Lo Rez Brewing

Alexandra Wimley/Chicago Tribune

A Beery Evening Stroll through the New Breweries of Chicago’s Old Pilsen

The Chicago Tribune visits three of the neighborhood’s brewpubs
Lo Rez Brewing

Alexandra Wimley/Chicago Tribune

Lo Rez focuses on Belgian styles, not a lot of hop-forward beers.

The first promising sign at Lo Rez Brewing had nothing to do with the beer.

It was the language.

At the only occupied table outside the recently opened Pilsen brewery, a handful of drinkers gathered beneath a string of white holiday lights with glasses of saison and witbier and chatted in the language of the neighborhood: Spanish.

The best brewery taprooms aren't just hip spots to drink rare beer — they're part of their communities. Hearing the local language at the first stop of our Pilsen beer crawl made clear we were where we wanted to be.

Pilsen. Drinking beer. On a warm summer evening.

As recently as nine months ago, Pilsen had no taprooms or brewpubs. In the midst of a food and drink uprising — some call it gentrification — Pilsen, a home to Mexican immigration since the 1950s, suddenly has three.

There's Moody Tongue, which opened as a production brewery three years ago and opened a lavish taproom in October; Alulu, a cozy brewpub that opened in March; and Lo Rez, which began brewing last fall and opened a taproom in June. All sit along a 1-mile stretch just north of Cermak Road, between Ashland Avenue and Halsted Street.

On that warm summer evening, we dove back into the neighborhood where we used to live — back in the pre-brewery days.

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For a tour of three Pilsen brewpubs from the Chicago Tribune, click here.