Another retreat away from ‘nubian’ cookie cutter mall pubs northwest of Chicago, MICKEY FINN’S BREWERY (open since 1994 and sojourned August ‘06) mirrors the olden patriotic heritage Libertyville’s streets and shops exhibit. Antique oak bar lines entire right side with seating behind and in separate left section. The upper level Amber Room offers live music and banquet space.

Fine pub fare included pizza, burgers, sandwiches, tacos, wienerschnitzel, and Shepherd’s Pie to go with diacetyl, low-alcohol, corn-dried, lemon-puckered astringency Gudenkrisp Kolsch and lime-wedged spice hop-prickled agave-peppered light lager, Mexican Cerveza. Hop tingling wheat ales included tangy banana bubble-gummy coriander-spiced Gudenteit Hefeweizen, Belgian-styled popcorn-fronted lemon-limed orange-peeled coriander-clove-backed Katarina Wit, and buttery banana-clove-vanilla-licked Mickey Finn’s Wheat Ale.

Full-bodied chocolate-roasted Bill’s Oatmeal Stout was unavailable, but delightfully bold Abana Amber Ale aptly plied zesty apple-centric peach-grapefruit punch to caramelized malts and floral-spiced hops. Beer rotation is amazingly fast, so this is but a small sampling from this truly noble indie Chi-town brewpub.


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