Where to start? Well first off definitely wished we had more time down there, lots of places we didn't get to go to. Unfortunately, Haymarket was one of them, but here's how it went. It was JB84, myself, and 2 other friends who aren't beer geeks, but are being converted slowly. Not being afraid of germs, for the most part we all ordered different pints and had a few sips of each.
Before reaching Chicago, we stopped at Bell's, which despite under going renovations was still great. After Bell's a slight detour to Three Floyd's, and then to Chicago. A lot of the trip is hazy, but I'll try my best.
Local Option: Great tap list, only looked at/had appetizers, but they were good. Music was fairly loud, we were sitting at the bar and service was great. Bartender was informative and gave great recommendations when we were stuck on what to choose next.
Goose Island (Clybourn): Liked Goose Island quite a bit, although I don't remember much of it. Great tap and bottle list and I enjoyed my food. We were in a booth in the corner so noise wasn't much of an issue. Service was very good.
Ended the first night after that as we were all tired from a long drive, and a LOT of beer.
West Lakeview for bottle shopping, about $400 worth of bottles, with a few special bottles that were hidden in the cellar offered to us from Kristina, the owner of the shop.
We tried to go to Frontera Grill/Topolobampo for lunch, but it was an hour wait and we were hungry....and thirsty.
Piece Pizzeria and Brewpub: Quite possibly our favourite place on the trip, GREAT thin crust pizza, tried 7 of 8 brewpub offerings they had, and a few guest taps. Atmosphere was great, despite it being extremely busy. It is because of this place that we didn't get to try as many places as we wanted. Thanks for the recommendation Terry and Emma!!
Map Room: Once again great tap list, bottle list was good, but there's better in the city. Beer School was about to start so they took away a 3rd of the seating for patrons. Once again extremely busy, in terms of service, there was very little. Had to walk to the bar every time we wanted another drink, no bar tab either so had to pay each time. Not a huge deal, and still enjoyed it.
Hop Leaf: Again, extremely busy, very hard to find seating. And like Map Room, you had to get your own beer from the bar. Great tap and bottle list.
Sheffield's: I liked this place a lot, but I also already had a lot to drink before getting here. Food was fantastic, tap and bottle list were great. Service was exceptional, waitress wasn't totally knowledgeable about beer, but brought over a bartender when we had questions, received a beer that was either off or just not enjoyed (Flossmoor Station IPA,) and they took it off our bill.
That was it for Chicago.
Grand Rapids wasn't too exciting, but that could be because of the terrible drive from Chicago. Weather got really bad once we hit Michigan and we saw about 20 cars in ditches. Buffalo Wild Wing's was a good time, we didn't expect to have anything to drink there, but they had Two Hearted on tap, and well, we had a lot of that. I expected a lot more out of Founder's, beer was good, except for the Kaiser Curmudgeon, which tasted like Forty Creek, which I like, but not in a pint sized serving. Biggest let down was that we didn't get to go to Hop Cat.
All in all a great trip!
Sorry for the long post.