Harrison’s Restaurant and Brewery: Tour de Beer Garden
This week we tested an Orland Park beer garden sheltered from outer distractions, fueled by in-house brewed beer.
Harrison’s puts both the beer and garden in beer garden.
For a restaurant and brewery nestled next to the busy barrages that are LaGrange Road and 159th Street, Harrison’s beer garden manages to shut all that away from its temporary dwellers. With craftily placed bushes and plants scattered around blocking distractions that plague many gardens – like massive numbers of cars driving around the area – Harrison’s creates a serene atmosphere to enjoy the warm weather with frosty beer.
And then there’s obviously the beer. From sweet fruit bases to pungent, hoppy face-puckerers, they craft a wide range of brew flavors. Add a Creole wallop to the common bar menu, with a mix of simple sandwiches to full entrees, and the result is a garden more than worthy for our Tour de Beer.
If you remember our first mention of this tour, we still have a list to fill.
1. Adult atmosphere: At the time we went, it was spacious and all adult. Beer is the focus of this place, and while the menu is broad to accommodate a discerning (and by that I mean narrow) child’s palette, this is clearly an adult stomping ground. The kitsch is kept to a minimum and that’s a good thing.
2. Beer selection: It helps that a sizeable part of the place is dedicated to making a good swath of brews. I paid tribute to summer with the Harrison’s Wheat. The usual downside to wheat is that’s all you taste, but this had a good sweet citrus back end to it, and some flowery notes.
Our fearless Tinley Park editor Carrie Frillman had the apricot beer, which she said wasn’t too sweet and had the flavor of real apricot. The brew has a kick, but isn’t overpowering, and has a hops bite at the end. Like Pale Ales? This could be for you.
Our just-as-fearless Mokena editor Paul Dailing tried the Brown Ale.
“I didn’t try this and immediately think it tasted like Newcastle or other popular browns,” he said. This is a good thing.
He also tried the Pale Ale, which he said was rather hoppy, but would be a good beer to drink when getting festive (and by festive, we mean having more than one).
3. Courteous wait staff. The glasses stayed full and the date and contents were written on our to-go containers. Nicely done.
4. Daily specials. They have them and they change depending on what new beers are available. The best bet is to check their Facebook page or give a call at 708-226-0100.
Every Thursday the Brewmaster’s special is available, where you can get a pint of beer, an appetizer and an entrée for a set price.
5. Plenty of seating. Very spacious. The tables have space between so you’re not hearing about a random person’s very gross medical ailment or severe surgery he or she recently had. Don’t act like you haven’t had the misfortune of learning way too much about someone’s inner body at a cramped beer garden.
6. Both shady and sunny options. Mostly shady, from a garden-length awning. But the breeze blows through, and in the event of a sudden rainstorm, as during our last visit, you and your beer will stay dry. Once the rains picked up a few drops trickled through but overall it does the job.
The Verdict: Go Here. Lots of comfort, shade from the heavy sun with a breeze, excellent beer selection and an eclectic menu to satisfy a group’s random tastes.