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The Beer Temple
$$ - reasonable
[ Store ]
3185 N Elston Ave
phone: (312) 772-3373
(Place added by: MasterSki on 01-01-2013)
Ratings & Reviews
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| Reviews: 22 | Show All Ratings:
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | $$
The Beer Temple just opened in Avondale, and it's exactly what the neighborhood needed. For some reason this part of town has been lacking a good beer store, but not anymore...
From the second you walk in it's clear that attention to detail is #1. All beer is marked with a received/bottled on/best by date, making freshness a priority, something rarely seen in retail stores. The store is super clean and easy to navigate, and the counter is even custom made from Bourbon County barrels. Front windows are UV-film coated to protect from sunlight, also something rarely seen in retail stores.
Service is top notch... they host free daily tastings (in stemmed glassware no less) and the owners are full of endless beer (and wine) knowledge. On opening day they had some extremely hard to find beers from their personal stash open for tasting. Pricing is very fair and competitive, a refreshing change from other gouge-happy shops around town. It's clear the owners are a part of the craft beer community, they are really invested and put their heart and soul into it.
There's a broad mix of American craft and imports alike on the shelves. Currently there are two large islands in the middle of the store, two wall shelving areas, and a long cooler past the counter (2 coolers now, mid-2013).
On opening day there were plenty of interesting things to be had: Pipeworks Coffee Break Abduction, Deschutes Hop Henge IPA, Goose Island Big John and BCS Coffee, 50/50 Eclipse varieties, and many more. Overall selection is well rounded, with full lines from US brewers like Founders, Victory, DFH, Stone, Ommegang, Jolly Pumpkin, GLBC, Sixpoint, Port, Lost Abbey, O'so, Dark Horse, Central Waters, Metropolitan (only 1-2 weeks old), and more from Pipeworks, FFF, Rev, Green Flash, Firestone Walker, Deschutes, etc. Great selection of Belgian imports including traditional lambics and Flemish ales (Rodenbach x3, Lambickx, Timmermans Oude Gueuze, Tilquin, Drie Fonteinen, Oud Beersel, Girardin), Trappist styles (Orval, Achel, Rochefort, La Trappe, St. Bernardus), several obscure Saisons like Cazeau, Pipaix, Feullien, Fantome Hiver, Perennial Saison De Lis, and Avec Le Bon Voux. Scandinavian, British, and German beers on the back island and in the coolers, including varieties of JW Lee's Harvest and Ola Dubh. Tried and true German staples like Ayinger, Weihenstephaner, and 1809 at peak freshness. Brand new imports from To Øl, Evil Twin, and Haandbryggeriet.
They are in the process of expanding the selection all the time, huge potential here... I'll be checking back regularly to see what's new and fresh on the shelves.
01-08-2013 21:58:07 |
More by emerge077
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.25 | $$
Haven't reviewed anything in a while. Simply put the owners of this place are both fantastic, really nice people with a massive load of beer knowledge. The selection while not huge is jam packed with great beers and much of it is cooled. It is a tidy and neat shop that has to be probably the best stop in Chicago if you want a beer nerds paradise.
03-24-2013 15:21:52 |
More by crossovert
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | $$
The Beer Temple, my favorite shop in the city. Each and every time I walk in the door I am instantly greeted by the owner who's more than willing to help steer me in any direction I may be leaning and fill me in on the latest beer happenings. There is always a good beer or two for sampling while browsing the very well thought out selection.
The store is immaculately clean and each beer labeled with the delivery date to help us consumers make the most informed decisions.Shades keep the sun off the bottles and the utmost care is taken to ensure the most well kept product possible.
The selection is very well thought out with the newest releases, top notch imports, and classic favorites stocking the shelves and coolers. I need a shopping cart when perusing The Beer Temple.
I hate to label anything as perfect but while sitting here trying to figure out any little thing that would make this place better, I simply can't. Great selection, well cared for product, and customer service that is top notch.
08-19-2013 23:47:40 |
More by joe1510
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.75 | $$
Was in Chicago visiting my oldest son and after picking up supplies for home brewing the next day we stopped by here to pick up some beverages. Great choice by my son, unbelievable selection of great beers as well as a lot of hard to get stuff and new stuff.
I think the guy we talked with there was the owner, very knowledgeable about beers and if you told him types you liked he was able to direct us to some brews we hadn't tried before which turned out to be great selections.
A really fun place to browse around and discuss craft brews
07-20-2013 20:57:35 |
More by stercomm
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.75 | $$
Chris has been planning this for a while and it's great to see it finally come to fruition. Congrats Chris!!
I really enjoy the atmosphere of the shop. Semi-industrial with lots of exposed brick and high ceilings, yet cozy and modern. The front desk/cashier's table made from old GI Rare barrels is an awesome touch and the shelving is nice and clean. Freshness dates everywhere the eye can see, or at the very least dates of when the product was received if freshness dates aren't available. No old product will ever be put on the shelves, or kept on the shelves, just like it should be.
What can I say about the quality that isn't already apparent. This is a top notch, clean shop that Chris really takes care of. The passion shows.
Chris and his wife provide impeccable service. Friendly as always and they both treat each person the same. Be it a beer geek like me or someone that doesn't the difference between a stout and an IPA, each person is treated with respect. All questions are answered with out the slightest bit of arrogance that some shops tend to have. Oh, and I forgot to mention the free tastings that Chris hosts daily. What more can you ask for.
The selection is very solid overall, especially for being a new store that just opened up. In Chicago you have to play the game a lot of the time to get what you want, but it's nice to the selection of local, regional and imports that Chris has already established in a short time the store has been open. The prices were all reasonable and on the normal side of the spectrum across other local stores.
Great to see this store finally open. Cheers.
03-16-2013 01:52:57 |
More by Treebs
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.75 | $$
A - It's a new and modern shop, with plenty of space, well-organized shelves, intelligent layout, and simple, unobtrusive decor. Perhaps lacking a bit in character, but that will change over time as it gains a more lived-in feel to it.
Q - One thing I love about The Beer Temple is that attention to making sure the beer is stored in ideal conditions. Chris dates hoppy beers without bottle dates as they enter the store, so you at least have *some* idea of freshness; if it's old beer it's the distributor's fault and not his. Same thing goes for the window treatments and lighting; if something is skunked it didn't happen in this store.
Sr - You're always greeted with a cheerful hello upon entering the store. Chris knows his stuff and has great suggestions about what's new and interesting. There's almost always something being sampled, often rare out-of-market brews. The Beer Temple also hosts a lot of interesting and unique events
Sl - While not the *biggest* selection in the city, it's well-curated and has virtually all the beers I would want to purchase. Chris also does a good job of avoiding beers from overseas that aren't likely to travel well (Mikkeller IPAs and such).
Prices on regular stuff are in line with other Chicago shops; perhaps slightly more than Binny's due to their volume advantage, but marginally so. I appreciate that rare beers are priced in line with everything else; no gouging here.
The Beer Temple has quickly become one of my favorite places to shop in Chicago. Chris has done a masterful job in listening to customer feedback and integrating the best attributes of other stores. I'm very lucky to have another world-class store a quick bike ride away from home.
09-17-2013 18:04:19 |
More by MasterSki
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | $$
Awesome local shop. I have been twice now on visits to my Brother-in-Law in Chicago. We have never left without a significant haul...
Chris is very helpful in identiftying items that would fit our particular mood, palate, or style. The selection is fantastic, yet the quantity of "in-stock" is small enough to keep the shelf items fresh. Every item is marked with a "received date" so that you know exactly how long he has had it sitting in stock.
Definitely a "must stop" every time I come back to visit!
09-06-2013 10:30:41 |
More by GeorgiaBeerGuy
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | $$
Stopped in on opening day.
Atmosphere - Really cool layout. Clean and new but with some very solid design choices. The register stand that is made from reclaimed Bourbon County Rare barrels. Beautiful solid wood top on that as well. The shelving also very nice for a beer shop.
Quality - No crap here. Every item on a shelf or in a cooler belongs in a craft beer store. From local craft to imports, almost every beer is great.
Service - Chris and Margaret are tremendously helpful and friendly. They were also pouring free samples from 3-4 beers at the time.
Selection - For an opening day selection this was pretty top notch. Three Floyds sixers (Gumballhead), Bourbon County Coffee, Green Flash, etc, etc. Will be exciting to see how the inventory develops over time, because there is plenty of space for additional bottles.
Food - DIdn't see any food offerings (but Pork Shoppe, Urban Belly (BYO) and Kumas are all in stumbling distance)
Value - This is high end beer (and some wine), so it isn't cheap per se, but the prices are right in line with the West Lakeview, and Binny's in Chicago. When you considering the free samples that they plan to always be pouring, I think that represents a good value.
Overall, this beer boutique has tremendous potential to be the best beer shop in Chicago. Will they ever do the volume that Binny's does? No. But do think they could rise to the top fairly quickly based on selection and customer service.
NOTE: They plan on starting on shipping on some time. And FREE PARKING behind the building.
01-07-2013 19:27:35 |
More by Monsone
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | $$
So I'll admit it, I'm fairly new to the craft beer scene. As a young Chicagoan that has a babyface I get carded constantly and guffawed at whenever I'm trying to find rare beers around Chicago. It was very disparaging. However I got lucky with The Beer Temple. I've watched many of Chris Quinn's videos online and was ecstatic when he said he was opening up a beer shop right down the street from me on Belmont and Elston. I've now been there countless times and believe it is a superb shop.
The atmosphere is extremely friendly. I've met brewers from Spiteful Brewing and Deschutes Brewery giving out samples, beer aficionados that were very helpful on teaching me the ways of the Chicago craft beer scene, as well as regular people who are just interested in something new.
Chris also tries to label when the beer was brewed so you can always have guaranteed freshness of each beer available.
Chris is always happy to help and has never given me a bad recommendation when I'm looking to try something new. He's always proactive with customers and is extremely knowledgeable on each brewery that he sells.
Awesome selection. Holds majority of Chicago's local breweries as well as from all over the country. There's really something for everyone as he has a vast amount of styles available. Chris also gets a decent selection of whales that go off the shelf quick! No worries though, He usually has many rare beers out for a sample pour. I've been lucky enough to have had KBS, Darklord, Blacknote, and others through the sampling.
Overall this is my to go place when buying beer. A great guy whose really passionate about beer that doesn't mark up prices or cater to a certain crowd.
02-06-2013 01:57:52 |
More by Efay
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | $$
I found out about this place on the black hole known as 'YouTube'. I think Chris does a good job to inform his customers through social media and he is very approachable. I really enjoyed that about him. I wasn't sure what to expect when I arrived. It is a very neatly kept and organized place. I thought it would be bigger to be honest. I think Chris takes pride in making sure his products are fresh. If I lived in Chicago I would stop back more often. Wish I could have been a part of one of his epic beer tastings.
04-28-2013 23:29:25 |
More by AlphaKingKegger
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The Beer Temple in Chicago, IL
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