I enjoy the microbrewery boom. My wife and I try lots of beers, rate them, and form an opinion about various little breweries. When we travel we always include microbrewery stops wherever we’re at. Last year we sampled in Asheville North Carolina, Cincinnati, Traverse City Michigan and around Madison.
Until recently we haven’t had a microbrewery within 10 miles of home. There was no brewery to call our own. That has changed. Now Chain of Lakes brewery is open in McHenry, Light the Lamp (a hockey themed brewery) in Grayslake, and Tighthead Brewing in Mundelein. I am happy to have them all,
Tighthead is special. Tighthead refers to a position in rugby. From what I gather the picture in our heads of Offensive Lineman is similar to a Tighthead. The big uglies. Anyway, names of beers at Tighthead are a glossary of rugby terms. They always have a lot of beers on tap, from common styles to real experiments. I tend to stick with ales, have had several there, and they are all good. On a recent stop they were touting being named “Best beer in Chicagoland.” I can believe it.
Tighthead is a convivial bar, with an efficient, friendly staff. The place was packed on my recent Sunday afternoon visit, so they have been discovered. The owner (a former Tighthead) was organizing a tour of the brewing operation. They don’t serve food at Tighthead, but they encourage you to bring in your own or have something delivered. It is not uncommon to see a table with sandwiches from Subway, and carry-out pizza at the next table.
My wife is all about IPA, the super hoppy ales modeled after beer brewed in England for shipment to India. She loves the IPA at Tighthead. I think we have found our home brewery.