It was 7 p.m. on a Friday night. It also happened to be game 3 of the Blackhawks-Sharks series. So, when I drove over to Lunar Brewing in Villa Park, I though the crowd was going to be spilling into the street and that there would be a long wait. I was surprised, as I walked into the dim light of the establishment, to find the bar mostly seated and all the tables empty. The game was about to start. Where was everybody? Well, “everybody” seemed to be locals, and they trickled in slowly. By the second period (and my second beer), the place was brimming with drunk, die-hard Hawks fans. Is there any other way to enjoyably watch a Blackhawks game in Chicago? I can’t think of one.
Although I wanted to try all their beer, Lunar does not offer flights of beer (a sampler). Since I know what I like and was accompanied by two beer aficionados, I was able to try the best (and most) of what they had to offer. My first pint was the Total Eclipse Stout, and was characterized by an toasty, acrid flavor. It felt a little watery, but was a surprisingly refreshing trait since it was a somewhat warm that day. Other in-house brewed bevvies include the Barrel Aged Moondance IPA (fermented in a bourbon barrel and served in a 9 oz. snifter), the Moon Beam Steam (a lighter beer with a 4.5% ABV), and an Alien Alt (lower alcohol, German-style ale). There are more space/moon-themed beers that Lunar makes, but you’ll have to go to their bar and check out the chalkboard that lists all the available beers (as they do not have a website and do not update their MySpace very often). Besides their own, Lunar offers a variety of guest taps and bottles from all over the US. Among the guest taps: Stone’s Arrogant Bastard, Lagunitas’ Hairy Eyeball, Two Brothers’ Cane and Ebel, and Tyranea’s Dirty Old Man Imperial Porter.
In decor and mood, I personally liked Lunar. The bartender was great, informed, and quick. This is a self-serve atmosphere from the food to the beer, so don’t sit at a table and expect someone to come and take your order. You have to go to the bar if you want to a drink. Unless you crave something other than Slim Jim’s and potato chips, you won’t find anything substantial to eat here except salty, vending machine-type snacks. There is a Jewel across the street, and there are other restaurants and pizzerias in the area that deliver. Near the end of the night, a group of 20-somethings came in with a couple bags packed with sushi. Another table had a large pizza delivered. Either way, you can get what you need to make your experience fulfilling, and Lunar will provide the beer.
54 E. St. Charles Rd. Villa Park, IL 60181