Summer Time at Corridor Brewery & Provisions
Nestled in West Lakeview, Corridor Brewery & Provisions is one of the newer additions to the booming Chicago craft beer scene, and is also one of the most unique. The brewery opened in October 2015 as the sister site of Lakeview-neighborhood favorite, DryHop Brewing, and has since established its reputation as one of the most sought-after brewpubs on the north side – thanks in large part to the creations of head brewer Brant Dubovick and his focus on farmhouse ales.
When I arrived on Friday afternoon, Corridor had already been open for a few hours and was almost full, with only a few table spots left. A waitress let me know that I had just missed the Cubs game day rush, which makes sense as the brewpub is located a few blocks from Wrigley Field’s friendly confines, making it a great starting point for a matinee game.
Much like DryHop, Corridor has a unique and welcoming element to it. The space is very open, with copper accents, contemporary paintings, and even a full-length Schwinn bike adorning the walls. The place clearly has a bike-theme, with the interior designed to model that of a bike warehouse/farmhouse hybrid accompanied with bike parking outside. The wait staff are what you expect when entering a craft beer spot – they’re passionate about their jobs and are very knowledgeable of the beer being made in-house.
One of Corridor’s most appealing elements is its large outdoor patio, which, to my estimate, could seat around 30-40 people. Much like any space come summer in Chicago, seating is in high-demand so if you’re looking to grab a spot in the sunshine, you better be prepared to wait. That said, this will be Corridor’s first summer in Chicago, which is both exciting and nerve-wracking, due to the additional customers the warming temps will bring. I’d bet that Corridor will be hugely popular during happy hours and for weekend day-drinking ventures with patio seating being at a premium all summer long.
Now onto the beers! When I visited recently, I got to try out a few different brew creations that all embodied Corridor’s farmhouse ale focus. And while I didn’t try out any food, I can confidently say from the dishes I saw being passed around that you wouldn’t be disappointed.
Beer 1 – Wizard Fight Lactose IPA
Stats: 7.0% ABV/70 IBU – Amarillo, Citra and Mosaic hops
Thoughts: Wizard Fight is Corridor’s most popular beer and is the only one they sell year-round (makes sense). The IPA is finished with lactose sugar and flaked oats which gives it a really nice, almost creamy mouth feel that makes it easy to drink – so easy that I could probably knock back two or three of these before realizing the high octane (7%). The taste is really good and is what you’d expect from an American-hop IPA: it has a piney aroma, slightly bitter taste but with a burst of citrus that rounds it out well.
Verdict: If this was available on-tap at my local bar, I’d definitely have a few, but I’m also an IPA lover so take my words with a grain of salt.
Beer 2 – Emperor’s New Mind Pineapple/Lime Basil Wit
Stats: 5.0% ABV/15 IBU – Collaboration beer with Penrose Brewing
Thoughts: As far as Wit beers go, this one hits all of the right notes, as it embodied the color, spice and flavor you’d expect. Pineapple is very present in both the initial taste and even a few seconds after, which makes it a very appealing selection as a spring or summer beer. I didn’t taste too much basil but you could tell there was lime present due to the sour aftertaste. The color, which I didn’t capture well here, is a vibrant yellow which makes sense with the pineapple notes it brings.
Verdict: This one would be a great light beer to sip-on during a long brunch session on the patio and would make a perfect candidate for a beermosa.
Beer 3 – The Reaper: Smoked Chili Pepper Saison
Stats: 6.66% ABV/19 IBU – Made with Carolina Reaper chilis
Thoughts: Chili pepper saisons seem to be all the rage recently (even Ballast Point made a Sculpin variety) and are clearly a nod to brewers continuing to push the limits on the taste profiles you can find in a beer. Not sure if The Reaper’s 6.66% ABV is a coincidence but it definitely burns, probably due to the smoked Carolina Reaper chilis you can taste throughout the drinking experience. That said, what I really liked about this chili saison was its smokey smell, almost like a bonfire, which is a great added element to the drinking experience. On first sip you can definitely taste the mesquite, but it’s the aftertaste that is really unique – as it burns going down. Drinking this one was definitely an experience and is not for everyone, but if you like trying something new and aren’t afraid of your local spot’s hottest buffalo wing variety, it’s definitely worth a try.
Verdict: Definitely worth a try if you want something new– I’d recommend the 10oz glass as a full pint might be too much heat to handle!
So, after sitting at their tables and drinking their beers, I can comfortably say I’ve experienced Corridor Brewery. Is there more to check out? Absolutely – I’ve heard their Funkadelic series is might tasty, but that’s for another time. Corridor Brewery is a perfect spot to catch some sun, catch up with friends and catch some suds, and I’d highly recommend it as a go-to for day drinking or even a first date due to its friendly vibe. And if you can’t get enough of their beer, feel free to take advantage of their canned growler system and take home a 32 oz’er of your favorite brew – you definitely won’t be disappointed. Check it out if you’re in the North Side and send me a note to let me know what you thought of this post – always looking for critiques. Cheers!
CONTACT & HOURS
Corridor Brewing & Provisions
Saturday: 10am-Midnight (Brunch 10am-2pm)
Sunday: 10am-11pm (Brunch 10am-2pm)
3446 N. Southport, Chicago, IL 60657
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