I really like this place. Good atmosphere, good beer selection, and ok-to-good food. Happy hour from 4-6pm with 1/2 priced appetizers: the calamari was decent, and the quesodilla was quite good. Iím not sure how to judge "selection"... if compared to other brewpubs, the selection is fairly good, usually offering 8-10 taps, including a cask offering. Twice Iíve visited Goose Island on Clybourn, and I have been very happy. Beware of smoke near the bar.
Large open space with plenty of tables and never seems to be too crowded, but I havent been during a special event. The bartenders are much nicer and more helpful than the waiters. If you want a beer go to the bar. In fact, even if you want to eat go sit at the bar.
Lots of beers to pick from. They seem to replace taps every day or so. Always something new to try. They have lots of different styles from mild ales to strong Belgian ales, to stouts, to fruit beers. And the majority of it is at least somewhat enjoyable. You can always get Bourbon County on tap too if thatís something you enjoy.
The food is quite good and interesting, and priced accordingly. Definitely an upscale type of place when it comes to the food.
Across the street from Binnyís, so parking is not really an issue. Pretty nice place, lots of wood. Central bar, large with plenty of seating. Restaurant style seating in separate rooms around the outside. Not busy at all on a Monday evening. Bartender was super friendly and helpful -- he had two samples in front of me to try before I even had a chance to look at the menu. Taplist was a mix of mainline GI beers and brewed on premises brewpub specials. They also had a 50% off appetizer special, which was pretty handy. All in all a good experience and one I would gladly repeat.
(Visited 10/2011): Goose Islandís Clybourn location is off Clybourn and North Sheffield on the north side. Parking consists of metered street parking and a space in the shopping center directly across the street. Binnyís is right there too (although I didnít have time to stop there).
The interior is spacious and modern looking with the bar area immediately inside. Restaurant seating elsewhere, and a cool "HOPS" sign made out of incandescent bulbs. Brick archways leading to an indoor patio. The brewing equipment is viewable through a window near the door.
Goose Island has 12 or so of their brews on tap, including many seasonals and special brews. On my visit some of the options included Red Felt Ale, Peach Pundit, Candice (Farmers Market Series), Honest Stout and Uncle Dunkel. All of the beers are above average and enjoyable. Samplers are available as well.
Service on a weekday for an early lunch (they literally had just opened) was good. Both my server and the bartender were friendly and well-versed in the available beers.
Lunch was solid too. My sandwich and fries were very tasty.
Overall this spot is one of the canít miss places to visit in downtown Chicago, and I will definitely try to get there again on future visits.
I visited mid-afternoon on a Thursday. The place is located in an urban strip mall. You enter through the waiting area to a larger old wood bar. Spacious seating areas are all around the bar. 20 of their own beers (pretty wide selection of styles), along with 2 guests. They do half pints on most selections, so its easy to try many of them. Standard brew pub food menu. Service was friendly and attentive, good vibe, nice place to hang out for a couple of beers.
76 = ★★★ (Worth the visit, must for locals, and visitors with time)
I only use the total score, not the component parts.
The place has a clean, cookie-cutter, corporate feel to it, but that isnít a bad thing. Itís nicely laid out, efficient, and clean. Tours are conducted here for 5 bucks, but include a good tasting and are always conducted by a brewer. I didnít take a tour, but if I had more time I may have done it just for kicks. Goose Island always has many offerings most of which are pretty tasty. I didnít hit this place up on my first visit to Chicago, but I think this is going to be mandatory on any future stops. I did not eat on my visit.
Lots of beers on taps. Some very usual Goose Island brews some a bit more rare. Somehow most of the sections of the restaurant were closed and the tables left were quite uncomfortable. Food selection wasnít that good. But beer was good. Had a bit mixed feelings about this place. After 4 beers I was much more okay with the minor flaws...
Expansive pub that clearly has added several additional rooms and service areas to its original design. I sat at a large U-shaped bar in the back of the building and received excellent service from the attentive bar staff. GI drafts numbered about 20 and included a solid amount of brewery exclusives. There were some nice English and German style offerings (including cask!) that I was more than happy to check out. Food was fairly average, but not offensive. Prices were a bit punchy, especially if you were interested in sampling some of the barrel aged stuff (for example, BCBS was well over $1 per oz - hard pass). Overall, a really nice spot that I look forward to revisiting after the renovation is complete.
On a week evening, the place was relatively quiet, just a few apparent regulars hanging by the bar and surrounding tables. The draught list was absolutely impressive, two imperial stouts, an exceptional Kolsch, a superb strong ale - everything clean and remarkably varied. Although I generally prefer smaller palces, this one makes you feel very welcome, itís not overly noisy, not overly decorated and not too loaded with TVs + the surrounding brick walls are always charming. The staff did not appear all that knowledgeable, but was efficient and task-oriented. I felt I had good service. As far as beer is concerned, this is one of my favourite brewpubs ever.