In honor of October and all of the Oktoberfest celebrations happening around ILLINOISouth, we would like to bring you 3 breweries in ILLINOISouth that are sure to have you loving homemade ale (if you don’t already). Find a designated driver and make a day trip out of this list and visit multiple to try some of the brews original to #ILSouth.
4204 Main Street Brewing Co.
At 4204, growth is everything. Since opening in May of 2014 they have quickly grown to 3 locations – two of which are in ILLINOISouth! Belleville is home to both the distribution and banquet facility as well as the restaurant. On any given day, patrons can head to the restaurant and grab a bite to eat while enjoying a cold brew.
The main location at 4204 Main Street in Belleville is home to a Beer Garden complete with firepits, ample seating, bear hut and band stand games creating a perfect atmosphere to spend the day. If you aren’t ready to commit an entire day, you can head into the indoor dining room. Don’t worry about this just being a “place to drink”, 4204 prides itself on being a family friendly establishment and even has a playground on site.
If you aren’t planning on eating while you are sampling their homemade beers, you should reconsider. The Braised Short Rib Ravioli, Cheddar and Potato Beer Soup, or the 4204 Stuffed Pork Chop on the dinner menu should be enough to change your mind. They also have a great selection of steaks, chicken, seafood, pizza, pasta and more. If you are stopping by for lunch we recommend the Turkey Club Sandwich or the Chicken Avocado Club.
After you come in you will see why they have grown so quickly the last couple of years. Make sure to keep them in mind for your next event as well. They have banquet facilities that can seat up to 650 people and have a full menu, bar, stage, dance floor, and more. For more information on their banquets and catering capabilities, please click here.
Small towns in Illinois make the perfect locations for great breweries. A trip to Breese, Illinois will be proof of that. Excel Bottling started in 1936 when Edward and Catherine Meyer used the reward money from catching a bank robber to purchase a bottling machine. The company started with bottling soda and the owners were quoted saying that they “built their business one case of soda at a time.
The brewing side of excel came into the picture in 2012 when Bill Meier, grandchild of the founders, used is love of craft beer and knowledge of Rod Burguiere to start brewing and bottling their own beer. They have several types including seasonal and specialty brews.
Visitors can stop in for a tour or try some of this special brew at an area event or pick it up at a store in the area. Don’t miss them at Brewfest at Fort du Chartres on October 21st.
St. Nicholas Brewery Co.
Head out to St. Nicholas Brewery in Du Quoin if you are looking for some history with your good brew. The St. Nicholas Hotel as been a landmark in Du Quoin since the 1800s and was renovated and reopened in 2014 as a microbrewery and restaurant. Tours are available on select days so make sure to call ahead and see if there is one when you plan on visiting. Don’t want to drive to the brewery? Take a train from Centralia or Carbondale for an unforgettable experience full of fun and history.
St. Nicholas Brewery has quite the selection of homemade brews. Every house beer is brewed on location and only feature the finest ingredients and created by their very own brew master. Their flagship brews include a Scotch Strong Ale, and a Cadence Porter which is a full-bodied black ale with a smooth and velvety texture. Seasonally, visitors can sip on Lemon Ginger, Raspberry Wheat and Barleywine. Don’t miss their Happy Hours to get great deals on food and drinks such as $18 beer flights on Fridays!
Trying these beers may make you a little hungry and St. Nicholas Brewery can help with that too. Start off with a table of appetizers like the St. Nick Fries, Bike Rolls and the Pint of Bacon (it’s a pint of fried bacon if you couldn’t guess). Main courses include burgers, sandwiches, pizza and seasonal specials. Get the best of both worlds at lunch and choose from one of their combos.
To see a full list of all our breweries and wineries, please click here. Happy travels and remember to be safe out there.