Heading west past fast growing Naperville suburb is once-bigger urban municipality, Aurora, home of deceased football great Walter Payton’s Roadhouse (a.k.a. AMERICA’S BREWPUB), visited August ’06 (but closed down 2011 and now housing HOPVINE BREWING).
Situated along the railroad in a freestanding building including banquet halls and Walter Payton Museum, this capacious stable-like alehouse has a large outdoor deck with pavilion and fireplace. Brew tanks are along walls and an upstairs dining area and bar are also available.
Enjoyed jambalaya lunch with mildly tropical lime-wedged Atlantico Cerveza, diacetyl dry-hopped corn-wheat-oats-sweetened Payton Pilsner Light, and sweet-grained corn-sugared Payton Pilsner. Perfumed honey-clove-cored orange blossom-hinted Honey Wheat, dry red-fruited cereal-grained caramel-malted Aurora Amber, buttery honeyed wheat-bound Hemp Stoned Ale, and lactic chocolate-milked cane-sugared hazelnut-sharp Sweetness Stout proved even better.
Most worthiest was wood-aged champion, Bourbon Barrel Imperial Stout, an aggressive brew layering resinous black chocolate above roasted coffee, vanilla, pecan, and cherry. Yummy!