United States > Illinois > Machesney Park
Dogbrick (797) Columbus, Ohio | October 5, 2014
78 AMBIANCE 4/5 SERVICE 8/10 SELECTION 11/15 FOOD 7/10 VALUE 8/10 OVERALL 16/20
(Visited 08/2014): Pig Minds is located on Steele Drive in Machesney Park, off North 2nd. There is a relatively large parking lot in front of the building.
There is a patio outside, and inside the brewpub opens to a large room with the wood-top bar weaving along the left side and rear, and table seating elsewhere. Red and salmon-colored walls, and brewing equipment behind the bar. A kind of disturbing looking ceramic mascot pig with a bird on his head wearing boxer briefs stares at you from behind the bar too. A couple TVs and cubbies with merchandise as well.
Pig Minds has 10 house beers on draught, and a sampler flight is available. On my visit the selection included 3 IPAs, Bitch Slap Irish Ale, Whoís Joe Daddy Stout, and a couple Belgians among others.The beers were decent, with nothing particularly standing out one way or the other.
Service on a weekday lunch at the bar en route to GTMW was good. The bartenders were friendly and knowledgeable.
As for the food, I was surprised at the vegan menu given the name, decor and vibe of the place. We enjoyed our food (garlic fries and nachos) but I imagine some people get genuinely angry when they discover there is not a traditional BBQ menu.
All in all this is not somewhere I would go out of my way to visit but it is a nice stop between Columbus and Madison.
Brigadier (291) Clevelandish, Ohio | August 14, 2014
78 AMBIANCE 4/5 SERVICE 7/10 SELECTION 13/15 FOOD 7/10 VALUE 7/10 OVERALL 15/20
Tucked away in a small industrial park near the Illinois / Wisconsin border, this brewpub has apparently been open for only a few years now. The atmosphere suggests a strong local watering hole with industrial roots. Exposed tanks and a bar facing the brewing area let you get up close and personal with the production process.
The beer selection is fairly extensive. Approximately a dozen handles range from sessionable IPAs to a heavyweight imperial stout. None of the beers here will have you rushing to make a detour but are generally on par with what I remember of Carlyle down the road. If you cannot decide on a single pour an affordable sampler lets you try eight different ones in four ounce glasses.
I would not go out of my way to revisit this place but if you are in the area it is a solid local destination. Hopefully I will get a chance to return to Carlyle Brewing and see how the two stack up. If I had to choose this may get the slight edge for ease of accessibility from the interstate. Flip a coin if you are having trouble making up your own mind.
pablo951 (92) Chicago, Illinois | July 31, 2014
80 AMBIANCE 5/5 SERVICE 9/10 SELECTION 8/15 FOOD 7/10 VALUE 7/10 OVERALL 18/20
Great place to stop off at in Northern Illinois right before you head into Wisconsin towards Madison. Great beer selection, of their own beers, great patio, free wifi, and plenty of seating for his out of the way place. I recommend a stop by.
t0rin0 (1511) Do Not Resuscitate, California | August 28, 2013
78 AMBIANCE 4/5 SERVICE 7/10 SELECTION 11/15 FOOD 7/10 VALUE 7/10 OVERALL 17/20
Visited August 11, 2013
This brewery isnít far from I-90 right near the IL/WI border but of course we missed the exit and the next exit is 5 miles down the road. Luckily the beer wasnít bad and the artwork was pretty cool. They have a large sculpture of the logo next to the taps (a pig in tighty whities sitting on top of a brain) and the logo all over the place. The beer names match. Boats and Hoís, Southy Bitch Slap, Swine Flu Vaccine; some quality names. The beers were OK. The Say!Son! was nice as were one or two of the others. The service was very friendly and the food looked good but this was Sunday afternoon after GTMW so we only stuck around for about 30 minutes before getting back on the road. Might stop back in on the next trip to Madison.
beersorcerer (16) Armpit of the Panhandle, Florida | July 13, 2013
94 AMBIANCE 4/5 SERVICE 10/10 SELECTION 14/15 FOOD 10/10 VALUE 10/10 OVERALL 19/20
This brewpub is by far the best experience I have had in Rockford in over 15 years. I been traveling to RFD for work and I kick myself that I didnít visit Pig Minds sooner.
We sat outside, and the evening weather was perfect for enjoying their beer and food, so I canít comment on the inside space. However, the sitting was comfortable and not to crowded outdoors; the hops were growing on the outside perimeter fence with little car traffic or loud music to disturb our dinner.
The service was excellent and accommodating in all respects.
The beer selection was great and each choice in the sampler of all seven drafts on tap was in style and well-crafted. My only comment on this, as echoed by my dinner companion, was the lack of a lower gravity beer (this is normally not a problem for me).
Above all their food and prices were worthy of my highest ratings. As a vegan being at the countryís only vegan brewpub, it will be all to easy to give PMB the best on that alone. The food menu had many choices to satisfy any-vore. Donít be afraid of the food, carnivores, it is fresh and delicious.
What a pleasure to have finally made it to Pig Minds one-of-a-kind vegan brewpub.
beerbill (115) Laurel, New York | June 23, 2013
86 AMBIANCE 4/5 SERVICE 10/10 SELECTION 11/15 FOOD 9/10 VALUE N/A OVERALL 18/20
I stopped in for lunch I have to say I had a wonderful visit. The folks at the brewery were extremely friendly and I enjoyed talking beer and food with them. Service was excellent! The place has a bit of an industrial feel to it and is spacious. I had a portabello mushroom on a pretzel roll which was delicious. Their menu is vegan and there are plenty of options to choose from. They had seven of their own beers on tap plus several very good guest beers. If I lived in the area I would be a regular for sure. This place is definitely worth a visit and if you are driving along I-90, you should make it a point to stop in.
cbfobes (27) Quad Cities, Illinois | October 8, 2012
86 AMBIANCE 4/5 SERVICE 8/10 SELECTION 13/15 FOOD 7/10 VALUE 10/10 OVERALL 18/20
Visited this past weekend and it was worth the wait. The building is really nice, you can tell they built it from the ground up, the brewing system is visiable right behind the bar area, seems really simple and nice. The bar area has plenty of seating with an extension off the main bar where the taps are. Plenty of seating and they accomodated our 13 month old son who was running around the place very well. Had 7 of their beers on tap, got a sample for $12 for all the samples and one guest beer. Prices are pretty cheap in my books, $4 for 16oz and $3.50 for 12oz. Almost all their beers are over 6% abv so thatís a lot of beer for not a lot of money. It was cold when we visited but it looks like they have a nice seating area outside with a garage door that opens into the building to let fresh air in on nice days, really cool. We ended up getting the garlic bread as an app and it was darn tasty, would be interested in seeing what all their food tastes like. All around, really solid place, we will be visiting again in the near future. Also, the staff was extremely friendly.
jmagnus87 (92) Rockford, Illinois | September 3, 2012
100 AMBIANCE 5/5 SERVICE 10/10 SELECTION 15/15 FOOD N/A VALUE 10/10 OVERALL 20/20
I love this place. Great decor and an awesome curving bar. All the bartenders know their stuff and they have a great selection and occasionaly even have a few guest taps. Have not tried the food but I hear itís great. Awesome prices for a brewpub and they have a great deal on the sampler. I canít wait to go back.
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