Craft beers are flowing in Central Illinois, where groups will find many opportunities to enjoy an original recipe at a local brewery.
At Peoria-based Obed & Isaac’s Microbrewery & Eatery, which resides inside a historic 19th century church, groups can choose from a variety of craft beers and ciders as well as upscale pub fare.
The on-site Bocce Garden Grill has two bocce ball courts and oversized outdoor games that competitive attendees can enjoy.
“You get the unique experience of being inside a historic church,” said Don Welch, president/CEO at Enjoy Peoria. “The woodwork, stained glass windows, even confessionals—you are mixing history with the fun of a microbrewery.”
Also located in Peoria is Industry Brewing Co., one of the area’s newest breweries that accommodates large groups and boasts an entertaining game room with a selection of Nintendo games and more.
“If a group is looking for something fun to do before or after their meetings, Industry is definitely a place to check out,” Welch said.
The beer scene is buzzing in Springfield, where two new breweries are slated to open this spring.
The two-story Buzz Bomb Brewing Co. will offer private tours and feature an event space for group gatherings on the second floor, and Anvil & Forge Brewing and Distilling will have a tasting room where groups can sample beers and other spirits.
An established purveyor of suds in Springfield is Engrained Brewery & Restaurant, which offers both award-winning microbrews and farm-to-table dining featuring hops, seasonal vegetables, eggs, beef and pork that are all sourced from Central Illinois farmers.
Engrained also has an event space, and private group tours and tastings can be arranged.
Champaign County is home to two popular breweries: the family-owned Urbana-based Riggs Beer Company, which opened in 2016 with a menu of German-inspired beers made from grains grown on the family’s nearby farm, and the Champaign-based Blind Pig Brewery.
Blind Pig Brewery, recognized on several “top bars” lists, was the first Champaign brewery since Prohibition.
“You’ll fall in love with this classic European-inspired bar,” said Terri Reifsteck, vice president of marketing for Visit Champaign County.
She added the atmosphere at Blind Pig, including an inviting outdoor beer garden, is as good as the beer. And based in Normal is DESTIHL Brewery, a 6,700-square-foot facility where groups can choose specialty beers to pair with a menu of pub fare. DESTIHL offers guided tours followed by a sampling of beers and a bite to eat.