Tucked away in Clinton, Illinois’ downtown district is Two Doors Down Brewery, named for its directional relationship to Snapper’s, a sports bar and grill. Though the dark woods and grays show off a modern brewery aesthetic, the ambiance and friendly staff make even the out-of-towners feel like they’re a part of the community.
On a miserably cold and rainy “spring” day, my husband and I ventured over to Clinton after hearing from craft beer folks that this place was worth the short drive (about 35 minutes from Champaign-Urbana). It has two entrances: one directly into an adult video gaming area, and one that mainlines you into the bar. No matter which way you come in, the beer will still be flowing.
We ordered flights ($7.50) to maximize our tasting experience, and each selected four beers of the six they had on tap. We started with the Twisted Stem Cherry Ale, a popular choice, according to the staff. I could see why; it was delicious. It has a pretty blush color and a subtle tartness. It tasted like a dry cider instead of a sour beer. Our next sample was of the Mick Jager Lager, an every person’s beer. Its effervescence was fun to watch, and the flavor was crisp. Sipping on their Hefeweisen, you could taste wheat and yeast ingredients that make this type of beer a personal favorite. It was refreshingly light. A solid addition to the hef family.
As we moved down our double flights, we could smell the IPA before we even tasted it. The hops are definitely present, but it doesn’t have a bitter finish that can turn some people off. If you shop for craft beer for the IPAs, you’ll enjoy this. As the darker beer aficionado, my husband happily reviewed the two stouts on tap. Upon his first sip of Two Doors’ Electric Blanket Stout, he said, “Mmm...that’s good.” It’s a nice introductory stout with ribbons of vanilla flavor in each sip. Their Cherry Stout tasted like a grown-up cherry soda. The rich cherry undertones paired perfectly with the malty, roasted notes.
We popped in early in the afternoon, so we were able to chat with the staff and owner. The owner invited us down to Snapper’s to try Two Door’s Milkshake IPA because they did not have it on draft on at the brewery. We decided to make the short trip to put some food in our bellies, and we’re glad we did. It was a stellar recommendation. I don’t like IPAs, but I would order this to drink anytime I see it on draft. It looks like a typical amber-colored beer when placed in front of you. However, it has a smooth, creamy flavor that I’d attribute to the lactose in it. Although the name has Milkshake in it, it was light and drinkable with a meal. The end of our beer tour ended on a high note.
Two Doors Down Brewery opened in the summer 2018. They offer weekly specials (like $6 flight Fridays), bring in local musicians, and offer party reservations (showers, birthdays, reunions, etc.). Your own food can be brought in, or you can order from Snapper’s just two doors down….
Two Doors Down Brewery
112 N Warner St
M-Sa 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Su noon to 8 p.m.
Photos by Jordan Goebig