I am brewing in my boots because in t-minus two weeks a storm will descend on Chitown like the Windy City has never seen before. No, not snowpocalypse or snowmaggeden–hopefully–instead this beer blizzard will rain glorious sheets of suds upon its Chicago citizens. Yes, my friends Chicago Craft Beer Week awaits a “hop” skip and a jump around the beer bend.
While picking the top 5 events to go to seems a near impossible task akin with, oh I don’t know, the Cubs winning the World Series or a 65% ABV beer; I have faith. After all Joe Madden manages things now at Wrigley Field and beer gets stronger by the day so I’ll pull up my bootstraps, dig through my floor-to-ceiling-filled CCBW Google calendar and tell you which 5 events I cannot miss….
Thu. May 14th 7:00pm Paddy Long’s 1028 W. Diversey
The first night most CCBW patrons will venture to Beer Under Glass (hopefully no mud wrestling will occur this year), but for a twist give Beer Under Tin a try (Bonus: no $60 ticket required). Two creative and unique breweries–Metropolitan and Off Color–will battle Paddy Long for the Das Boot. Drafts will be pouring from both breweries and as an added bonus. Metropolitan’s brewer Doug and PK will be taping an episode of Just Keep Tastin’ LIVE. The web series features those two tasting rare beers in a unique way. It’s going to be crazy.
Honorable Mention: Keep the Pint Night featuring Ballast Point Grapefruit/Habanero Sculpin
Thu. May 14th 10:00am-8:00pm The Open Bottle 7101 183rd St, Unit 105 Tinley Park, IL
It’s a bit of a trek and I probably won’t have time, but if you do, The Open Bottle will be pouring Ballast Point’s Grapefruit and Habanero Sculpin. I’ve seen the Grapefruit Sculpin around Chicago, have heard great reviews, but have yet to try it. The Habanero Sculpin on the other hand I chanced upon at Big Star several years ago and have had steam coming out of my ears for ever since. While Maria’s Packaged Goods and Community Bar had the Habanero on tap a couple months ago I couldn’t make it out there. Additionally, this event features something unique…they’re creating a 16oz draft which combines 50% Grapefruit Sculpin and 50% Habanero Sculpin. What!? Tongue tantalized. (Also, I can keep the pint glass, which if you’ve read my blog you’ll know I am an avid collector of glassware…we’re talking klepto territory).
- Women in Craft Beer
Ok, so I’m going to cheat a bit on this one. As a girl beer blogger dipping her toes into the Chicago beer scene I really want to support my fellow females in the industry. So…I’ve doubled up here.
Fri. May 15th 6:00pm-11:00pm The Sedgwick Stop 1612 N. Sedgwick
All 14 taps will feature beer brewed by a women or brews from a women-owned craft brewery. Brewers will be on-hand for a meet and greet, as well.
Thu. May 21st 7:00pm-10:00pm Riverview Tavern 1958 W Roscoe St.
Shout out to Kim from the wonderful blog, Hail To The Ale, for creating this event. All-female-brewed collab beers will take over the taps and brewers will be on-hand.
Donations from pint sales and raffle tickets will go towards the Chicago Chapter of “Dress For Success,” a charity that provides professional clothing and resources to disadvantaged women.
Tue. May 19th 5:30pm-11:30pm CHAOS Brew Club 2417 W Hubbard St.
Because my 2014 New Year’s Resolution was to learn how to homebrew…and my 2015 NYE Resolution didn’t change. CHAOS, the first beer club in the nation with their own brew space, hosts monthly brew days, but this one is extra special since it’s CCBW. Education Chair, Matt Omura will be taking attendees through an all grain brew. Whether you’re a novice, like myself, or a homebrew extraordinaire you’ll have a chance to check out the CHAOS community brew space, shoot the beer breeze, sample some home brew, learn a thing or two…and maybe even cross off a New Year’s Resolution.
Thu. May 21st 6:00pm-Fri. May 22nd 2:00am. DryHop Brewers 3155 N. Broadway
I have to give a shout out to DryHop. My favorite neighborhood brewery and place to hang out, DryHop continually brews solid iterations of hop-centric ales along with Belgian and experimental brews. They’re featuring a Northside vs Southside gauntlet. Breweries from both areas will be “tapping in” if you will. From the Northside: newcomer Alarmist, Aquanaut and Metropolitan. In the South’s corner: Moody Tongue, Motor Row, and Marz. Go sit inside DryHop’s beautiful buzzing, gastropub space–complete with garage door windows that open onto Broadway–and soak up the best of Chicagoland’s beer.
Fri. May 22nd 4:00pm The Green Lady 3328 N. Lincoln Ave
I love the Green Lady…which usually hosts South of 80 during CCBW (hmm)…I love sour beer…easy decision.
Fri, May 15th 6:00pm Fischman Liquors & Tavern 4780 N. Milwaukee Ave.
Avery Legends will be poured. Avery Rarities will be excavated from the secret corners of the Earth they’re usually hidden in. Even Avery Vintages will be brought out for an extra special treat. And the Avery Brew crew, including Andy Parker, Special Projects Director who creates all the special sours & barrel aged beers, will be on hand. Here’s the list…
White Rascal – Witbier
Czar – Russian Imperial Stout Old
Uncle Jacob’s Stout – Barrel-Aged imperial Stout 18% ABV
Tweak – Barrel-Aged Imperial Coffee Stout 17% ABV
Lilikoi Kepolo – Passionfruit Witbier 5.6% ABV
Insula Multos Collibus – strong sour beer aged in fresh Bourbon barrels for around 9 months and fermented with a small amount of cherries. Inspired by flavors of a Manhattan. 9.7% ABV
Fortuna – sour ale aged in Suerte Tequila barrels for 9 months. Inspired by flavors of a Margarita. Fresh lime zest and maldon salt is added once beer is taken out of the barrels. 8% ABV
The Beast 2011 – Strong Dark Ale 17%ABV
The Reverend 2010 – Quadruple 10% ABV
Extras: (because picking 5 is too damn hard):
Fri May 15th 7:00pm-10:00pm Star Lounge 2521 W. Chicago Ave $90
This event sounds beastly. $55: 1 limited edition collectors chalice (remember I’m a klepto), 5 course roaming dinner and beer pairing, featuring food from chefs Mike Bancroft and Anne Kostroski of Sauce and Bread Kitchen and Stew Supper Club. Pipeworks pouring the brews. Dark Matter’s Star Lounge providing the venue. If you want to VIP upgrade $95 gets you dinner, 1 Pipeworks Bomber, the full set of 3 limited edition chalices, 1 bottle of Co-op Sauce Unicorn Tears, and 1 bag of Dark Matter Unicorn Blood coffee. Holy smoke the goat that’s awesome.
An event older than Chicago craft beer week itself. Beer + art + food. 10 homebrewers create a beer and pair it with a dish, then 10 local artists perform a short piece inspired by the beer.
Tue, May 19th 6:00pm-9:00pm The Long Room 1612 E. Irving Park Rd.
A showcase of breweries located along the brown line…spoiler alert…there are plenty. The night also brings together local Certified Cicerones. Any event that brings together a bunch of Cicerone Certified people can’t be missed. That’s to the beer world what a Mensa gathering would be to gamers or I don’t know if Einstein, Newton, and Socrates all had a drink at the pub together. Great beer + crazy smart beer people=unbeatable.
Sun, May 17th 2:00pm-6:00p Goose Island Barrel Warehouse 605 N. Sacramento Blvd.
Breweries fight to the death…dodgeball style. Plus Goose Island beer.
Tue, May 19th 6:00pm-10:00pm Emporium Arcade Bar Logan Square 2363 N. Milwaukee Ave
Because apparently I like to watch breweries fight to the death…this time air hockey style. Play games and drink Revolution beer.
Wed, May 20th 5:00pm
IPA’s, of course, are still all the range. Travel down Division and across the coast to try different styles:
Bangers and Lace=East Coast IPA’s
Fatpour=West Coast IPA’s
Thu, May 21st 6:00pm
Now, in its third year the NW Side Craft Beer Ride pairs up NW Side Bars with Chicago breweries. Everyone is connected via a “craft beer transit system” i.e. 4 shuttle buses. Great way to see some new bars while still drinking your favorite Chicago area brews. Who knows you might find a new favorite watering hole
Participating bars: Rabbit’s Bar and Grill, Lake Effect Brewing Company (offering tours and tastings via Phoenix Bar), Side Kicks, Templestowe Pub, Christines Place, Breakroom Brewery, Montrose Saloon, Fishcmans Liquors and Tavern, Community Tavern, Hops and Barleys
Participating Breweries: Pipeworks, Ale Syndicate, Pollyanna, middle brow, Alarmist Brewing, Bucket List/Blue Nose, Finch’s Beer Company, Lake Effect Brewing, Rude Hippo, Breakroom Brewery and Brickstone Brewery.
Thu, May 21st 6:00pm Fireside Restaurant and Lounge 5739 N. Ravenswood Ave
Wood-aged and barrel-aged beasts galore will be flowing:
Goose Island 2014 BCS
Founder’s Backwoods Bastard
The Bruery 2013 Oude Tart
The Bruery Sucre
Tighthead barrel-aged Old Kaya Dog Barleywine
Great Divide Oak Aged Yeti
Central Waters Bourbon Barrel Stout
Bridgeport Oak Aged Old Knucklehead
Clown Shoes The Peace That Money Can’t Buy
Upland Barrel Chested Barleywine
Temperance Manhattan Barrel Aged Might Meets Right
Dogfish Head Burton Baton
Jolly Pumpkin Luciernaga
Jolly Pumpkin Madrugada
And…a bit of…2014 Founder’s KBS…first come, first serve
Thu, May 21st 7:00pm-9:15pm The Berghoff Restaurant 17 W. Adams St.
So much going on this night! But, it’s always good to have options. John Hannafan is a beer consultant and director of education at Chicago’s Siebel Institute while Randy Mosher needs no introduction. He’s a nationally recognized author and expert in beer and brewing. The two brew masterminds join forces with The Berghoff Brewery and Berghoff Restaurant for a night of food and education. Randy will be signing copies of his book Mastering Homebrew: The Complete Guide to Brewing Delicious Beer.