(Visited 11/2010): ABC is located in the Walter Payton Roundhouse in Aurora off Broadway, not too far from I-88. They have a fairly large private lot. The brewpub is located inside on the right.
The space is open, with the bar located immediately inside the entrance, and there are brewing tanks right near the entryway. There is table seating throughout the rest of the room. The interior is dark with stone walls and there is a large stone fireplace. Interesting mural too.
ABC has around 7 house beers on tap, including standard offerings like a Pils and Scottish. More unique beers include a blonde chocolate ale and Cherry Imperial Stout. The beers are pretty average overall with the exception being the aforementioned Stout.
Service was decent on a weeknight at the bar. There were a lot of regulars there and I didn’t have any issues getting service.
Food at America’s Brewing is pretty good.
All in all I would visit this spot were I to find myself in Aurora again, but it isn’t a place to which you would drive from Chicago or anything. Decent overall.
I didn’t really get the chance to check out much of the Walter Payton memorabilia, but I enjoyed a sit-down drinking session with Headbanger. The drafts were fairly solid, if not spectacular. Plenty of bottles to purchase... although I recommend buying your four packs at a liquor store (Payton’s charges $25 for a four pack of the BBA Impy Stout compared to $10 at Sam’s). We sat at the bar and service was good. I probably won’t go again, but I’m glad I went. If you’re in Aurora or a huge Payton fan, it’s a must-visit. If you’re in Chicago and not a huge Payton fan, you may want to consider other options within or closer to the city.
I don’t understand an ambiance score of less than 5 for America’s brewpub. Dark, wooden, well worn, cozy. A very cool, unique place. When Mike Rybinski challenges his clientèle with higher gravity offerings, the beer can be quite good. Stick with the specialties. I should have gotten the name of our waitress fabulous service, great attitude, funny, etc. I regret not taking a walk around the facility as I understand it’s quite large. The large parking lot was packed on a Saturday night early and we had to use valet parking for $5. Aurora is a quite a ways out from Chicago. The beer is not worth the trip, but the place itself is and the beer is a bonus.
Atom (227) Minneapolis, Minnesota | August 31, 2011
I visited this place when it was Walter Payton’s Roundhouse and was thrilled to hear Two Brothers had purchased the complex. This place is huge! As of right now they are serving food and have TBs on tap with a couple Roundhouse specialties on tap. I can’t wait to come back once this place is really up and running. The bartender said they should be brewing there by February or March.
A pretty awesome place. A cool old building with great ambience, and some outdoor seating available. Went for dinner. A nice sampler, that our bartender allowed us to swap out a selection on. Food is very good with a tendency towards higher priced items for dinner, that are worth it, but still a few economical options. The lunch menu looked great as well. All of their beers were pretty tasty, but nothing really amazing. They lacked any really big beers while I was there. This is a very active lively place and with the live music in the courtyard,and adjoining cognac bar as well as comedy club offers a lot of fun opportunties.
Hmmm, somehow overlooked rating this place... The feel of the place is kind of bizarre because it is built in a big roundhouse, which is kind of charming. The brewery set up is pretty cool, big and open. Main issue that they have seems to be with cleanliness. It seems like everyone of their beers has some sort of sanitation defect, generally from the lines for pumping the beer. That being said, the base beers are alright. Service is okay and food is kind of meh. Not really my cup of tea.
I really like this place. The beer is generally so-so, but some of their seasonal and experimental beers are really excellent. Service is good, and the courtyard is a fun place to be on a summer evening. The food is a little pricey, yet is pretty good. Worth a visit if you’re in the area!
Cornfield (143) Oak Forest, Illinois | January 22, 2005| Updated September 25, 2006
The neat thing about this place is that the brewery is out in the open and the aromas permeate the entire building, an old restored railroad roundhouse. The joint has music on a regular basis. For football fans, there’s a Walter Payton museum. There’s steaks, chops, fish, pasta, et cetera, for those of you who like to eat. And for me, who likes to drink, there’s some surprizingly good beers. The brewmeister’s a good. friendly guy. I recommend the amber, now brewed to come across almost like an IPA. Good barley wine, scotch ale, other brews, and a couple bottles of piss-waters for the idiots in the crowd. I’d stop back when in the area again.
First time visiting this place, i’ve tried a couple of their bottled beers before, but had never been to the brewpub. We stopped in on a snowy Saturday afternoon (in March!?) with orbitalr0x.
The building itself is impressive, and houses multiple venues. A weekend absinthe bar for example, coffee bar, and an outdoor courtyard popular for weddings.
The brewpub bar was up a few stairs to the right of the hostess station. Lots of wood planks and dark colors gave it a northwoods lodge vibe. The rectangular bar was front and center, with table seating along the walls, and upstairs on a second level visible above the bar. Lighting was pretty dark, though it was an overcast day and there was zero natural light coming in. It felt cozy, and if we had more time to kill, probably would have been at the bar for hours.
Selection was ok, the crazy highlight being a "jury-rigged" randalizer on the bar. They were running a dry-hopped amber through 1/2 pound of Centennial hops... it was great! We had a sample of the regular amber next to it and the dry-hopped blew it away. Another specialty was a cherry version of the bourbon imperial stout, that was aged 547 days in oak. Other than that the selection was pretty typical, a stout, pilsner, etc.
Service was friendly and timely, one of the brewers stopped by and explained his randalizer, which was cool. We tried a queso fundido app that came with spicy chorizo, which was good. The crowd seemed to be fairly mixed, many just there for lunch, others drinking green st. pattys bottles of bud light :S
It’s a BREWPUB for pete’s sake!
There were still bottles to go in the coolers, though they seem to be dwindling in the market. We saw a couple palllets in the brewing area too, so they still appear to be bottling here.
StewardofGondor (122) Washington Heights - Milwaukee, Wisconsin | September 6, 2005| Updated September 26, 2005
Nice, spacious atmosphere. Nine beers tapped on my visit - most weren’t very good, but at least they had a wide span of options. The pulled pork sandwich was f’in delicious. Judging from my lunch, my wife’s and comments I heard from other tables, a lot of their food selections are spicy. I like that. Good experience all around.