Exploring the Beer Scene: Champaign, IL

People often ask me if “Beers” is really my last name…or if I made it up as an alias. I completely understand how one might think that a girl who likes beer, and creates and guides beer tours, couldn’t possibly have been born with that last name. I assure you, it’s my real name! I’ll even show you my ID! (…which I’ve actually done a few times!)

I’ve combined my passion for beer and travel with my experience and love for helping guide people to fun, new opportunities. I launched my first beer tour this Spring called The Indy Beer Mile. It’s a fresh, new way to taste different beer styles from around the world at local Indianapolis establishments. It’s been going well so far! 

A client who recently booked a group tour for a business meeting asked me to custom design a tour for them in Champaign, IL after they went on the Indy Beer Mile.

So yesterday I made a trip to Indy’s neighboring State to do some research, check out some of the local venues, and meet with their respective managers (and also sample beer of course)!

(… And also, to clear up any confusion…it is a beer tour…not a Champagne tour…maybe I could call it the Champaign of Beers Tour? …If you have any clever thoughts on what this tour should be named…leave it in the comments section below!)

Here’s a general recap of my day of exploration and research for the beer tour in Champaign, IL:

I explored a quaint, little neighborhood that was holding hands with Midtown, about a five minute drive northwest of the University of Illinois campus. I noticed a lot of Art Deco buildings as well as several sculptures sprinkled throughout. In this artful part of town were a lot of casual bars, cute eateries, and other trendy spots. Definitely a place for a fun mini-getaway if you don't like the draw of a major city. 

I enjoyed creepin' up on some places lol:

...BTW ..."Mr. Eggwards" here looks like he's up to no good. I don't trust him!

Mr. Eggwards, Champaign IL

Ok, so usually when I'm in a new place, I try to blend in and at least act like I know where I'm going (even if I don't) ...because I personally think it's good practice to not stand out like you're lost! But in the case of being there for research and taking it all in ...I definitely stood out like someone not from the area. The people were friendly though. I kept getting asked if I needed help, which was good because then I was able to talk to the locals and get a feel for the neighborhood!  

When I told one such gentleman about why I was there and what I was doing he exclaimed, "Oh! ...you've gotta go to the Blind Pig!" Which happened to be the place of my first meeting:

Brewster is the name of Blind Pig Brewery's mouser cat. Isn't he adorable! ...They also gave me some beer to take home! The inside of the brew pub has the feel of an english pub. love it!

There were other really cool stops I made on my research trip...like Seven Saints:

I loved the decor at Seven Saints! They've used a lot of repurposed materials found at various places like estate sales, churches, and even a chocolate factory! Plus there's a neat mural of a local town hero in the outdoor seating area.

Destihl Brewery

Destihl Brewery had a nice selection of beer. Everything I tasted was great! They're especially known for their Gose...which is a German-style ale usually with a sour/salty characteristic that is starting to trend. 

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I'm really excited to add this tour to my Drinking with Beers collection of drinking tours! Look for its official release coming soon. Make sure you're signed up for "Booze News" (or just "subscribe via email" below to get notified!