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Destihl Restaurant & Brew Works
Active Beers: 75
Beer Ratings: 468
Beer Avg: 3.75
Taps: 17 / Bottles: -
Cask: Y / Beer-to-Go: Y
$$ - reasonable
[ Brewery, Bar, Eatery ]
318 S Towanda Ave
phone: (309) 862-2337
(Place added by: BeerAdvocate on 11-02-2007)
Ratings & Reviews
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| Reviews: 24 | Show All Ratings:
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5 | $$$
Stopped here for lunch on a recent road trip. We sat at the bar and sampled a few things, there were 15-16 house taps at the time of our visit. Their detailed website has ETA dates scheduled for seasonals and rotating releases. According to their website, they brew 25 rotating and seasonal beers, in addition to their 5 flagship beers. Very ambitious!
The seasonals I tried were the Coriander Saison, Roggenbier, and Bourbon Stout, in addition to a few of the house regulars. A sampler of 5 brews (6 oz.) runs $8.50. They are served with a black wrought-iron holder, which lines them up perfectly in front of you. Nothing really impressed enough to get a growler of, though the Doppelbock was my favorite. 67 oz. growlers (fancy fliptop like RR) were $18, more for high-gravity stuff. On our second trip, the beers I had were enjoyable, especially the seasonal Strawberry Blonde ale, Baldock IPA, and Obatar Bitter. They rotate a large amount of seasonals, so there are bound to be hits and misses.
The bar was polished, dim glowing lights were underneath. It was adjacent to the kitchen, so there was some high traffic on the left side. Brew kettles and an oak barrel were visible behind the bar, through large windows. There is patio seating past the bar, where you can look in on the brewing equipment from another angle.
Atmosphere was very clean and polished, "metro-industrial" decor. There were a number of dining areas, all sectioned off by walls made of contrasting wood/metal beams, with frosted glass. In some areas, the glass had actual sprigs of grains set into it. Lofty ceiling with beams and exposed ductwork. It was almost too shiny and polished, but it seemed that they had a diverse crowd to impress. There were lots of families, big groups, people of all ages.
There was an army of employees here, even though we just came in and were seated at the bar, we had contact with 5 people. Lauren the bartender was quick with recommendations and samples. Service was very attentive at lunchtime, with a decent crowd in the bar area.
Food was good, especially the pozole. Pizza and Reuben were just ok. The reuben was served on bread that had dried fruit in it, non-traditional I guess. On our second visit, the food was more impressive. The stuffed pepper dish and shrimp pizza special were both excellent.
Late 2009: Bumping up food/selection score due to several great meals here (pot roast, solid dinner specials) and innovative seasonals, such as a Brett-barrel aged sour ale, Pumpkin Porter, Dampfbier, Saison, and others. Also Destihl is one of the very few places that serve cask ale in downstate Illinois.
2012-2013: Past 3 times i've left without a growler fill, so I stopped bringing it in. Food is generally good. Seasonals have always been hit or miss, and lately the sour ales all taste super acetic on the vinegar side of things. There are occasional hits though, like the sour strawberry blonde and unblended lambic.
04-14-2008 14:22:54 |
More by emerge077
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4 | $$
A nice little restaurant in an otherwise undistinguished corner of the world. The atmosphere is hip industrial modern (the only complaint I have is that the tables were a bit cramped for four people). The food is clean and basic - nice sandwiches, good soups, generally well-executed pub food. The staff was extremely pleasant and our waiter was quite knowledgeable about beer, not only the restaurant's own, but beers from other parts of the country. The restaurant's beer is pleasant, if not outstanding. The best of the lineup when we stopped by was the Altercation, a delicious alt. I liked the Red Bird ale, though my wife didn't care for it. The beers tend to be relatively light on the alcohol, but they are all quite flavorful. I wish they have more of their offerings on tap, but that is a fairly minor quibble.
07-14-2009 18:13:20 |
More by Seanibus
vibe: 2 | quality: 2.5 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5 | $$
On Adult Swim they got this great, super-literate, hyper-weird show called Frankenhole. Every episode, Dr. Frankenstein brings back to life some deceased celebrity, and then there ensues a whole mess of jokes concerning that celebrity's personality and/or proclivities.
One episode, an adult-aged Blanket Jackson revives his father, Michael. Blanket works an office job but tries very hard to be a hip dude: he's got a ponytail, a neck tat, a pet ferret, and then another pet ferret who has a neck tat. He works all week trading stocks but he works for the weekend, brah, because come Friday night it's time for Long Island Ice Teas at the club.
Michael is appalled. He tried so hard to fuck the kid up and yet here he is, completely and revoltingly normal. Even worse, he tries *so hard* to be edgy and weird even though there's not a single solitary bit of him that's anywhere near either. Like, being normal is bad enough, but at least have the decency to embrace to your normality instead of buying into some pathetic Brand-C attempt at strangeness. You're Coke. Maybe, on a good day, you're Pepsi. But, shit, pretending to be Royal Crown don't make you any cooler.
And this description pretty much sums up the Destihl Restaurant & Brew Works: it tries very hard for edge, and the effect is equal parts annoying and sad.
The place is meticulously decorated and very, very clean. The decor is dark with gold hues, like something you'd see at a mall store, and the wait staff all wear black. Large TVs sit behind the bar playing inoffense sports and news chatter, and the bar itself is made of what feels like slate--cold, fleshless. The beers ranged from okay to awful, and the waitstaff is made to memorize a line or two about each of them. But, overall, the meticulousness makes things a bit soulless and dead.
11-25-2012 17:24:12 |
More by mynie
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$
So this is located on the perimeter of a shopping mall in Normal, IL and not a very attractive shopping mall, either. It looks like a typical chain brewpub which it is not. But the decor borders on industrial, hip and upscale. Not impressive but not offensive, either. The place was pretty empty for 1pm on a hot Saturday in July. I sampled 5 beers while there and they were all tasty. Sometimes the "session" ale at a brewpub is a little weak but I found their Belgian Pale Ale very good. They had a nice barleywine, sour and an IPA on cask. The service was okay. The waitress wasn't sure of everything they had available. The food was good especially the appetizers. The cheese curds and fried asparagus were excellent. The prices are good, too. The offer sample sizes, 10oz sizes and pints on the beer. I was pleasantly surprised by this place. It makes a nice halfway point between Columbia, MO and Chicago.
07-13-2011 16:48:35 |
More by zeff80
vibe: 4 | quality: 3 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5 | $$
I visited the Bloomington/Normal location of Destihl while traveling through on a business trip.
As suburban chain-like establishments go, the place is pretty tastefully decorated and has a nice feel. The beer list was pretty extensive considering it is a brewpub with a very tiny brewhouse (visible through the windows in the bar area).
The beers ranged from pretty great to fairly terrible. I had a sour Belgian that was really a nice beer. Then I had a taste of the saison and it was a cloudy, weird tasting mess. Next I tried the IPA and it tasted like a weak IPA with coriander and orange peel in it. Thinking it was maybe a witbier poured by accident the bartender assured me that the brewer "just does that sometimes" with regard to the brewing spices. Lastly I tried the imperial pilsner which was decent, so I decided to bring home a growler. The beer in the growler when I got home was the saison I thought was shitty, so I guess they have issues on many levels...
On the bright side, the food was absolutely killer. My fish tacos were very tasty and I would get them again in a heartbeat.
This place has a lot of potential but they need to get the brewing operation squared away or they will not stay long on the radar of serious beer folks.
08-16-2010 21:46:56 |
More by spointon
vibe: 3 | quality: 2.5 | service: 3 | selection: 3 | $
Being a locavore when it comes to beer, I felt it incumbent upon me to visit this place when visiting with student interns this past summer. I just stopped by for a quick one so cannot offer a full review, so take it for what it is worth. The place is very contemporary in style and maybe would not be out of place in say Portland or other points west. As it is, it sits in a large car park behind Hobby Lobby.
Unfortunately, I rolled the dice on a tripel, at least that is what the board said. Regrettably, it was perhaps the worst beer I have ever paid serious money for. What can I say? It was just dreadful: more like an alcoholic Mountain Dew than anything. On that basis I would not recommend trying any of the others.
Beyond the establishments that understand what constitutes good beer, there is a population of places flogging the "craft beer" image ineptly. It does the business no good to have swill portrayed as good beer. This seems to be the case here unfortunately.
11-03-2009 04:41:07 |
More by AylwinForbes
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4 | $$
Today was opening day, so I wasn't really expecting much out ot the service. However, there were nearly as many staff persons as customers at 2:00. Had a late lunch of the wood fired pizza while Mrs. Kdog had a portabello and brie sandwich with corn chowder. All were pretty good, above average fare compared to other brewpubs I'd been to. Had seven beers on tap ranging from a standard lager to a rye ale. Went with the IPA and the Rye. I'll definitely go back, especially since it is just off the bike trail in Normal and less than 10 minutes from my house. Didn't notice many bugs to work out, but I imagine it will be even better in a couple of weeks, especially when they bring in live music.
11-23-2007 22:45:05 |
More by kdog630
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$
This place gave off the chain microbrewery vibe before I even walked in i.e. Granite City. It is obvious it is a chain when you walk in, but it is really nice and has a cool lay out. I was impressed by the amount of taps they had, over 16 beers to choose from. The service was really good, as we had a large group but never had an empty glass. The server also knew his beer when I asked for recommendations. I had a pint of their Belgian Sour $6.50 and their Pumpkin Porter $4.50 and a pizza for about $10. Not bad prices, but a tad bit high for the area. For food, I had a chorizo and mushroom pizza, which was better than I expected. I had some sips of other people's drinks and really enjoyed what I tried, albeit they all seemed to be hopped up versions of their styles, which some people love. I would recommend checking this place out if you are in Bloomington/Normal as it is one of the few brew pubs in the area.
01-01-2011 19:37:28 |
More by birchstick
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4 | $$
I was visiting my little sister who goes to ISU in Normal and had to stop by this brewery. The environment is great and very social. The food and beer are also very good. I always get a little meal to go with my flight and the waiter was more than happy to help me pick everything out. Prices on pints and flights is not terrible but still kinda high. About what you would expect from a small volume pub. The brewing equipment is easy to see and I was lucky enough to get a waiter who was willing to take me on a quick tour. Late note... their Pumpkin Porter is the best pumpkin ale I've ever had! Check it out!
03-09-2010 18:29:10 |
More by manahansf
vibe: 3.25 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.75 | selection: 3.75 | food: 3.75 | $$
I occasionally stop into DeStihl whenever I am heading south.
It's a pretty nice place, an excellent place considering the local alternatives.
It's a nice, clean, modern feel, and it seems to attract a fairly broad audience.
The food is always pretty good. Not great, but definitely good.
The biers are why I stop. I discovered this place at a Chicago Ale Fest a few years back. Their biers are all quality. I don't think I've had an "grand slams" from them, but I've never had a dud, either. They ALWAYS have SOMETHING on cask, too, which is really cool. In fact, they have a visible wall of casks on one side of the building.
The selection of brews is also quite nice. You can expect a good dozen or so brews to be on tap whenever you go in. There's a GREAT range, too! They have something for everyone.
Prices aren't too bad (but I'm from Northern Illinois), but I'm not sure how it compares locally. Pints are $5-6 ($6 for the cask), which is average.
Overall, I like the place. I still like to stop here whenever I get the chance. I definitely don't think I'll be driving HOURS away to go here specifically, though.
07-05-2013 14:22:26 |
More by TheSSG
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Destihl Restaurant & Brew Works in Normal, IL
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