Hamburger Mary’s located in the Andersonville neighborhood of Chicago is a combination of three spaces.  Mary’s is comprised of Hamburger Mary’s restaurant, Mary’s Attic a performance space and nightclub, and Mary’s Rec Room a sports bar.  The brewer, Brandon Wright, is a self taught home-brewer who brewed out of necessity while living in Saudi Arabia.  (Yes, drinking beer is a necessity)

In summary decent beer, great food and fun atmosphere, but read the details before going.

The Beer:
Overall, good $5 beer, but there is some room for improvement.

Mary’s has all the macro drafts people like me hate.  At the same time Mary’s usually has about four drafts of on premise brewed beer and four special reserve options in bottles.  Additionally, mead makes a regular appearance on the special reserve list.  Mary’s really is a nano-brewery where beer produced is better measured in gallons than barrels.  The beer here is inventive and locally produced both of which are big hits in the Andersonville bar scene.

Unfortunately, the quality of the beer can be hit or miss.  While the brewer definitely pushes boundaries with beer like Sweet Potato Ale and Oatmeal Cookie Stout amongst others, he has quality control issues.  Problem number one is that batches of brew are not always consistent from one to another.  I have gone in and ordered a beer and ordered the same beer a few weeks later to only encounter a totally different flavor.

Additionally, sometimes a metallic off flavor occurs in the beer.  I know the brewer boils in the kitchen and uses pails to cart beer into the fermenters.  I theorize there is a huge opportunity to impart metal flavors into beer and possibly contamination.  Mary’s needs to really dedicate space for a proper small scale brewhouse.

I would say beer more often than not is a hit instead of a miss.  I think with construction of a proper brewhouse and more formal training on the brewing process will greatly assist Mary’s beer making adventures. Additionally, the staff is very uneducated about the beer selection with the one exception of Alexie.  Sorry, but that girl knows her stuff.

The Food:
Mary’s has a great selection of $10 burgers and a few entrées.  Remaining conscious of the needs of others Mary’s lets you transform almost any red meat selection into chicken or a vegetarian option.  There are also those naughty treats you want to try, but are a little scared of, like deep-fried Twinkies.

The Atmosphere:
The Attic and original restaurant areas are eclectic, flashy and flamboyant while the Rec Room is much more subdued and has several TVs.  Mary’s is constantly having events from bingo night to trivia check out their calendar here for a chance to have a good time.


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