Attention all beer enthusiasts! Come taste an assortment of beers from local, national and international breweries at these one-of-a-kind Chicago beer festivals and events.
Stroll through lively neighborhood streets at the Chicago Craft Beer Festival or experience a ground-level view of Soldier Field at the American Beer Classic. To escape the cold weather, there are many indoor festivals during the fall and winter months as well, including the monthly Nature on Tap series at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum.
Chicago has put itself on the map for big festivals and great beer — what a perfect match when they are together! Listed below are year-round opportunities to experience both throughout 2016. Browse the calendar or explore more beer and brewery experiences at choosechicago.com/craftbeer.
Chicago Beer Festival
Domestic and international breweries will be sampling their spring seasonal beers at the massive hall in Union Station for this year's event. Two sessions are available, one in the afternoon and one at night-two opportunities to join the fun!
American Beer Classic
The American Beer Classic returns with 100 breweries and 50 unique brew samples at the one and only Soldier Field Stadium, home of the Chicago Bears. While sampling at this outdoor event, guests have the option to participate in the Most Valuable Brew competition, join the educational sessions and rock out to live music.
Beer Under Glass
To kick-off Chicago Craft Beer Week, come to Beer Under Glass at the Garfield Park Conservatory. Enjoy the Conservatory's eight indoor display houses and outside gardens after-hours as you sip brews from some of Chicagoland's hottest craft breweries in your souvenir glass. Popular local restaurants will serve up tasty, comfort style, small plates.
Known as the original Mayfest, this celebration kicks off the start of Chicago's summer festivals. The fest takes place in the Lakeview neighborhood with live music, German food, and fun! Some of its features include family-friendly activities and an outdoor beer garden.
Chicago Craft Beer Week
Join the 7th annual Chicago celebration of craft beer, coinciding with American Craft Beer Week. Multiple venues participate in CCBW with tastings of rare beers, food and beer pairing, special events, and more.
Welles Park Craft Beer Fest - Official Closing Event of CCBW
The 2nd Annual Welles Park Craft Beer Fest is the official closing craft beer event of Chicago Craft Beer Week. The city's largest craft beer "party in the park" will be hosted within beautiful Welles Park. Located in the growing and prospering 47th Ward, Welles Park a 15-acre park is located in the heart of Lincoln Square at Lincoln and Montrose Avenues.
Crap Beer Day
Thalia Hall will celebrate that special beverage we all love to love - the ever refreshing, ice cold, and easy drinking Crap Beer. You know the stuff: it's filling the back of your fridge, it's your go to partner for life's everyday activities. The second annual event will feature $1 beers in excess, Buckets of Crap for cheap and High Life 40's with bottle service and champagne flutes. An indoor cook-in will serve up the best snacks to eat with crap beer.
Lincoln Square hosts this four-day festival celebrating German culture with food, entertainment, and a lot of beer. Join in the Gemütlichkeit and dance the night away!
Brew to Be Wild
Tap your inner animal - and savor some great craft beers - at the second annual "Brew to Be Wild" tasting event at Chicago's Lincoln Park Zoo. This unique happening at the acclaimed animal park features a selection from more than 75 specialty brews from 35-plus local and regional breweries. Beyond samplings, a DJ will provide snappy beats, food will be available for purchase, and lawn games will add to the fun.
Chicago Ale Fest
Located at Buckingham Fountain in historic Grant Park, bordered by the Chicago skyline and Lake Michigan, Chicago Ale Fest features more than 200 beers from over 100 American craft breweries. The fest will also feature live music and food from some of Chicago's favorite restaurants.
Brew Cruise with Shoreline Sightseeing
June 17, July 15 & August 15
Sip on microbrews from Revolution Brewing and munch on appetizer pairings during a 90-minute Chicago River Cruise. The cruise will board at Shoreline's dock at Polk Bros Park at the southwest corner of Navy Pier. Come join the fun, including live music and remarkable views!
Craft Beer Festival at The Morton Arboretum
Drink quality craft beers among the trees at The Morton Arboretum's outdoor festival paired with live music and serene surroundings.
Tour de Fat
A celebration of beer and all things bicycle! This New Belgium Brewery event travels to multiple cities and continues to grow in popularity. A costumed bike parade will begin the festival followed by live music, food selections, and a lot of beer.
The Chicago-stop celebrations will be located at Palmer Square.
Chicago Open Air
Chicago Open Air is a three-day music, craft beer and Gourmet Man Food festival. See performances by over 40 bands, chow down on local and regional cuisine, sip on top brews from the region, and enjoy other entertainment and fan experiences.
Chicago Craft Beer Festival
Showcasing specialty, seasonal and small batch beers from local, regional and national craft brewers, the centerpiece of Chicago Craft Beer Fest is ticketed afternoon tasting passes where aficionados will be able to sample from more than 80 craft beers from over 40 brewers each afternoon.
Brooklyn Brewery Mash Tour: Beer Mansion
Come wander through a post-industrial labyrinth with Brooklyn Brewery and explore the foibles and oddities of the wide world of beer. Encounter live music, arcade games, food trucks, and plenty more throughout the night.
Oak Park Microbrew Review
Enjoy your beer and be green, too! Oak Park's sustainable microbrew festival in their downtown area features over 70 craft brewers and 200 craft beers, food tastings from local farmers with organic practices, and fun challenges like the "ReplicAle" project.
Enjoy bears and beers, lions and lagers, anteaters and ales... all at Brookfield Zoo's fifth annual ZooBrew. ZooBrew is a one-of-a-kind, unique beer-tasting event featuring over 80 beers.
Motor Row Craft Beer & Wine Fest
Sample both microbrews and wines at this festival's historic location: Motor Row. Once being home to car showrooms and repair shops, Motor Row has become quite the hot spot for craft brewing in Chicago. Enjoy samples of beer or wine, a complimentary souvenir tasting glass, and live music, food, art and more.
Beverly Brews Fest
Unlimited tastings and special food pairings come together at this 3rd annual event at the Beverly Art Center. More than 25 craft breweries will be on hand — including big local names like Band of Bohemia and Vice District — as well as a slew of food trucks.
Cider Cruise with Shoreline Sightseeing
A 90-minute tour of Lake Michigan will be accompanied by a cider tasting with paired light appetizers while taking in breaktaking views of the Chicago skyline. The cruise will board at Shoreline's dock at Polk Bros Park at the southwest corner of Navy Pier.
Lagunitas Beer Circus
Freaktacular entertainment (and of course, beer!) headline this traveling tasting event. But if you didn't already get your ticket, we're sad to say you need to watch the calendar for next year's event since the 2016 circus is already sold out in Chicago.
Independence Park Beer Fest
Craft beer, food trucks and live music will kick off this celebration that benefits the local neighborhood park. On tap to showcase their brews are Ale Syndicate, Aquanaut Brewing, Half Acre Beer Co., Haymarket Brewing Company, Lake Effect Brewing, Motor Row Brewing, Old Irving Brewing and many more.
Oktoberfest Party at Revolution Brewing Kedzie
A 3-part session, each pouring special beers in the brewery's backlot, is the core of this seasonal celebration. A $10 admission fee gets you a Oktoberfest .5 liter stein full of beer, plus live tunes, but plan on trying other ales and food too: the menu includes Oktoberfest-brined smoked chickens and Oktoberfest Bratwurst.
St. Alphonsus Roman Catholic Church hosts its annual Oktoberfest celebration! The three-day family-friendly festival will be located inside and outside the church on the streets of the Lakeview neighborhood with craft beer tastings occurring Friday and Saturday night, and live music, local food vendors, and family-friendly activities each day.
Belgian Fest 2016 at Goose Island Clybourn
Handcrafted Belgian-style ales take the spotlight at this annual celebration. Nearly 20 different Chicagoland breweries (i.e. Band of Bohemia, Cruz Blanca, Motor Row, Vice District) will be on hand and $40 general admission gets you in, and even better, benefits the IL Craft Brewers Guild.
Blocktoberfest at Dusek's
The second annual block party takes the suds outdoors to the streets. Pilsen hotspot Dusek's Board & Beer is headquarters for the FREE event where beer will flow freely, while all-ages fun include bocce ball, games, face painting, food and live DJ music.
Logan Square Beer Festival
Logan Square's fourth annual beer festival brings 20 breweries and over 50 beers to local Chicagoans! There will be a Brewery Swag Raffle Giveaway, live music from local bands, and commemorative Logan Square Beer Fest glass mugs.
Chicago Bacon & Beer Classic
Only a mega venue like historic football stadium Soldier Field could contain this manly combination: over 30 bacon-infused dishes and over 80 beers from Midwest breweries! Oh, and giant Jenga, a bungee run and a bacon eating contest too.
Das Bueno Oktoberfest at Cruz Blanca Brewery and Taqueria
Did you know... ? Germany first introduced beer into Mexico in the 1800s and the traditional German lager has had the largest influence on Mexican beer through the ages — the very same German lagers that are consumed in abundance during Oktoberfest. To celebrate the merging of these two great cultures, Cruz Blanca will party it up with live music, Strausburg bretzels by La Fournette, sausage sticks by West Loop Salumi and a special Oktoberfest taco created by Rick Bayless. Taste two new seasonal brews, Oktoberfest Vienna Lager and Das Bueno Dopplebock, served alongside Basica IPL, CDMX German Pilsner and Verano Kolsch.
Fulton Market Harvest Fest
Curated by two of Chicago's top chefs — Stephanie Izard (Girl & the Goat) and Paul Kahan (Publican) — this inaugural autumnal bash will bring together local breweries and restaurants (big name heavy hitters like Goose Island, Boulevard Brewing Company, Bell's, Founders Brewing) along with stages for music and cooking demonstrations. Taking over Fulton Market Street for a day, the outdoor fest costs $25 and includes a custom glass beer stein.
Beer, Brats and Boats Cruise with Shoreline Sightseeing
The Oktoberfest Beer, Brats and Boats cruise features a traditional German dinner prepared and served by Paulina Market with beer pairings. Guests can experience a fun Oktoberfest atmosphere with live music and dancing. The cruise will board at Shoreline's dock at Polk Bros Park at the southwest corner of Navy Pier. Come enjoy this unique Oktoberfest celebration!
German music, brats and that beverage of choice (beer!) will all be on the menu for this inaugural outdoor fest in the West Loop. Bring your best Oktoberfest outfit and get ready for a 3-day party with lots of "oompah."
A new — and huge! — venue is home to the sixth annual event: Cinespace Chicago Film Studios. A lots of space is required given that over 75 different breweries will be pouring out over 150 unique American craft beers. This is one of the city's original craft beers fests, and after a brief hiatus, it's coming back in a big way!
Festival of Barrel Aged Beers
Insiders know it as FoBAB — and they know this is the hottest ticket you can score if you want to enjoy the most exclusive beers out there. This is the country's largest celebration of wood and barrel-aged beers. This year's event features over 90 breweries and 300 individual beers that will be pouring at tables spread within an expanded 23,000 square foot space.
WINTER 2016-17... Keep a lookout for upcoming dates TBA!
Dark Side Beer Festival
Experience Wicker Park's popular arcade bar during their annual craft
beer festival, featuring an array of stouts, porters, black ales, black
IPAs, black saisons, barrel aged offerings and more. A ticket in equals
32 ounces of beer (eight samples) and a big bag of tokens! Full pours
will be available for purchase.
Frost Fest Craft Beer Festival
In its 2nd year, Frost Fest is the Northalsted Winter Warm-up! This
one-day, 2 sesssion winter party is the cure for anyone's cabin fever,
with activities for everyone. Frost Fest boasts Lakeview's largest craft
beer festival, featuring 41 local brewers serving their most famous
craft beers in a 5,000 square foot heated tent. Attendees can sample up
to 15 beers at one of two tasting sessions. Guests will dance the
afternoon away with live music and warm treats from various food trucks!
Windy City BREWHAHA
Organizers proudly claim that "Beer is a drink that helped found
America." For those that agree, get a taste of history and celebrate its
future at this tasting event featuring over 20 local breweries. Fill up
at one of two sessions, held at the Lacuna Artists Lofts in the Pilsen