CHICAGO (CBS) – You've heard of "shop local," but now there's "drink local."
Chicago's tourism bureau is trying to pump up the craft brew scene with Wednesday's launch of a program filled with prizes and pilsners. CBS 2's Lauren Victory visited some special watering holes on the carefully curated list.
At Eris Brewery and Cider House, a pretty lady is more than a logo.
"Here's how to tell that we're women-owned," said part-owner Katy Pizza.
There are just a few subtle reminders of the female touch at Eris, including purse hooks.
"All of the women's rooms have natural light," Pizza said. "I think that may have been an accident, but we also had a female architect."
Pizza said the proudly woman-owned business also draws crowds because of its Old Irving Park location.
"The building is gorgeous, just as a destination," Pizza said. "It's a historic building."
There are rumors of a ghost haunting the building.
Karl Rutherford is working on Twisted Hippo's rise from the ashes after a 2022 fire destroyed his Albany Park brewpub.
"We were notified pretty quickly that it would be a complete loss," Rutherford said, the pub's co-owner.
But Twisted Hippo landed on its feet at District Brew Yards, taking turns with three other beer-making companies on their equipment. Each beer a customer pours in the shared self-service area helps keep the brand's name out there as they plan for the future.
"Without it, we would be completely off the market," Rutherford said. "We could probably make beer in another place, but we would not really have a physical home."
These are just some of the unique stories at Chicago breweries that curious customers can discover using their phone but not through Google. They can use a new program called Chicago Brew Pass.
"Driving people out into our neighborhoods and visiting these breweries is very important to us," said Jason Lesniewicz, the director of cultural tourism for Choose Chicago.
The city's tourism bureau is behind the initiative. More than 20 craft breweries are on the list. A map helps customers hop their way across the city. Location-sensing technology certifies each check-in for points that can be redeemed for a glass, hat, or sling bag.
"The prizes is a way to maybe encourage people to visit one more or go beyond the ones they might be used to," Lesniewicz said.
They hope to expand palates and encourage customers to shop local.
Signing up for the Chicago Brew Pass is free. Prizes are shipped for free too.
for more features.