July ’05 trip through Chi-town suburbs brought visitation to Elmhurst-based Sal’s Beverage World (a fantastic selection of American and international brews) and cozily rustic LUNAR BREWING in Villa Park.

Open since ’96, Lunar’s a tiny li’l hole in the wall with old wood carved bar, cherry-stained hardwood tables/booths, foosball tables, and a small stage area for Saturday evening performances. Its great bottled beer selection, inside antique coolers, included fab Belgian beers (Duvel/ Maudite/ Belzebuth) and some of America’s foremost microbrews. Though only frozen pizzas and snacks are served in this Cubs-friendly neighborhood bar, its standard brews struck a chord.

Best bet was mildly spiced caramel nougat-like Nebula Nut Brown Ale, with its sweet almond, cocoa butter, honey nut, and macadamia illusions reaching a tangible butterscotch finish. Soft-watered banana-centered clove-coriander-spiced Summer Solstice Belgian Wit, mild clay-hopped corn-grained Brabant Ale, gently red-orange-fruited Moonbeam Steam, and smooth orange-apricot-grapefruit-induced Red Moon Rye-Sin Roggen Ale soothe lighter palates.

Sharp piney Cascade-hopped, lemony grapefruit-embittered Moondance IPA and sweet milk chocolate-y, cola-nutty, hop-toasted, rolled oats-backed Total Eclipse Oatmeal Stout will please more adventurous quaffers.

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