You can sip Kinslahger brews all over town. Ordering them in restaurants or picking up a pack to enjoy at home is great, but the Kinslahger Taproom is an experience all its own.
The cozy storefront space at 6806 Roosevelt Rd. fronts the brewery. Its early 1900s vibe harkens back to a time when local bars were neighborhood gathering places.
Owner Keith Huizinga wants to encourage that kind of interaction again, “It’s intimate. There’s no TVs. I want people to come down here, have a conversation with a friend or spouse or whoever, and enjoy the space.”
An ideal night at the taproom for him is one table with a group playing cards, another full of friends reconnecting, but the best is when new connections are made.
“It’s been so much fun since we’ve been open and I’m behind the bar to see people develop friendships.”
Kinslahger offers a variety of beverages beyond beer: craft wines, a rotating selection of unique cocktails, regionally made sodas, and even non-alcoholic brews. The menu celebrates small and often local businesses. Pretzels are served up from the Daly Bagel with house-made mustard. Other snacks are similarly curated: Japanese almonds, peanuts and a meat and cheese board. Customers are also welcome to order in or bring food from home.
Kinslahger’s reputation has soared over its almost 8 years in operation. Oak Park’s original brewery is focused on lager-style fermentation where the ingredients are the star of the show – rather than the brewing process itself, which is more common with ales. The bar’s draft line-up is a trip around the beer world: German dunkel, Baltic porter, New World lager. One of their most popular offerings is the Chicago Common, an ode to the bricks of the same name. The deep, earthly red is full-bodied with piney hops and rye spiciness.
Onsite Huizinga offers more limited-run options, “We do different flavors that we call the Weekly Kinsman, just something that’s always rotating through as a small batch. It’s fun for us to be creative.”
A favorite is a pilsner infused with a hint of jalapeno peppers and a Berlin weiss augmented with a dash of raspberry syrup. These are only poured in the taproom. Luring us in and providing a place to reconnect with community, make new friends, and enjoy conversation, just like our great-grandparents did before TV. … and we did a bit more before the pandemic.
6806 Roosevelt Rd., Oak Park
Thursday and Friday 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Saturday 2 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Sunday 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Available for private events
Credit card only