Tours of Chicago's Old Breweries & Saloons
For groups of 35 to 50. Take a narrated 4-hour tour of some of the
still-standing structures that once housed Chicago's famous (and
infamous) breweries and saloons. Includes a few of Al Capone's secret
About the Tour
The tour takes about 4 to 4.5 hours, depending on traffic. Years of experience doing these tours
have PROVEN that a tour that begins at 10 A.M. or earlier on a Sunday, can mean all the
difference between seeing as much as possible or sitting in a traffic jam on a Saturday afternoon
or before a Cub's game.
There are no individual tours. These jaunts are for groups of 25 to 50 participants. If you are a
member of a club, historical or genealogical society, tavern owner, etc. and can put together a
group, this is the perfect venue. If you own a tavern, there's nothing like having 50 customers
come back to your bar for a few hours of after-tour enjoyment.
Cost is $40 per person. There's a standard contract, half down 3 weeks before the tour, the
remainder 1 week before the tour. ALL TOURS WILL BE PREPAID.
We use a climate-controlled bus with toilet. No raggedy school buses.
There is no drinking nor smoking on the bus. If you need a smoke, we make plenty of stops and
get out to get a closer look at some of the buildings on the tour. If you need a smoke, grab one
before we reboard. We can also can arrange for the tour to begin and end at the Goose Island
brewpub on Clybourn. Take advantage of their fine selection of beers after the tour. I've done
this tour without drinking allowed onboard and with drinking onboard. Drinking onboard means
too much frat-house trouble, additional security deposits to the bus company, litter, unexpected
bodily fluids, etc., and doesn't make for an enjoyable tour for others. (Man, could I tell you some
Q. Can we go inside one of the breweries?
A. No. The last old-time Chicago brewery closed in 1978. We are touring what's left of the
existing structures. Many of them have been converted to condos, warehouses, or business sites
and wouldn't appreciate 50 people trampling through their front rooms while enjoying their
morning coffee. Goose Island Beer Company has a bottling plant on west Fulton but is not set up
Q. Will we stop for lunch?
A. No. C'mon. It's only a 4 to 4.5 hour tour. If we stop to eat, that's less sites that we will be able
to see. Eat a big breakfast or knock yourself out when we get back to the Goose Island brewpub.
O. Why is the tour so long?
A. Because if I shorten it, someone will complain that it's too short. Seriously, these sites are
scattered throughout the city -- mostly on the North Side -- and not lined up like museum
displays. It takes time to get from one site to another, especially if traffic becomes a problem.
Q. How many sites will we see?
A. All depends. Once again, traffic and even weather conditions can slow us down. Expect to view
anywhere between 12 to 20 sites.
Q. I paid but couldn't make it to the tour. Can I get a refund.
A. No. If you booked the tour through a group, talk to the organizer.
If it's beer-related or you need a unique perspective, a "How-To" presentation on beer
appreciation (with tastings), a beer-in-food demonstration, Chicago beer history, or on getting
your non-fiction work published, give me a call at 815.557.4608 or e-mail me at
To reserve a speaking date, a 50 percent deposit will be payable upon contracting the speaking
services. The deposit is refundable if cancellation is received 30 days prior to the event. If
canceled less than 30 days prior to the event, the deposit is non-refundable. Speeches can be
modified to apply to your group's particular needs.
* Speaker's fee or honorarium $300 for a 1 hour presentation plus travel, hotel or auxiliary
* Half-day (presentation, meet-and-greet) $400 plus travel, hotel and auxiliary expenses
* Full-day $600 plus travel, hotel or auxiliary expenses
Please call me with any questions. I'm located in the Chicagoland area. 815.557.4608
What's that bottle worth?
So you found an old beer bottle from Chicago and you want to know its value, the history of the
brewery, where it was located -- maybe put the bottle up on eBay -- and want me to help you
make some beer money. I usually get a good dozen of these e-mail requests each week and
when I explain that most of the info is in BEER: A History of Brewing in Chicago and send them a
link to purchase the book, they disappear.
Well friends, as they used to say in Chicago's old saloons, "There's no such thing as a free lunch."
I used to gladly do appraisals, especially when the requester had a good story behind the item
("It's been a treasured item in our family for years," "My mom said it belonged to her favorite
uncle,") and then find it on eBay 10 minutes after I gave my opinion on its value. No more.
I'll give you a no-frills estimate on the value of your beer bottles, trays, cans, etc. for the minimal
fee of $5, sent first to my PayPal account. I'll also need good digital pictures of the item from
various angles so I can gauge the quality of the item. If you want the brewery's history, location
and dates of operation, add another $5 for a total of $10. Go to PayPal and send the appraisal
fee to my account: firstname.lastname@example.org
If you have a big ticket item like an old stone lithograph, contact me with some good pictures and
tell me whatever you can about where it came from, how old it is, what you originally paid for it,
etc. If I can't help you, I'll steer you to someone who can.
*Need an article for your business, maybe something to pass on to a trade magazine with your
name on the byline?
*Have a copywriting request that needs to be "keyword" rich?
*Looking for the kind of news release that will get you calls from local and national media
*Own a restaurant and need an advertising/restaurant review that will give it a needed shot in
the financial arm?
*Have a manuscript that needs the unbiased eye of an editor?
*Can't quite get your book proposal in order?
*Have a book idea and have done the groundwork research but don't have the time to write it?
Consider my ghostwriting services.
*Considering writing a book but don't understand the publishing process or all your options?
Call or e-mail me with questions. 815.557.4608 <email@example.com>
Book Bob For Tours, Tastings & Libation-Filled Lectures