When beer aficionados want a place to whisk away and relax while enjoying a favorite drink outdoors, they often look to Crystal Lake Brewing, located in downtown Crystal Lake.
A production brewery, Crystal Lake Brewing serves up world-class beer creatively produced with the freshest of ingredients and expertise on site. The tastes and aromatic expressions range from a light golden lager to powerful stouts, red ales and seasonal favorites.
The company’s tasting taproom is part of the 13,000-square-foot production facility, and tours are welcomed. There’s also a roomy fenced-in patio with 16 umbrella-covered tables.
“Quality and authenticity are very important to us,” says John O’Fallon, brewery co-founder with Chuck Ross. “For example, for our German-styled beers, we import all of the grains and hops directly from Germany. There’s even a bit of chemistry involved, as we purify and then treat our brewing water to match the origin of the beer style.”
No wonder Crystal Lake Brewing has a special place in the hearts of its fans. Brewmaster Ryan Clooney has overseen the process since the company’s debut in 2014. So many favorite and seasonal beers have been meticulously brewed since then.
“Our Beach Blonde golden lager is easily our most popular beer and half of all the beer we sell,” says O’Fallon. In fact, Crystal Lake Brewing’s beers are also sold in more than 800 liquor stores, bars and restaurants across northern Illinois. Beer to-go is also served at the tap room.
Crystal Lake Brewing does not serve food, but guests are invited to bring in sandwiches and snacks, especially when purchased from nearby eateries – who also deliver right to the tap room.
On Aug. 14, Crystal Lake Brewing celebrates its eighth anniversary with a huge patio party.
“We’ll have food trucks and music acts to add to the fun and excitement,” says O’Fallon. “We’re proud of what we have done over our first eight years. Besides the beer itself, our staff, headed up by GM Beth Alberger, is the biggest part of our success.” ❚
Crystal Lake Brewing is located at 150 N. Main St., Crystal Lake, (779) 220-9288.