Chicago's craft beer scene does not show signs of slowing down. Now boasting more than 45 craft breweries, Chicago is an exciting place for any beer lover or aficionado. This month, Chicago breweries are celebrating their craft in anticipation of Chicago Craft Beer Week (May 14-24, 2015).

Here are some of the craft beer events, specials and tastings to partake in this month. 


Opening of the craft brewery's new Fulton Street tap room

Goose Island Fulton Tap Room Chicago

The Chicago brewery that brought about the resurgence of locally-crafted beer in Chicago more than 30 years ago, Goose Island and its fans will lift a glass in celebration of opening of the new Goose Island Fulton Street Tap Room (1800 W. Fulton St.) just in time for Chicago Craft Beer Week.

Beginning May 14, Goose Islanders and friends can check out the brewery while enjoying a sample of its classic ales or beers only available in Chicago like the Fulton Street Blend. The brewery is now accepting reservations for tours.

On May 17, after visiting the tap room, join Goose Island for their second annual Battle of the Breweries Dodgeball tournament, a Sunday Funday event benefitting the Special Olympics of Illinois. Tickets are available for $25.

Have a pizza with that beer...or just about anything else

Howells & Hood Chicago

A go-to pairing with beer is pizza, and Gino's East (500 N. LaSalle St.) is fully embracing its role as pizza joint and now brewery by hosting a five-course food tasting and beer dinner on May 19 with Local Option Chicago in celebration of Chicago Craft Beer Week. Tickets for the dinner are $45

But let's face it, there are so many foods that go well with beer. So let the experts guide you with these Chicago Craft Beer Week dinners.

Lagunitas and Howell's and Hood (435 N. Michigan Ave.) are coming together for a seven-course beer-inspired BBQ dinner on May 21. Opting for an outdoor, reception-style dinner Chef Brett Neubauer will grill up some summer favorites including cheddar brats, High West-infused burgers, herb-marinated chicken thighs and bacon dogs to name a few. Not to mention, truffled potato salad, pasta salad and grilled peaches, all paired with Lagunitas craft beers. This will be the first patio dinner this year, and what better ways to celebrate the arrival of summer days than with food off the grill and a brewsky. The dinner begins at 6 p.m. and costs $55 per person. Be sure to have a Little Sumpin' Sumpin' with that brat.

The boldness of craft beer is often found in the ingredients. Guests at the special dinner at belly Q on May 21 with Chef Bill Kim and local brewer Forbidden Root Botanic Brewing Co. will have a chance to sample a mixture of botanical ingredients such as bark, sap, herbs, leaves, flowers, roots, honey, stems and blossoms found in Forbidden Root's beer collection including Sublime Ginger Beer, Shady Character and Divine Mud. Food pairings will feature Udon Mac & Cheese, Cheddar Jalapeño Corn Bread with Herbed Compound Butter, Corn with Curry Mayo, BBQ Beef Brisket and much more. It's bound to be a flavor journey for your taste buds. The dinner begins at 6 p.m. and tickets are $50. Portions of the proceeds will go to Inspiration Kitchens Charity.

Now, if the traditional plated dinner is more your style Francesca's Restaurants have just the thing. Mia Francesca and Francesca's locations are also pairing up with Lagunitas to complement their Italian dishes with craft beers. Dinners are four-courses, at $39 per person, and include menu items such as Fritto Misto Di Pesce, fried calamari, shrimp and scallop with spicy marinara paired with Lagunitas Czech-Style Pilsner; and Bistecca Con Carciofi E Patate, charred flat iron steak with roasted artichokes, and potatoes au jus paired with Lagunitas Rich Copper Ale. This special dinner will be available at these locations:

Davanti Enoteca (1359 W. Taylor Street) is also hosting an Italian-inspired dinner coupled with Lagunitas Beer. For $55 per person, guests can savor Lagunitas' beer with braised duck leg and fried oysters among the five-courses. The dinner and beer pairing will be held on May 20th at 6:30 p.m.

To sweeten the experience, the popular doughnut shop  Glazed and Infused will introduce its own celebratory beer and doughnut combination with the IPD (India Pale Doughnut), "topped with malted Maris Otter barley glaze, and dusted with cascade hops powder." The IPD will be available from May 14-24, and yes, it is also available in a ‘six-pack.'   


Take the beer celebrations al fresco

Shoreline Sightseeing

Pairing craft beer with food is one experience, and pairing craft beer with greenhouses and outdoor gardens is something else altogether. For the 6th annual Beer Under Glass at Garfield Conservatory (300 North Central Park Ave.), guests can enjoy craft beer tastings from 75 craft breweries including Chicago's DryHop Brewery, Motor Row Brewing, 5 Rabbit Cervecería, Revolution Brewing, Ale Syndicate Brewers, Half Acre Brewing Co. and many others. Hosted in partnership with the Illinois Craft Brewers Guild this event takes place on May 14 at 6:30 p.m. and offers a stellar pairing: ambiance and good beer. You can purchase your tickets here.

  • VIP Tickets: $90, includes early admission at 5:30 p.m.
  • General Admission Tickets: $60, admission begins at 6:30 p.m.

For the latter half of Chicago Craft Beer Week take the festivities aboard a Chicago River cruise. Shoreline Sightseeing, one of Chicago's leading boat tour companies, is partnering with hometown brewer Revolution Brewing for its 6th annual Brew Cruise on May 22 at 8 p.m. Head to the dock at Polk Bros Park at the southwest corner of Navy Pier and join other beer aficionados for 90 minutes of sights, tastings and music.  Tickets are $39 and can be purchased here.