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CHICAGO BEER FESTIVALS & TASTING EVENTS

Beer festivals in Chicago span the entire calendar! Scroll down to discover one day, multi-day, and full week beer festivities for 2017.

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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 seasonal edition of Chicago Ale Fest.

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 2017. Browse the calendar or explore more beer and brewery experiences at choosechicago.com/craftbeer

 

WINTER 2017


 

Chicago Ale Fest
January 28, 2017
Celebrate American craft beer in the heart of Chicago. The massive ballroom at Navy Pier plays host to more than 150 brews (and ciders too!) while a lineup of local food trucks serving everything from fried chicken to pierogies will keep the crowds fed. On top of that, the DJ will be spinning an all-vinyl playlist. Tickets $50-60

Winter Brew
January 28, 2017
It's a weekend for beer lovers: take your pick between two events in the Lincoln Square/Ravenswood neighborhood. Saturday is a craft beer bonanaza at the DANK Hous German American Cultural Center, with local breweries showcasing at least two different selections (with some limited releases too!). For a more intimate experience, combo your ales with chef creations at the Friday night VIP Food & Beer Pairing being held at Architectural Artifacts. Tickets $15/50

Dark Side Beer Festival
February 26, 2017
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 40 ounces of beer (eight samples) and a big bag of gaming tokens! Full pours will be available for purchase. Tickets $30-40

Frost Fest Craft Beer Festival
February 25, 2017
In its 3rd year, Frost Fest is the Northalsted Winter Warm-up! This one-day, 2 session winter party is the cure for anyone's cabin fever, with activities for everyone. Frost Fest boasts Lakeview's largest craft beer festival, featuring 50 local brewers serving their most famous craft beers in a 5,000 square foot — heated, of course! — outdoor tent. Attendees can sample up to 15 beers at one of two tasting sessions. Tickets $35

Windy City BREWHAHA
March 4, 2017
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 the 5th annual Brewhaha beer event. Fill up at one of two tastion sessions, held at the Revel Fulton Market in the West Loop neighborhood, where admission gets you a commemorative tasting glass and access to 60+ brews. Tickets $42-62

 

SPRING 2016


 

Chicago Beer Festival
March 4, 2017
SUE the famous T.rex and over 70 breweries? Why not?! Domestic and international breweries will be sampling their spring seasonal beers in the sprawling hall of The Field Museum for this year's event. Two sessions are available, one in the afternoon and one at night — two opportunities to join the fun! And after you have your sips, go exploring as select museum exhibits will be open to attendees. Tickets $45-55

American Beer Classic
May 6, 2017
Chicago's largest beer festival returns with 100 breweries and 50 unique brew samples at the one and only Soldier Field Stadium, home of the Chicago Bears. Walk the tunnel onto the turf like a pro, then start sampling like the connoisseur you are. At this outdoor event, there's also games, concession stands (to supplement your custom pretzel necklace), education sessions, and the attendee favorite — the Most Valuable Brew competition. VIP ticket holders get a chance to take a stadium tour, while all can partake in the Chicago Beer Classic Tailgate, a new way to kick off each session. Tickets $45-105

Mayfest
May 19-21, 2017
Raise your glass under the festive big top tent! 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 drink, and fun! Some of its features include family-friendly activities and an outdoor beer garden. Admission $10

Chicago Craft Beer Week
May TBD
Join the 8th annual Chicago celebration of craft beer, coinciding with American Craft Beer Week. Hundreds of venues participate in CCBW with tastings of rare beers, food and beer pairing, special events, and more.

Maifest
June TBD
The Lincoln Square neighborhood hosts this four-day festival celebrating German culture with food, live bands, a traditional maypole, a lot of lederhosen — and a lot of beer! Join in the "Gemütlichkeit" (fun and good cheer) and dance the night away!

 

 

SUMMER 2016


 

Chicago Ale Fest
June 23-24, 2017
Located at Butler Field in historic Grant Park, bordered by the Chicago skyline and Lake Michigan, the sprawling ummer edition of 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.   

Craft Beer Festival at The Morton Arboretum
June 24, 2017
Drink quality craft beers among the trees at The Morton Arboretum's outdoor festival paired with live music and serene surroundings. Located in nearby suburban Lisle, this 1,700-acre nature haven will feature over 40 breweries at their daytime event, as well as beautiful summer foliage.

Tour de Fat
July TBD
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 Craft Beer Festival
July 22-23, 2017
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. This outdoor street party coincides with the Sheffield Garden Walk, another neighborhood favorite.

Oak Park Microbrew Review
August 19, 2017
Enjoy your beer and be green, too! Neighboring Oak Park — the historic community 10 miles west of Chicago known for its Frank Lloyd Wright architecture — has a beer event of their own. The sustainable microbrew festival is set in their downtown area and the 10th annual edition features over 70 craft brewers and 200 craft beers, plus food tastings from local farmers with organic practices.

 

 

FALL 2016


 

Oktoberfest Chicago
September 29-October 1, 2017
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.

Chicago Bacon & Beer Classic
October TBD
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.

Fulton Market Harvest Fest
November 29-October 1, 2017
Curated by two of Chicago's top chefs — Stephanie Izard (Girl & the Goat) and Paul Kahan (Publican) — this 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 and expanding to 3 days in its second year, the outdoor fest costs $25 and includes a custom glass beer stein.

Rocktober Beerfest
October 6-8, 2017
German music, brats and that beverage of choice (beer!) will all be on the menu for the return of the outdoor fest in the West Loop. Bring your best Oktoberfest outfit and get ready for a 3-day party with lots of "oompah."

BeerHoptacular
November TBD
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
November TBD
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.

 


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