I have been living in Chicago for roughly 5 years. During that time I have seen Chicago grow from a city that had 5 breweries/brewpubs within its city limits (Rock Bottom, Piece, Moonshine, Hamburger Mary's & Goose Island), to a city that now has/will have 10 breweries/brewpubs by the end of the year (the 4 above plus Metropolitan, Finch's Beer Company, Haymarket, Pipeworks, and Half Acre). All of the breweries do/will contribute to the growing Chicago beer scene, but my favorite contributor to Chicago beer has been my local brewery: the Half Acre Beer Company.
Two years ago, I moved to the North Center neighborhood of Chicago. My move coincided with the Half Acre Beer Company beginning to shift their brewing operations from Sand Creek (Black River Falls, WI), where the Half Acre Over Ale and Lager were first brewed, to their current location in the North Center neighborhood of Chicago. Since they have moved to their current location, Half Acre has grown from a brewery that offers 2 year round beers (the aforementioned Over Ale & Lager), to a brewery that now offers 3 year rounds beers (Daisy Cutter, Over Ale, and Gossamer), and they seem to release a new beer every month.
To their credit as a brewery, Half Acre's special release beers do not walk a well traveled line. They run the gamut from fun stouts (Chocolate Camaro), to fun wheat ales (Ambrosia - beer brewed with hibiscus flowers and oranges) and a great India-red ale (Ginger Twin). If you do not like a particular style that is available at the time of your visit, you can trust that there will be something new in a few weeks for you to try (FYI: if you want to keep tabs on new beer releases at Half Acre, be sure to visit their blog).
As for, perhaps, the most important part of a brewery, the people that make it all happen, I can tell you with absolute certainty that the people of Half Acre are an incredibly friendly bunch. Their excitement about their beer is genuine, and they always seem willing to talk about their beer. So, stop by the brewery, say hi and try their beer. Better yet, stop by the Longroom tonight and say hi to them at their dark beer event.
In closing, for the last two years I have had the pleasure of being on the outside of Half Acre looking in on their continued growth and evolution as brewers, a brewery, and a company that has become an important piece of the North Center business community, and a vital piece of the Chicago beer scene.
So, here's to Half Acre. Keep up the great work!