The First Ride
In early 2017, a group of friends, family, and neighbors hopped aboard a bus shaped like a barrel (you read that right) and drank all of what Chicago had to offer. Despite what this sounds like, I’m not setting you up for a “priest and a rabbi walk into a bar” type of joke.
The Barrel Run takes Chicagoans around the city to check out a handful of breweries and distilleries, while allowing them to party on a barrel between point A and point B. On our journey, we stopped at Lagunitas, Revolution, and Rhine Hall.
The first stop allowed us a number of samples and a tour of the brewery. Lagunitas, located in Pilsen, is across the street from Cinespace Studios where all of Dick Wolf’s Chicago series are shot, as well as Empireand Shameless. During the tour, we learned that a scene involving the Joker in The Dark Knight was filmed inside the brewery.
The second stop at Revolution was more of a hang out and drink situation rather than a full-on tour. We each were allowed one beer on tap and hung out among those enjoying their Saturday. The third stop, Rhine Hall, turned out to have samples of brandy which was an interesting elixir to throw into the day.
The guys behind The Barrel Run also host gangster tours of the city and are filled with fun tidbits of information. Check out The Barrel Run for your next Chicago outing!
The Second Run
About a year later, I took The Barrel Run again for my brother-in-law’s 30th and it was just as enjoyable as the first time. However, we went to all different places, so the had the perfect blend of new experience and familiarity.
This Run included a whiskey distillery, then two breweries that the birthday boy got to select himself. The driver and the guide were extremely friendly and accommodating, and even allow the rider’s to connect their phone to the Barrel’s speakers to play their own music.
One of the highlight’s was the Mac Dynamite pop-up at our second stop, Empirical Taproom. They had some of the greatest mac and cheese I’ve ever tasted. This all just goes to show, that you never know what to expect from a Run, but you can always expect the experience to be a great one.