If the trek to Wrigley from Fountainhead is a bit too much for a walk, you can’t miss Sheffield’s just a couple of blocks from the stadium down its eponymous thoroughfare. The night we stood in the unassigned outfield bleachers, the Cubbies lost to the Brewers, incongruously winning the pennant at the same time as the Cardinals lost to the Giants. The 2016 World Series yielded a different result of course, and spirits were long riding high, and the enthusiasm in the air was electric as we made our way towards School St.
The post-game atmosphere in Sheffield’s was no less energetic, with fans and revelers-at-large packed into the bar area and spilling out into the beer and wine garden, even as the temperature continued to drop. The garden closes at 10pm in consideration of the bar’s neighbors, but inside, the beer keeps flowing. The 40 taps and nearly 100 bottled and canned options make Sheffield’s a shoo-in for Draftmag’s list of best bars in the country.
We were waking up in the morning for the drive to South Bend, but I had to pop in for at least one, an IPA from Chicago’s own Spiteful brewing, the current version 2.0 brewed with Amarillo and Citra hops for both a piney aroma and sharp bitterness. And, well, since we were staying right down School St, we might have dived into Higgins’ Tavern for a boilermaker too.
It’s always refreshing to find a craft beer oasis in the big beer deserts that are big event spaces like stadiums, especially one so iconic as Wrigley. Even if Goose Island was once a Chicago fixture, Anheuser got its macro hands on it and now offers the illusion of choice inside the ivy walls. But Sheffield’s beckons.