Pretty much the very first brewpub I ever stopped at after deciding to go out of my way to find them was during a trip to the Chicago area to visit Fermilab National Laboratory. This place was the heart and soul of particle physics before the LHC turned on in Geneva a few years ago. It made a lot of amazing discoveries and has a beautiful, artistic campus.
But I digress.
After my visit I managed to find the nearby Prairie Rock and have lunch along with some beers. My palate not being so sophisticated at the time, I really enjoyed a vanilla blond that I probably wouldn’t choose anymore today. I remember the place being large and spacious, and the salad bar being a decent option. But for any other details, we’ll have to check the original review.
And having just now looked the place up online, the brewery closed several years ago, though the space was recently reopened as a bar and grill. Go figure.
This was the first brewpub I visited with the intentions of beginning my pint glass collection. Thus, with about 50 other brewpubs between then and now when I’m writing this, my recollection is a little hazy. I do remember a great building with spacious rooms. A large bar area, a more elegant dining area, and I seem to remember getting lost in even another large room. The bar is well-decorated with a ton of mugs hanging for their mug club. You have to love a place with plenty of room for regulars.
I had a half sandwich (I can’t remember what right now) and the salad bar. I remember both being excellent, however, especially the sandwich. I remember this because I originally ordered the salad bar, but the bartender suggested I add a half sandwich for a dollar, and I remember being very glad he suggested it. Pretty damned good service.
I also remember thinking very highly of the Vanilla Cream Ale (I bought a growler), although it may be a bit too sweet for my current tastes. The dark beers were also good.