Chicago Beer Week Top 3 Picks
For the past 7 years, I have been traveling to Chicago at least once a year. Growing up as a Cubs fan in Portland, Oregon and later working for Groupon, provided for a multitude of reasons to visit the Windy City. Every trip to Chicago I have done my craft beer due diligence from attending The Festival of Wood And Barrel-Aged Beers (FOBAB) to studying which stadium has the better craft beer Stadium, Wrigley Field or Guaranteed Rate Field. Unfotunealty, the answer is the latter. Though it is a good time to be a Cubs fan with their recent World Series victory.
To get to know the beer scene of any city I check out their events, breweries, craft beer bars, restaurants, bottle shops, grocery stores and even dive bars to gauge the sense of how much of a craft beer destination a given city is. For Chicago, this means visiting places like Half Acre Beer, Binny’s Beverage Depot, The Lone Wolf and Au Cheval to name a few.
I can proudly say Chicago is now a craft beer town. Today as I write this blog post I am flying from my home in Portland, Oregon to Chicago for my first Chicago Beer Week. As for someone who has been involved in the organizing of Portland Beer Week, I know the amount of hard work and passion it takes to pull off a long week of beer events.
Chicago Beer Week is spearheaded by the Illinois Brewers Guild with support from the local brewing community. The extended beer week of events runs from May 18th – 25th, 2017. Like most beer weeks there is a kick off party (we will get to that later), beer festivals, meet the brewers and unique events like Goose Island’s Brewers Dodge Ball Tournament. With so many events to choose from, I found 3 that I will attend for sure. I need to save some time for going to a Cubs game and the Saved By The Bell Max diner pop-up. Here are my 3 must attend events.
1. Beer Under Glass- Thursday, May 18th | 5:30-9:30 pm
Garfield Park Conservatory | 300 N. Central Park Ave., Chicago IL 60624
What better way to get your bearings for Chicago Beer Week than surrounding yourself with over 100 different breweries, brewers, industry folks and craft beer geeks. Beer Under Glass kicks of Chicago Craft Beer Week at the Garfield Park Conservatory. Enjoy the beautiful indoor and outdoor gardens while trying some hard to get beers. In addition to beer, a number of food carts will be on hand offering local flavor. VIP tickets are sold out, but general admission tickets are still available for $60. The cost includes: Includes entry at 6:30 pm + tasting glass + sample pours.
2. Revolution CCBW Putt-Putt | Friday, May 19th – Sunday, May 21st.
Revolution Brewing | 3340 N Kedzie Ave • Chicago, IL 60618
Miniature golf counts as exercise, right? The crew at Revolution Brewing has built a 9-hole mini golf course throughout their production brewery. Tickets are $40 for a reservation. This gets you and 3 friends a reserved 30-minute time slot and each a can of Revolution's new crushable beer, Sun Crusher. Don’t have three friends? Well, that is too bad. You can also show up to the brewery for drop in play for $10 with a can of Sun Crusher to drink away your sorrows.
3. Ultra Fresh II | Saturday, May 20th – 4-8 pm
Right Way Signs | 2333 N. Seeley Ave., Chicago
So fresh and so clean, clean. No one likes out of date beer. Drinking beer the freshest possible is what the brewer intended. Our friends at the Hop Review decided to bring back their Ultra Fresh Hop II festival, promising the freshest beer around. All of the beer from the fest is either kegged or canned within 5 days of the event. General Admission is $35 an includes: Entry, an Ultra Fresh can of Revolution welcome beer, a Half Acre branded tasting glass, and drink tickets for a sample of each brewery. Additional tickets available. Food available for purchase.
These are just some of the events that I will be attending that are even local Chicago beer geek approved. For more events from the real insiders check out the following:
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