Attention all beer enthusiasts! Cheers to Chicago’s booming craft beer scene at the city’s packed calendar of beer fests. Sample craft beers from local, national, and international breweries at over 30 Chicago beer festivals and events scheduled all year long.
Explore Chicago’s beer festival calendar for 2020.
Winter beer festivals
BrewLights at Lincoln Park Zoo
December 6, 2019
Support Chicago’s free zoo with a craft brew in hand, while more than 2.5 million lights illuminate the zoo grounds. Make your way through 12 local craft, seasonal, and import beers, located at stations throughout the zoo. Cannon Drive and Fullerton Parkway
Christmas & Winter Beer Tasting
The 21st annual rendition of this annual festival claims to be the most comprehensive tasting of Christmas and winter beers held anywhere in North America. There will be over 100 beers to sample from all over the globe at this beloved Lincoln Park bar. 2771 N. Lincoln Ave.
Chicago Ale Fest – Winter Edition
Jan. 11, 2020
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 pierogis will keep the crowds fed. Plus, a DJ will be spinning an all-vinyl playlist. Navy Pier Aon Grand Ballroom, 600 E. Grand Ave.
Jan. 25, 2020
Stay warm while drinking a cold one. This event brings the street festival scene indoors for the winter. Local breweries and cideries set up shop inside the DANK Haus German American Cultural Center. Each will showcase up to two of their brews, including rare and specialty options. Lincoln Square/Ravenswood
The Chicago Beer Festival
March 14, 2020
Dinosaur bones and craft brews? Why not?! Domestic and international breweries will be sampling their spring seasonal beers in the sprawling main hall of the Field Museum for this year’s event. Two sessions are available, one in the afternoon and one at night. And after you have your sips, go exploring as select museum exhibits will be open to attendees. Don’t forget to say hi to SUE, the most complete T. rex ever discovered. 1400 S. Lake Shore Drive
Spring beer festivals
Chicago Beer Classic
May 2, 2020
Chicago’s largest beer festival returns with 100 breweries and 50 unique brew samples at the one and only Soldier Field, home of the Chicago Bears. Walk through the tunnel and onto the turf like a pro, then start sampling like the beer connoisseur you are. This outdoor event also includes games, concession stands (to supplement your complimentary pretzel necklace), educational sessions, and the Most Valuable Brew competition. VIP ticket holders can take a stadium tour, kick back in the VIP seating area, and enjoy 12 extra samples and 30 additional minutes on the field. Tickets $69 – $89. 1416 Museum Campus Drive
May 29 – 31, 2020
Raise your glass under the big top tent! Known as the original Mayfest, this celebration kicks off Chicago’s summer festivals. The local-favorite fest takes place in the Lakeview neighborhood with live music, German food and drink, and an outdoor beer garden. Admission $10. 3100 N. Ashland Ave.
Illinois Craft Beer Week
Join the 10th annual celebration of Illinois craft beer, coinciding with American Craft Beer Week. Hundreds of venues participate, with tap takeovers, tastings of rare beers, food and beer pairings, and loads of other special events. Various locations
The Lincoln Square neighborhood hosts this four-day festival, celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, with a hearty dose of German beer, food, live bands, a traditional maypole — and a lot of lederhosen. North Western Avenue & W. Leland Avenue
Hyde Park Brew Fest
The annual Hyde Park Brew Fest brings you lots of great food and music, plus local vendors and family fun. The fest is free to enter, but if you’d like to sample beer and cider from over 50 different breweries, be sure to purchase sampling tickets. 53rd St. and Harper-Harper Court
Craft Brews and the Zoo
Savor over 75 specialty brews from more than 35 local and regional breweries at this one-of-a-kind event. Beer tasting stations will be set up throughout the Lincoln Park Zoo‘s beautiful gardens during this after-hours experience just for adults. Plus, enjoy food for purchase, DJs spinning, lawn games, and unique after-dark zoo viewing. Cannon Drive and Fullerton Parkway
Chicago Friday Night Flights
June – September 2020
Chicago Friday Night Flights is back with a dynamic series of summer tastings, highlighting the city’s status as an epicenter of the craft beer movement (we’re home to 160 breweries and counting). Plus, enjoy live music and food from local vendors throughout the evening. Various locations
Craft Beer Festival at the Morton Arboretum
Drink craft beers among the trees at The Morton Arboretum’s outdoor festival, which pairs live music and serene surroundings with beer tastings from dozens of local producers. Located in nearby suburban Lisle, this 1,700-acre nature haven is a living plant museum. Bring a chair or blanket to kick back on the grass while enjoying local brews from your souvenir tasting glass. 4100 Illinois Route 53, Lisle, IL
Ravenswood on Tap
Chicago’s Ravenswood neighborhood is one of the hottest craft brewing communities in the country. There you’ll find big-name craft beer producers like Half Acre, smaller brewers like Begyle and Dovetail, and even craft distillery KOVAL. Sample the best of this beer-centric neighborhood during Ravenswood on Tap, a two-day tasting that includes food trucks, a killer lineup of live music, and handmade goods from local artisans. N. Ravenswood Ave. and W. Berteau Ave.
Hornerfest Craft Brew Festival
Fill up on four hours of craft beer and live music on a warm summer night in Lincoln Square’s beautiful Horner Park. Local food trucks will line the park, and live music will play throughout the evening. Horner Park, 2741 W. Montrose Ave.
Chicago Ale Fest
July 18, 2020
Located at Butler Field in historic Grant Park, the sprawling summer 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. Butler Field, Grant Park
Square Roots Craft Brew & Music Festival
The Square Roots Festival is a craft beer and music experience in Chicago’s historic Lincoln Square neighborhood. More than 30,000 fans attend Square Roots each year to enjoy 50 local craft brews (including special batch and limited release taps), stellar local cuisine, and the diverse genres of entertainment that only the Old Town School of Folk Music can offer. 4400 – 4560 N. Lincoln Ave.
Sheffield Craft Beer Fest
Showcasing specialty, seasonal, and small-batch beers from local, regional, and national craft brewers, ticketed afternoon tasting passes allow aficionados to sample more than 80 craft beers from over 40 brewers. This outdoor street party coincides with the Sheffield Music Festival & Garden Walk, another neighborhood favorite for more than 50 years. North Sheffield Avenue & West Webster Avenue
Oak Park Microbrew Review
Enjoy your beer while helping the plants. Neighboring Oak Park — the historic community 10 miles west of Chicago known for its Frank Lloyd Wright architecture — holds a sustainable microbrew festival each year. The 12th annual edition features over 70 craft brewers and 200 craft beers, plus food tastings from local organic farmers — all with zero waste. Downtown Oak Park, IL
Looking for more? Explore beer tastings and festivals in Chicago this month.