Pros: Unique & enjoyable vibe, abundance of delectable food options
Cons: Mood clash with Midtown Global Market
Number one reason you should go: Quality music, a laid-back environment, and the presence of international snackage make Eastlake a suitable option for week night happy hour.
It’s interesting Eastlake Brewery & Tavern‘s intro mentions their location in the old Sears & Roebuck Building without pointing out it also happens to be that mainstay of the “eat street” area: Midtown Global Market. As we found out, this conspicuous locale proves both a benefit and a drawback.As far as taproom personality goes, Eastlake is like no other. The theme is vaguely “sports,” although exactly what sport remains uncertain. Initially I assumed baseball, evidenced by the beer names, logo, and what was playing on TV. But then you also have the tables made of basketball courts and the mounted deer adorned with soccer scarves. It inspires a thought that sums up my feelings on Eastlake as a whole: “I’m not sure what it is, but I like it.” By the window a proper disco ball setup was rotating, throwing flashes of color across the room in time with Eastlake’s satisfying, upbeat soundtrack. The brewery was well-attended for a Wednesday, servicing clientele that skewed 30s-ish. Everyone and everything about Eastlake seemed friendly, open, and low-key.
Were it not for the disco ball and occasional Edison bulb hanging from the ceiling, Eastlake itself would be pretty dark. This laid back, mood light aesthetic was in sharp contrast to that of the fluorescent, busy international bazaar vibe of Midtown Global Market. The two next to each other resulted in a dissonant experience, with neither market nor brewery being able to fully give way to the other.
However, I mentioned before that Eastlake’s location had its benefits. And by benefits, I meant tacos. And falafel. And tamales. Couscous. Eggrolls. Bubble tea. Dumplings. Curry. Menu item descriptions involving the words “paneer” and “masala.” Motherf***ing bibimbap. It’s all right there, and you can bring it in. Eastlake has noooo problems in the food department.
But what of the main form of sustenance a brewery provides? The beer at Eastlake was hit-or-miss, weighted towards the “hits.” Standouts included the Dank Aaron Imperial IPA and the Bluer Than Blueliner, which my dad described as “Dank Aaron lite.” You can read my reviews of those, as well as Eastlake’s other brews, at the Untappd links below:
- Achilles Heel IPA (3.75/5)
- Bluer Than Blueliner Imperial IPA (4/5)
- Dank Aaron Imperial IPA (4.25/5)
- Electric Mayhem IPA (4/5)
- Everyone’s Invited! Pale Ale (2.5/5)
- Mud In Your Eye Brown Ale (1/5)
- Shoot From The Hip Belgian IPA (2.25/5)
- Southside Pilsener (3.5/5)
- Sun Dogs’ IPA (4/5)