Beer is great, beer with your friends even greater. Beer with your friends that bring back beer from distant lands (or from breweries not distributed in Chicago) is fantastic and are the best of friends. Thus, I started my craft beer drinking on a work day with:
Schlafly Pale Ale: One of the best American-made examples of a British Pale Ale. Sessionable to the max.
Boulevard Boss Tom's Golden Bock: A fantastic, slightly strong lager. Clearly made by people that care.