Chicago Craft Beer Week (May 18–25) always offers an array of delicious opportunities for thirsty Chicagoans, and this year's schedule is no different. Here is a little intro to the events celebrating local Chicago and Illinois breweries, and some of my top picks for the 2017 #CCBW line-up. See you there!
Paddy Long's | 1028 W. Diversey Avenue | 7 p.m.
Combining some darn good beer with a darn good neighborhood pub leads you to one place and one place only: Paddy Long's. At Beer Under Tin, brewers, owners and reps from Metropolitan Brewing, Off Color Brewing and Paddy Long's gather to cause mayhem as well as indulge in some champion beer-boot racing.
Metropolitan holds the boot title, but will they be defeated by a cute T-Rex–cuddling mouse (aka Off Color Brewing) or the fierce yet jolly Irishmen (Paddy Long's)? Only one way to find out. A variety of beers from both breweries will be available on draft.
MAY 19–MAY 21
Revolution Brewing | 3340 N. Kedzie | 3–9:30 p.m.
You say putt putt, I say mini golf, but we all say yay! Some genius over at Revolution Brewing had the brilliant idea to put together a 9-hole Revolution-themed mini-golf course at the Kedzie brewery location.
Not only does your ticket fee get you a put-tastic experience for four, it also gets you the latest Revolution Brewing elixir, Sun Crusher. Food trucks make a cameo. ($40/person)
Haymarket Pub and Brewing | 737 W. Randolph Street | 12–5 p.m.
One of the best Craft Beer Week events is back. Beer, food and art all come together as one in this tough competition. Ten home brewers create a beer that must then be paired with a homemade dish, which must then be paired with an artistic performance. Weeks of collaborating and conspiring culminate in this final showdown.
Attendees get a chance to sample beer and food and watch the performances. ($35/person)
CHAOS Brew Club | 2417 W. Hubbard Street | 5:30-11 p.m.
Some of the city's leading ladies in craft beer gather to chat (and drink). CHAOS Brew Club opens its doors for a unique event where both bottles and knowledge are shared. Sip on some suds and hear from female beer makers, historians, and other craft beer professionals. You'll also get the chance to hear from the women of CHAOS, a registered non-for-profit organization and the first-ever brew club in the country to have it's own physical space and solely be managed by its members.
The event is open to all and snacks will be provided, as will some beers, but the event is also a BYOB to share. But please feel free to BYOB to share your favorite brews with others.
Illuminated Brew Works | 415 N. Sangamon Street | 7:30–11:30 p.m.
Chicago and fires seem to go together as well as Chicago and beer. And here's where they all come together. Tucked away in the Fulton River District sits Illuminated Brew Works and tucked within is an amazing outdoor space perfect for hosting live music and bonfires.
Enjoy beers poured by Illuminated Brew Works, Dry Hop Brewers, Around the Bend and Maplewood Brewery. Devour some smoked-on-premise pork shoulder, enjoy live music courtesy of the Columbines and soak in that amazing Chicago skyline.
Bonus: the event is free but you must RSVP. Only those on the IBW mailing list will be notified for the chance to RSVP. What are you waiting for, of do it!
Piece Pizzeria and Brewery | 1924 W. North Avenue | 8 p.m.
Surrender to your favorite pizza pie and pint of beer and take in a conversation with Tribune music critic Greg Kot and legendary rocker and Piece owner, Rick Nielsen. The duo will discuss the history of Cheap Trick and Rick's life in rock & roll. Raffles get you a chance to land some Piece Swag, autographed pics and other awesome prizes. $5 suggested donation. Your donations benefit WBEZ.
Dan Ryan Woods Forest Preserve and Horse Thief Hollow Brewing | 6:30–8 p.m.
Nothing beats drinking and learning. OK, maybe drinking and learning and nature. Horse Thief Hollow and Friends of the Forest Preserve host a leisurely hour-long hike through Dan Ryan Woods. The nature walk teaches you about the local flora and unique geology of the area.
After, head to the pavilion to sample Southside-made beers courtesy of Horse Thief Hollow, Baderbrau, and Blue Nose Brewing. And after that, head to Horse Thief Hollow for more Southside camaraderie.