Meet Forbidden Root Brewery

forbidden root

Chicago beers crafted with all natural, unique ingredients.

The Chicago beer scene is dense, packed with world-class, original and exciting breweries and brew pubs. As such, it can be hard for a new brewery to make a name for itself and break away from the distinguished competition. Having good beer is the most important factor, but having a solid niche doesn’t hurt, either.

Forbidden Root ticks both boxes. Described as “the first botanical brewery in Chicago,” Forbidden Root’s recipes include unexpected ingredients like juniper, wormwood, ginger, marigold and fig leaves. While these may seem rather experimental in the modern landscape, the use of roots, flowers and other botanical elements in beers goes back to the earliest days of American brewing. Reviving these forgotten or largely ignored elements has given Forbidden Root a fresh space to occupy and grow its brand.

Related Post: The Manual Awards – Best of Chicago

Three of the flagship brews from Forbidden Root are Sublime Ginger, Money on My Rind and WPA.

Sublime Ginger is inspired by the flavors of the Florida Keys. The witbier base provides a mild, refreshing foundation to add the sinus-opening bright ginger and tart key lime juice. It’s the perfect antidote to the mid-winter blues. Honeybush and lemon myrtle additions prove that the brewery is serious about its botanicals. A light 3.8 percent alcohol by volume allows this to be a sessionable, any time selection.

Money on My Rind is also a wheat ale, but this time the flavor profile reflects the hearty additions of juniper and grapefruit. Similarly thirst quenching, Money on My Rind is mild on the hops, focusing instead on big, fresh, natural citrus flavors. A bit of pepper on the finish comes courtesy of grains of paradise.

Wildflower Pale Ale (or WPA) is a brew that pulls in more hop bitterness and slightly higher alcohol percentages to create a classic American Pale Ale base beer. On top of that comes elderflower, marigold and sweet osmanthus flowers. Brewed with Citra and Cascade hops and dry-hopped with Mandarina Bavaria hops, this is a rich, complex beer that makes its name through the subtle floral and herbal notes from the botanicals.

Forbidden Root’s exciting array of botanical ingredients and quality recipes extend deeper into its line with beers like Cherrytree Amaro (an Old Ale brewed with cherry stems, basil and cinnamon), Heavy Petal (featuring West African cocoa, toasted pecans and magnolia flowers) and Fernetic (an Imperial Black Ale with peppermint, saffron, rhubarb and more than a dozen other botanicals).

Learn more about Forbidden Root and its beers, restaurant and mission as a benefit corporation by visiting

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