always, tell me what you enjoyed in the comments!

***Red Arrow Tap Room is a 20 minute drive west of Chicago.  There is free parking available on the street.  You can also hop on the Metra which drops you off across the street from the tap room.  Elmhurst is a  30 minute train ride from Chicago.

Beer Fun Facts

  • Mississippi and Alabama only legalized home brewing in 2013

  • America's largest craft brewery is Yuengling

  • The strongest beer in the world has a 67.5% alcohol content.

  • Beer was not considered an alcoholic beverage in Russia until 2013.

  • You can swim in pools of beer in Austria.

Hunter's Brewing:  How This Small Midwest Brewery Maintains a Loyal Following

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