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Dec 22, 2011

This weekend in Chicago craft beer: What's open on Christmas?

Chicago craft beer places open on Christmas, Haymarket's 1st BirthDay, and Tighthead's Mundelein Tap Room opens!

Dec 18, 2011

The Week Ahead in Chicago craft beer, December 19-22

More Christmas beer and Dark beers and tap everywhere!

Dec 14, 2011

5 Rabbit Brewmaster explains changing contract brewing partners

5 Rabbit shifts its contract brewing from Chicago to Wisconsin to keep up with demand.

Dec 10, 2011

The Week Ahead in Chicago craft beer, December 12-15

Surly Darkness and KBS in one tasting, beer schools, and Pearl Jam's tribute beer tapping.

Dec 8, 2011

This weekend in Chicago Craft Beer, December 9-11 - Chicago craft beer |

Bell's Eccentric Day, a 3 Floyds tap takeover, Limestone Winterfest and some celebrity beer lovers.

Dec 3, 2011

Chicago craft beer events, December 5-8 - Chicago craft beer |

Christmas beer tappings, dark beer events, can only mean… more Surly Darkness.

Nov 26, 2011

Chicago craft beer calendar, Nov. 28-Dec. 1 - Chicago craft beer |

Christmastime beers appear, but so does Peal Jam's Faithfull. Save room for more Surly Darkness and Founders' CBS!

Nov 24, 2011

Tighthead Brewing debuts at Firkin this Saturday - Chicago craft beer |

Another new brewer on the Chicago scene: Tighthead of Mundelein debuts Saturday at Firkin of Libertyville.

Nov 22, 2011

Black Wednesday and Black Friday beer events

Black Friday? Black WEDNESDAY? You need a break! Great beer events with Surly Darkness, GI King Henry, & last of the pumpkin beers.

Nov 17, 2011

Chicago craft beer weekend, Nov 18-20 - Chicago craft beer |

The weekend before Thanksgiving brings Chili cook-offs and BBQ. Mikkeller sours and rye beer tappings.

Nov 13, 2011

Chicago craft beer events, Nov. 14-17 - Chicago craft beer |

A coast-to-coast toast for Belgian beers, and more Surly Darkness tappings!

Nov 6, 2011

Chicago craft beer calendar, November 7-10 - Chicago craft beer |

Before we go on hiatus, here's the intel on scoring tickets to 3 Floyds Anniversary party, a last chance at Canadian Breakfast Stout, and Firestone Walker tappings.

Nov 3, 2011

Chicago Craft Beer events, November 4-6

The 2nd Beer Hoptacular hits the Aragon, Firestone Walker at Revolution, Dogfish Head at SmallBar.

Oct 29, 2011

Chicago craft beer events, November 1-3

Boulevard Saison Brett in town, chances to get a Canadian Breakfast Stout, even a Dark Lord

Oct 27, 2011

Halloween-free weekend events, October 28 to 31 - Chicago craft beer |

NON-Halloween events include Greg Koch of Stone brewing, in town to promote his book. Reunion '11, 3 Floyds, 2 Brothers

Chicago Halloween 2011 events, Oct. 28 - 31 - Chicago craft beer |

Better late-ish than not! Halloween & beer at Cigars & Stripes, Haymarket (party on Sunday afternoon, Greg Koch Sunday night, & Steve Dahl Monday night), and Fountainhead for the family, many more for grownups.

Oct 23, 2011

Oct 19, 2011

Chicago craft beer weekend, October 21-23 - Chicago craft beer |

Oktoberfest just won't end. Beer fests as far as South Bend & Murphysboro, and Canadian Breakfast Stout in Rock Island!

Oct 16, 2011

Oct 13, 2011

Chicago craft beer calendat, October 14-16

Big Hurt beer is coming after all. Try some with Frank Thomas at Binny's South Loop Saturday. Or try some more fests and brunches around town.

Oct 9, 2011

Chicago Craft beer events, October 10-13 - Chicago craft beer |

Garret Oliver is in town to talk up a guide to beer, Bob Ostrander talks Indiana beer, and a VERY rare Old Rasputin cask,

Three Floyds' 15th Anniversary Party tickets on sale - Chicago craft beer |

Tickets for Three Floyds' 15th Anniversary Party are on sale today. The party will be November 12, same day as the Festival of Wood & Barrel-Aged beers.

Oct 6, 2011

Dogfish Head-Pearl Jam collaboration beer

Dogfish Head-Pearl Jam collaboration beer

Chicago craft beer weekend, October 7-9

Fundraisers like Kegs for Kids, St. George Oktoberfest, and one for the Elgin Youth Scholarships. Have a beer for kids!

Oct 3, 2011

The Great American Beer Festival's area winners

Congratulations to 5 Rabbit, Two Brothers, Haymarket, Flossmoor Station, Emmett's, Three Floyds, and Piece. javascript:void(0)

Joe Formanek wins Sam Adam's Longshot homebrew contest - Chicago craft beer |

Joe Formanek succeeds Rodney Kibzey as the Chicago area winner of the Sam Adams LongShot Homebrew contest.

Oct 2, 2011

Chicago craft beer events, October 3-6

Oktoberfest is over, just to make room for a slew of events with pumpkin beers! Plus a chance for Canadian Breakfast Stout.

Sep 29, 2011

Chicago craft beer events, Sept. 30 - Oct. 2

Founder's Canadian Breakfast Stout goes on sale Saturday! Plus more Oktoberfest celebrations!

Sep 25, 2011

Chicago craft beer events, September 26-29 - Chicago craft beer |

Stone Brewing goes whole hog, international food and rare beers, and Oktoberfests go on.

Sep 22, 2011

Chicago craft beer weekend, September 23-25 - Chicago craft beer |

More Oktoberfests from Valpo to Plano! Nights with dark beers and New Hollands.

Sep 17, 2011

Chicago craft beer calendar, September 19-22

Ancient Ales from Dogfish Head, a charter school fundraiser, local collaborations, and oh yes, Oktoberfests!

Sep 15, 2011

Chicago craft beer weekend, September 16-18 - Chicago craft beer |

The Cystic Fibrosis Festiv-Ale is this weekend, Alphabeer VI, Zwanze Day, Brewfest in Racine, plus ongoing Oktoberfest, and Girls' Pint Out steps out.

Sep 12, 2011

A taste of Mexico's Bohemia Clásica beer

I get to sample some Bohemia Mexican lager as part of its push into the U.S. market.

Sep 11, 2011

Sep 8, 2011

Chicago craft beer events, September 9-11

100 beers at Chuck's Fest, Bridgeview; German-American Fest kicks off Oktoberfest season; Rockford hosts Screw City Fest

Sep 4, 2011

Chicago craft beer calendar, September 5-8

Beer tasting to benefit Swedish Covenant, 5 Rabbit and Brooklyn Brewing events, beer schools and brewery tours.

Sep 1, 2011

First Midwest Brewers Festival in Plainfield goes over big!

All I can say is: I was there. Didn't get a full perspective, but enjoyed many good beers.

Chicago Labor Day weekend craft beer events - Chicago craft beer |

Not all's quiet during Labor Day Weekend: Trappist pairings at SmallBar, Maria's celebrates its birthday, and Goose Island pops a Farmer's Market beer.

Aug 28, 2011

Chicago craft beer calendar: August 29-September 1

A lot of beer dinners and tastings this week. Get in on 'em, cause Labor Day weekend is light on events.

Aug 26, 2011

Craft beer alert: Founders Canadian Breakfast Stout coming in October

Keep reading for updates when this beer becomes available in Chicago!

Aug 24, 2011

Chicago craft beer weekend, August 26-28 - Chicago craft beer |

Four big beer fests, a farm dinner, bike pub crawl, Bell's tastings, more!

Aug 23, 2011

Plainfield's first Midwest Brewers Festival is August 27

Over 60 brewers will be pouring at the first Midwest Brewers Festival Saturday, August 27 in Plainfield.

Aug 21, 2011

Chicago craft beer events, August 22-25

More beer pairings, tastings and events in town than you can even lift a stick to shake at!

Aug 17, 2011

Chicago craft beer weekend, August 19-21 - Chicago craft beer |

Missed the Great Taste? Fuhgeddaboutit! This weekend the Oak Park Microbrew Review and The Livery's anniversary party kick off a stretch of fests right here!

Aug 16, 2011

Dropping in on Q-BBQ - Chicago craft beer |

We drop in on Q-BBQ for some, what else, barbecue. And I find a bargain beer I like.

Aug 13, 2011

Beeronaut Chicago calendar, August 15 to 18

Events heat up again as brewers recover from Great Taste of the Midwest. A Stone tap takeover, Two Brothers beer dinners, La Trappe and other Belgian tappings, and New Holland with empanadas.

Aug 10, 2011

Chicago craft beer weekend, August 12-14 - Chicago craft beer |

Everyone's off to Great Taste this weekend, but check for some rare beers this weekend around Chicago!

Aug 7, 2011

Chicago craft beer events, August 8-11

Tap takeovers this week by Stone, Goose Island and Dogfish. 3 Floyds and Ommegang tastings, BrickStone's anniversary, and a Retro beer dinner.

Aug 5, 2011

Chicago craft beer weekend,August 5-7 - Chicago craft beer |

A beer festival in Wheaton! Beerapalooza pub crawl! Mickey Finn's Backlot Brewfest! And Sustainable brewing!

Aug 2, 2011

Who's brewing Frank Thomas' Big Hurt beer? - Chicago craft beer |

White Sox future Hall of Famer Frank Thomas is lending his name to a new beer, "Big Hurt Beer." But is this beer being made anywhere near Chicago?

Jul 31, 2011

Chicago craft beer events, August 1-4 - Chicago craft beer |

All about IPAs… plus saisons, La Trappe, Clown Shoes, Great Lakes, & ice cream beer floats.

Jul 26, 2011

Chicago craft beer weekend, July 29-31 - Chicago craft beer |

Girls' Pint Out's Chicago chapter organizes. Duvel tasting in the Loop, and a beer & cheese event in Elgin!

Jul 25, 2011

"Live Like a Local" promotion at Liquid Lounge

Special Chicago craft beers at this Loop theatre area lounge, including Metropolitan, Half Acre, & Finch's.

Jul 24, 2011

Chicago craft beer events, July 25-28

Beer pairing dinners, Shakespeare at the Roundhouse, New Belgium bike giveaways, & DuPage County Fair allows beer & wine for first time!

Jul 19, 2011

Chicago craft beer weekend, July 22-24 - Chicago craft beer |

Root beer and Stout beer floats, Christmas in July, and a Goose Island beer dinner highlight a light weekend.

Jul 17, 2011

Chicago craft beer events, July 18-21

Celebrations for both Belgian Independence Day and St. Arnoldus, patron saint of Belgian brewers!

Jul 15, 2011

Did loss of beer help end Minnesota's government shutdown?

Less than two days after learning that Minnesota's government shutdown could force the state to go dry, they reach a compromise. Hmm…

Jul 14, 2011

Chicago craft beer weekend, July 15-17

Catch some French beers for Bastille Day, and check out New Belgium's Tour de Fat.

Jul 13, 2011

New Chicago Microbrewery on a Mission

News article about the upcoming sustainable New Chicago Brewing Co.

Anheuser-Busch files 15 area code trademarks to match Goose 312 - Chicago craft beer |

Anheuser-Busch has filed for trademark protection for several city area codes in the path of its property, Goose Island 312.

Jul 5, 2011

Craft beer review: Lagunitas Frisco to Chicago Zephyr

Lagunitas has a special "Chicago only" beer, available only briefly and on tap.

Jul 2, 2011

Chicago craft beer events, July 4-7

A light holiday week includes improv comedy paired with sour beer.

Jun 27, 2011

Chicago craft beer events, June 27-30

Events with Goose Island, Two Brothers, Brooklyn, Boulevard, New Belgium & Hitachino.

Jun 24, 2011

Chicago craft beer weekend, June 24-26

Revolution's "Long March" to Sox Park, the Alphabet of beer, an Oak Forest landmark goes craft, and ART in Berwyn.

Jun 17, 2011

Chicago craft beer weekend, June 17-19

Founders Fest, Two Bros. Hop Juice, WI Beer Lovers Fest, so many road trips out there!

Jun 12, 2011

Craft beer review: 3 beers from Mikkeller

Including "Beer Geek Brunch Weasel" made with civet poop coffee, Not Just Another Wit, & It's Alive!

Jun 11, 2011

Beeronaut's Chicago beer events, June 13-16

The Abbey beers of Saint-Martin bless Hopleaf, New Belgium is what's for dinner at Tap House Grills. I'm SEO'ing from my Chicago Now column this time, to see how it affects my stats.

Jun 9, 2011

Jun 5, 2011

Chicago craft beer calendar, June 6-9 - Chicago craft beer |

5 Rabbit, Dogfish Head's Robert Johnson, Mikkeller & Evil Twin!

Jun 2, 2011

Chicago craft beer weekend, June 3-5

Maifest Chicago, Tied House Film Festival, Founders Brewmaster Dinner.

May 29, 2011

Chicago craft beer events, May 31-June 2

Goose Island tasting and dinners, Half Acre, Abita, and Chicago's German Maifest.

May 26, 2011

Closing events for Chicago Craft Beer Week, Friday, May 27 - Chicago craft beer |

Beer Fistival @ Revolution is Sold Out, but there's still other stuff going on. And a weekend beer fest in Kohler, WI.

May 25, 2011

Chicago Craft Beer Week calendar, Thursday, May 26

More chances to meet new brewer 5 Rabbit, and new-to-Chicago Boulevard! And Bowling with the Brewers.

May 21, 2011

Chicago Craft Beer Week events, Monday, May 23

Chicago Craft Beer Week events, Monday, May 23 - Chicago craft beer |

Craft beer review: Unibroue La Fin du Monde

It looks like that so-called Rapture never happened. But hey, to paraphrase Alan Jackson, it's always "six o'clock somewhere." And here's a taste of an appropriate beer for the occasion.

May 20, 2011

Chicago Craft Beer Week events, Sunday, May 22

An IPA boat tour, New Belgium's Urban Assault bike hunt, Michigan Craft Beer at Haymarket Pub.

May 19, 2011

Chicago-American Craft Beer Week events - Saturday, May 21

Remember, if you're going to be Raptured Saturday, it looks like a lot of time drifting through the sky with no clothes. You'll want to keep a good beer in your hand at all times to take along.

May 18, 2011

Chicago-American Craft Beer Week events - Friday, May 20

17+ events just this Friday for Chicago Craft Beer Week! Come get some!

May 17, 2011

Chicago Craft Beer Week opening events, Thursday, May 19

Events, sales, pairings, tastings and beer dinners galore for the start of Chicago Craft Beer Week.

May 16, 2011

American Craft Beer Week events for Wednesday, May 18

Sake, Goose Island, Allagash, Revolution/Firestone Walker collaboration

American Craft Beer Week events for Tuesday, May 17 in Chicago

Founders, Flying Dog, Lucky Monk, Goose Island, and, yes BrewDog’s Penguin and Bismarck!

May 15, 2011

American Craft Beer Week starts Monday, May 16

First of a LOT of posts about daily beer activity.

May 8, 2011

Chicago craft beer calendar, May 9-12

Watch for a flood of events coming up soon: American Craft Beer Week is May 16-22. Oddly, Chicago Craft Beer Week will be May 19-27.

Monday, May 9

3:00 p.m. 300+ Beer List Launches
Beckett's Gourmet Burgers & Craft Beers, 3210 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago (773) 880-9620
Beckett's Gourmet Burgers & Craft Beers launches their new 300+ beer list on Monday. It will feature 28 draft choices and over 275 bottles. Attention to glassware, beer flights, and 5oz/10oz/16oz draft pours are all on the menu. In addition, in May Beckett's will debut technology that will allow them to reseal beers with an equalizing dose of C02, allowing them to serve samples from a special selection of rare & luxury bottles.

5:00 - 8:00 p.m. Craft Beer Tasting at Finnegan's
Finnegan's Craft Beer & Gastro Pub, 24102 W Lockport St, Plainfield, IL (815) 733-5177
Head out to Finnegans for a complimentary craft beer tasting every Monday. One of our Cicerones will pull new beers recently added to the list and provide some background on each style and samples for you to taste. All beer being sampled with be on special so if you find a favorite, you can enjoy it with out damaging the wallet!

Tuesday, May 10

5:00 - 8:00 p.m. Great Divide Barrel Aged Chocolate Yeti Tapping
Finnegan's Craft Beer & Gastro Pub, 24102 W Lockport St, Plainfield, IL (815) 733-5177
Stop by and check out this years Great Divide Barrel Aged Chocolate Yeti on draught. We will be tapping this tasty treat right at 5:00 p.m. and it's only a 1/6th barrel so it won't last long! Call for reservations

6:30 p.m. Emmett's Brewmaster Dinner

Emmett's Tavern & Brewing Co., 128 W. Main St., West Dundee, IL (847) 428-4500

Join us for one of our widely popular Brewmaster Dinners. The event starts at 6:30 with a beer reception where attendees can sample their choice of any of our handcrafted beers. During the reception hour Brewmaster Ryan Clooney and Head Brewer Rob Hunter, will conduct tours of our brewery and explain the beer making process. During dinner our chef and Ryan will passionately explain their handiwork and how it applies to each of the five delicious courses. The price for this unique culinary experience is $59.95 per person, plus tax. Brewmaster Dinners are held quarterly.

7:00 p.m. Map Room Tuesday Night Pairing: Kapittel/Van Eecke with Greek Islands
The Map Room
, 1949 N. Hoyne, Chicago (773) 252-7636

You may not have heard of the family-owned Brouwerij Van Eecke, but you're probably familiar with a number of their brands (Kapittel abbey beers, Poperings Hommelbier, Watou's Wit). If you're from Chicago, you're certainly familiar with Greek Islands on Halsted Street in Greektown. Chances are you've probably dined there. Ever thought of teaming up some of Greek Island's signature food items with some tasty Belgian beer? We have! Come find a pairing that works best for you.

8:30 p.m. Movie Night
Cigars & Stripes, 6715 W. Ogden Ave., Berwyn, IL (708) 484-1043
Featuring B-HORROR Flicks on on the Big screen: "Doghouse" and "Friday the 13th the Final Chapter." Hot Wings and an American Craft Pint $10.00. Shows Start at 8:30 SHARP!

Wednesday, May 11

6:00 p.m. Goose Island Beer Dinner at the Signature Room
Signature Room at the 95th, 875 N. Michigan Ave. #1525, Chicago (312) 787-9596
Executive Chef Patrick Sheerin and Goose Island Brewery are teaming up to present a Spring Beer Dinner at The Signature Room at the 95th. Craft beer lovers will be treated to a delicious 5 course meal paired with a selection of Goose Island's finest brews. Chef Sheerin is well known for his use of local and seasonal ingredients. Call the Signature Room to book your ticket.

6:30 p.m. Wildfire-Schaumburg Great Lakes Beer Dinner
Wildfire Schaumburg, 1250 E. Higgins Rd., Schaumburg, IL (847) 995-0100
$45.00 per person (plus tax & gratuity) RSVP to: Brad Wermager, Wildfire Wine & Spirits Director at (773) 398-6960
  • Reception: Homemade Bratwurst Kolache, rich European pastry, mustard poppy seed aioli. Eliot Ness
  • First Course: Blue Crab Ceviche, salt chips, Spanish marcona almonds. Holy Moses White Ale
  • Second Course: Cocoa Rubbed Rack of Lamb, Italian sweet pepper risotto, broiled asparagus. Edmund Fitzgerald
  • Third Course: Herb Crusted Bacon Steak, crispy pork belly, sweet potato hash. Burning River
  • Dessert: French Chocolate Cheesecake, espresso mousse. Commodore Perry
Paul Guerrero, Chef & Luis Trujillo, Executive Chef. Kevin Hack, Guest Speaker. For reservations call Brad Wermager at (773) 398-6960.

7:00 - 9:00 p.m. Stone and Duke's Farm to Table Beer Dinner
Duke's Alehouse & Kitchen, 110 N. Main St., Crystal Lake, IL (815) 356-9980
Guests are invited to enjoy a four-course dinner featuring local farmer's produce, meats, poultry, cheeses, and sustainable fish. Each course will be paired with Stone Brewery's Beers. In addition to learning about the Stone Brewery and Beers. We will be introducing Duke's Garden for the first time this season. Meet our head farmer Emily as we discuss our new culinary adventure. This will sell out fast so buy your tickets NOW!
  • Dinner: Welcome Beer: Levitation paired with Lake Superior Whitefish Fish Fry and House Gribiche
  • 1st Course: Cali-Belgique paired with Field Green Salad with Farmer's Cheese and White Strawberry Vinaigrette
  • 2nd Course: Sublimely Self Righteous paired with Grilled Duck Breast with Mole Rojo and Dirty Rice
  • 3rd Course: Ruination paired with Carrot Cake

$55 per person, $5 discount for card-carrying members of the American Homebrewer's Association. Reservations required by calling (815) 356-9980. Stay after event for a special tapping of Stone's Russian Imperial Stout (@8:30) and first dibs on a specialty archived beer. Guests receive complimentary Stone tasting glass.

Thursday, May 12

6:00 - 7:00 p.m. "Brew with a View" at Cityscape
Cityscape Bar at the Holiday Inn Mart Plaza, 350 W. Mart Center Dr., 15th Fl., Chicago (312) 836-5000

Join Cityscape Bar for their monthly "Brew with a View" beer sampling event. Guests are invited to sample an array of beers while enjoying stunning panoramic views of downtown's River North. All attendees of "Brew with a View" will receive a 20% discount off dinner in ItaliAsia Restaurant after the event. In addition, they can enter to win an ItaliAsia "Tasting Room with a View Party" for 8 people which includes a five-course tasting menu paired with specialty wines. Hosted by The Boston Beer Company, the event will highlight several beers from the Imperial Series Samuel Adams line including: Wee Heavy, Imperial Stout, Imperial White and Double Bock. Patrons can indulge in an assortment of small bites including Hot Wings and Grilled Fresh Veggies with Aged Balsamic. COST: COMPLIMENTARY Reservations Required:

6:00 - 7:00 p.m. Goose Island Clybourn tapping
Goose Island Brewpub, 1800 N. Clybourn Ave., Chicago (312) 915-0071
Every Thursday, a new beer brewed at the Clybourn brewpub is tapped.

6:00 - 11:00 p.m. Three Floyds Tasting
The University of Chicago Pub, 1212 E. 59th St., Chicago (773) 702-9737

The University of Chicago Pub will be hosting a Three Floyds tasting. There will be around seven Three Floyds beers on tap, including Zombie Dust, Cortez, Behemoth, and others. $2 at the door or $10 for a year long membership. Come enjoy great beer in an under-the-radar pub.
Follow me on Twitter, Google Buzz or Facebook. For future events in first draft, check my Google calendar.

May 5, 2011

Chicago craft beer weekend, May 6-8

Friday, May 6

4:00 - 7:00 p.m. Lucky Monk First Friday Social
The Lucky Monk Burger, Pizza & Beer, 105 Hollywood Blvd., South Barrington, IL (847) 898-0500
The Lucky Monk's First Friday Happy Hour event features live entertainment and cocktail specials including $5 Grey Goose, $4 House Micro Brews, $3 Miller Lite and a complimentary appetizer buffet that changes monthly and includes spice wings, flatbreads, pretzels and much more.

6:00 - 8:30 p.m. New Release beer tasting
Binny's Beverage Depot, 790 Royal St. George, Cress Creek Square Shopping Ctr, Naperville, IL (630) 717-0100
Taste many of the best newly released beers. $10 with Binny's Card / $15 nonmembers. Appetizers by Braconi's of Naperville. Call, or email for more information.

6:30 - 8:30 p.m. Belgian Bottle Shock
Binny's Beverage Depot, 1919 Skokie Valley Hwy., Highland Park, IL (847) 831-5400
In this seminar, America's best will square off against Belgian classics in this blind beer tasting. Vote for your favorites and discover hidden gems. Space is extremely limited and reservations are required. $10 W/Binny's Card / $15 non-members. Call, or email for more information.

Saturday, May 7

9:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m. Big Brew Day 2011
The Livery, 190 5th Street, Benton Harbor, MI (269) 925-8760
Like beer? Like making beer? Like drinking beer? Big Brew Day is your event! Ever wanted to learn how to brew your own beer? We'll have homebrewing demonstrations from 9:00 - 4:00 plus our own 40 by 80 ft. tent (i.e. 'Rain or Shine'). Are you a home brewer? Come brew with us! Be apart of the camaraderie, bring your best brew. Home brew competition: BJCP styles: 8B, 12B, 16A. Best of show will get the chance to brew their winning beer on the Livery's brew system! Do you enjoy craft beer? Come sample many different beer styles by home brewers! We'll also have live entertainment from noon 'til 8:00 & food will be available.

Big Brew Day is sponsored by the American Homebrewers Association. AHA members around the country will be invited friends and the brew-curious to witness and take part in brewing sessions. For a complete list of other Big Brew Day events in this area, check the Big Brew Day home page.

11:30 a.m. Durty Nellie's Beer Fest
Durty Nellie's, 180 N. Smith St., Palatine, IL (847) 358-9150
Over 90 hand crafted brews! Souvenir pint glass! Live entertainment featuring Jim and Justin from Modern Day Romeos! $30 in advance, $35 at the door. Right next to the Palatine Train Station.

12:00 noon - 6:00 p.m. The Drinking & Writing Festival: Haymarket
Drinking & Writing Theater at Haymarket Pub & Brewery, 737 W. Randolph St., Chicago, IL
Tickets on sale now at First 100 ticket buyers get a rare taste of Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout)!
The 7th Annual Drinking & Writing Festival celebrates the Haymarket Riot's 125th Anniversary. How fitting since the new Drinking & Writing Theater is situated in the new Haymarket Pub & Brewery right near the location of the Haymarket Riot.
Here is a rundown on the day:
12:00 p.m. Doors Open
1:00 p.m. "The Haymarket Riot" Bill Savage
2:00 p.m. "Save Illinois Beer" Pete Crowley, Haymarket Co-Founder and Brewmaster
3:00 p.m. The Western Avenue Project (a 25 documentary on Western Avenue and its bars made by Drinking & Writing)
4:00 The Drinking & Writing Award for Outstanding Achievement in Drinking & Writing presented posthumously to Studs Terkel
5:00 The 2 Drink Minimum Writing Contest
6:00 p.m. The End...but stay and drink if you dare
And then there is the BEER... Amazing homebrewed beer by HOPS! (Homebrewers' Pride of the Southside Homebrew Club).
AND... Haymarket Pub & Brewery, Three Floyds and Founders Tasting featuring over 20 beers:
10 of Haymarket Pub & Brewery's beers including but not limited to:
Mother Jones Dubbel, Mathias Imperial I.P.A., Comeback & Guzzle Spiced Belgian Dark Strong Ale
Nemesis 2010, Double Trouble, Imperial Stout, Curmudgeon, KBS (first 100 ticket buyers) and more!
Three Floyds:
Dreadnaught, Black Sun Stout, Rabid Rabbit, Arctic Panzer Wolf and Topless Whytch Baltic Porter


1:00 - 5:00 p.m. Going Against the Grain: New Belgium Sponsored DIY Fair
ReBuilding Exchange, 2160 N. Ashland Ave., Chicago
"Going Against the Grain: A DIY Fair for Enthusiasts" will bring together Chicagoland's homebrewing, beekeeping, chicken-keeping, weatherization, gardening, composting, bicycling and other enthusiasts to share their knowledge with others at this family-friendly fair benefiting the non-profit ReBuilding Exchange. This event is hosted by the Delta Emerging Leaders, an auxiliary board of Delta Institute and ReBuilding Exchange that engages young professionals interested in sustainability issues. Enter through the parking lot entrance on Webster Avenue. Attendance is free, but a donation of $5 is suggested. Beverages from New Belgium Brewery will be available for $3.
WHY: Many Chicagoans "go against the grain" with non-traditional ways of creating their own foods, drinks, fertilizers, and transportation sources. Many more Chicagoans want to learn how.This fair connects experienced DIYers willing to share their knowledge with those thirsty for it - all to benefit a new sustainable business in the Bucktown / Wicker Park neighborhood.

Coming Next Week: Chicago Craft Beer Week, and Tribes Ultimate Beer Bout IV.

May 4, 2011

Former Walter Payton’s Roundhouse sold to Two Brothers Brewing - Chicago craft beer |

Two Brothers Brewing Company of Warrenville has agreed to acquire America's Historic Roundhouse, a 70,000 square foot entertainment complex in Aurora. The Roundhouse complex, which includes a restaurant, brewery, music venue, banquet facilities and outdoor courtyard, has been operating under Chapter 11 reorganization since this February.

Apr 22, 2011

A Chat with Sam Adams LongShot winner Rodney Kibzey

In the 14 year history of the Boston Brewing Co.'s Samuel Adams LongShot homebrewing contest, it would seem impossible that one person could actually win twice. With thousands of entries submitted each year, from which two homebrewers' and a Sam Adams employee's winning entries are chosen to be brewed up in a special six-pack, a repeat performance would be much against the odds.
But in my observation of real life, coincidence seems much more repeatable than statistical odds.
The 2010 LongShot sixpack includes "Blackened Hops," a Cascadian IPA (or, if you'll forgive the oxymoron, a Black India Pale Ale) by Lombard resident Rodney Kibzey. Kibzey had previously won the 2007 LongShot with a Weizenbock, which hit store shelves in 2008.
Rodney appeared at Lombard's Famous Liquors on April 2, where he autographed bottles and was treated like, maybe not so much a rock star as an indie rock star. Sam Adams representatives were on hand to sample out their Latitude 48 IPA as well, and Famous also had a wine and cheese tasting in store (Stilton! Yum!).
Between autographing, handing out Sam Adams hats and pouring samples,Rodney answered a few of my beer geek questions:

MM: Doesn’t the name “Blackened Hops” seem a little misleading? It sounds like the hops themselves have been toasted to a crisp.
Rodney: Well, a lot people like to call it “Cascadian Dark Ale,” I just like to call it “beer goodness.”
MM: I assume you’ve been entering the LongShot competitions since they started. Were the organizers at Sam Adams surprised that you’d won your second one?
Rodney: Yeah, a lot of people we’re shocked. They’re like “Not again!” But they picked the best beers, and the cream always rises to the top.
MM: Have you done this “tour” the last time, too? Are all the winners doing this kind of thing?
Rodney: Usually they do it out of choice. I live local, in Lombard, I usually come here to Famous Liquors, so I'm kind of giving back to the community.
MM: So the Sam Adams people just said, “If you want to do this, we’ll come out?”
Rodney: Yeah. The people in the store know me, I come in here periodically, and they said yeah, we want you to come back and do a pouring.
MM: So what are you thinking of for the next contest? Or are they going to force you retire and rename the contest after you?
Rodney: Well, I think I'm kind of done. I've said to myself before I won this year’s contest, that win, lose or draw, this is it. The next step would probably be to go pro.
For those who think the playing field might be a bit more level this year, Sam Adams is now taking entries for the 2011 LongShot. The rules and links to enter are here.

Apr 21, 2011

Easter weekend craft beer events, April 22-24

Friday, April 22

6:00 - 8:00 p.m. Two Brothers beer tasting
West Lakeview Liquors, 2156 W. Addison St., Chicago (773) 525-1916
Andy Jenkins will be sampling these shoppe staples!

Saturday, April 23

1:00 - 4:00 p.m. American Craft Beer Journey
Binny's Beverage Depot, 1950 Lincoln Hwy., St. Charles, IL (630) 377-1671
Join us on a coast to coast American Craft Beer journey as we sample over 50 tasty brews covering a huge range of styles. $5 with Binny's Card / $10 non-members. Call, or email for more information.

1:00 - 7:00 p.m. American Craft Beer Tasting
Binny's Beverage Depot, 8935 N. Milwaukee, Niles, IL (847) 966-2300
Taste over 40 great craft beers from the east coast to the west coast and all points in between! Sample an array of styles from top producers that include Smuttynose IPA, Lagunitas Hairy Eyeball and a huge variety of others. $5 W/ Binny's Card / $10 non-members. Call (847) 966-2300 or email for more information.

1:00 - 4:00 p.m. Highly Rated Beers Open House
Binny's Beverage Depot, 7330 W. North Ave., Elmwood Park, IL (708) 456-2112
Ever wonder why some beers are highly rated on and Discover for yourself as we pour beers that make the "A" or 90+ point rating. Call, or email for more information.

3:00 - 6:00 p.m. Season of Saisons
Binny's Beverage Depot, 5100 W. Dempster, Skokie, IL (847) 674-4200
Taste the very best in Saisons and Farmhouse Ales. Sample over 25 different beers from breweries that include Saint Somewhere, The Bruery, North Coast, Lost Abbey, Southampton, Ommegang, Jolly Pumpkin, Three Floyd's, Goose Island, Stillwater, Dupont, De Ranke, Vapeur, Thiriez and De Glazen Toren. $5 W/Binny's Card/ $10 non-members.
Specific Beers Include: St. Somewhere Athene and Pays du Soleil, Bruery Saison Rue, North Coast La Merle, Lost Abbey Red Barn and Carnevale, Southampton Saison Deluxe and Cuvee des Fleurs, Ommegang Hennepin, Jolly Pumpkin Baudelaire iO and Bam Biere, Three Floyd's Rabbid Rabbit, Goose Island Sofie and Pepe Nero, Stillwater Stateside and Cellar Door, De Ranke Saison Dottignies, Saison de Cazeau, De Glazen Toren Saison D'Erpe, Saison de Pipaix, Vapeur de Bises, Saison Dupont and Avril, Urthel Saissoniere, St. Feuillien Saison, Nogne-Ø Saison, Nuova Mattina, Thiriez Blonde, L'Ebbe L'Amalthee and more to come! Cost: $5 w/Binny's card, $10 without.

6:00 - 10:00 p.m. Map Room Beer School
The Map Room, 1949 N. Hoyne Chicago (773) 252-7636
Greg Browne, brewmaster at Mickey Finn's Brewery in Libertyville, guides us through the nuances of beer and its appreciation. Students study several beers and learn exactly what they're tasting and the roles that the ingredients and the brewing process have in forming those aromas and flavors. Don't miss a great opportunity to enjoy fine beer, good company and expert tutelage. Price, $25 per person. April's topic: Bock beers. Tickets went on sale on the Monday evening before beer school (April 18), starting at 7 p.m. first come-first serve until all tickets have been sold. You must have a ticket to attend Beer School.

7:00 p.m. Drinking & Writing Christmas Show in April
Drinking & Writing Theater @ Haymarket Pub & Brewery, 737 W. Randolph St, Chicago
Take the first step in April! So we didn't get a chance to perform our Christmas show a few months ago. So what's wrong with doing it in April? That's right, April. It's Drinking & Writing Volume IV, The 12 Steps of Christmas! We've added some new material and a few surprises. Plus $5 dollars from every ticket sold will be donated to Donate Life Illinois. Drinking & Writing Volume IV, The 12 Steps of Christmas! thru April 23rd, 7:00 p.m., The Drinking & Writing Theater @ Haymarket Pub and Brewery.

8:00 - 11:00 p.m. Goose Island Invasion!
SmallBar Fullerton, 1415 West Fullerton, Chicago, (773) 525-2727
Join us as Goose Island takes over our taps with some rare brews and specialty stuff from their cellars. We'll have 20 handles and a vertical tasting of Matilda in The Mezzanine.
Including: Lolita Raspberry Wild Ale, Madame Rose Brown Cherry Ale, Wilder Wild Wheat Ale, Indira Lemongrass Saison, Mae Peach Saison, Pepe Nero Black Saison, Scully White Pepper and Strawberry Saison, Bourbon County Brand Stout, Vanilla Bourbon Brand County Stout, Big John Imperial Stout, Lazarus Imperial Stout, Night Stalker Dry Hopped Imperial Stout, Old Max Danish Stout, Green-Line New Zealand Hallertau Hops, Green-Line New Zealand Green Bullet/Motzueka Hops, Marisol Belgian-style Golden Ale, Tripel Belgian-style Tripel, Demolition Belgian-style Strong Ale, Fleur Hibiscus Belgian Ale, King Henry Bourbon Barrel Aged Barley Wine.  For $25 you can join us early from 7-8:00 p.m. for exclusive access to the brewers and tastings before the crowd hits!

Sunday, April 24

Due to ongoing turmoil at the ole manse (as in, I just got laid off), I was unable to devote much time to compiling Easter brunch listings. I have made note of the one Brunch announcement that includes some craft beer specials.
10:30 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. Easter Beer Brunch
Fountainhead, 1970 W. Montrose Ave, Chicago (773) 697-8204
Do you really want to spend Easter Sunday slicing ham and whipping sweet potatoes? No. You'd much rather come enjoy a 4 course meal created by Chef Robyn & paired with some of the best beers Phil has to offer!Reservations will be required for this event, so please call NOW to reserve your table! For just $45 a person, you will receive the following delicious pairings:

  • Two Brothers Monarch Wit with Fresh Fruit and Honey Marscapone Parfait
  • Three Floyds Rabbid Rabbit Saisonwith Rabbit Crepes topped with Chive Mornay
  • Stone Smoked Porter withCrispy Pork Belly on Cheddar Grits topped with a Fried Egg
  • Founders Canadian Breakfast Stout with Black Dog Gelato & Deep Fried Belgian Waffle.
Please call 312-343-0842 to reserve your spot. Easter Beer Brunch seatings are available from 10:30 - 2:00. We will offer the meal without the beer pairings for $30. We also plan to have a limited number of regular brunch items available a la carte.

2:30 p.m. Freakin' Firkin Sunday
The Livery, 190 5th Street, Benton Harbor, MI (269) 925-8760
Brewmaster Steve will be tapping the Firkin cask at 3.00 p.m. (or thereabouts) on this Sunday. Enjoy a pint of real ale in its true form- and also enjoy the lively Irish Session music, hosted by Rick Willey & Katie Montoya, from 2-5 p.m.

Apr 17, 2011

Chicago beer events, April 18-21

This Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday:

6:30 p.m. North Coast Brewing Beer Pairing Dinners
The Tap House Grills
Tuesday the 19th: 6010 S. Cass Ave., Westmont, IL (630) 541-8840
Wednesday the 20th: 3341 W. Main St., St. Charles, IL (630) 443-1664
Thursday the 22nd: 411 N. Main St., Glen Ellyn, IL (630) 858-4369
Tuesday the 26th: 24402 W. Lockport St., Plainfield, IL (815) 733-5540
Wednesday the 27th: 123 W. Washington St., Oswego, IL (630) 383-2020
This month's beer pairing dinner features the beers of North Coast Brewing Co. Foods presented by Chef Todd Davies. "A Study in Berkshire Pork"
1st Course: Le Merle Saison paired with Saganaki Pork Meatballs, Spinach, Poached Fennel, Feta, Green Olives
2nd Course: PanQster Belgian Pale paired with Crispy Pork Tenderloin, Salmuercia Pepperoni, Pineapple-Orange Sage Shrimp, Sweet Peppers
3rd Course: Red Seal Copper Ale paired with Red Seal-Cured Pork Belly, Bourbon-Almond Baklava
4th Course: Old Stock Old Ale paired with Pistachio & Pork Pate-Crusted Pork Barrel, Pickled Sultanas, Micro Cress Crisp Crostinis
5th Course: Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout paired with Salty, Chocolate Truffles: Rasputin's Finest, Chocolate & Bacon Truffles, Arabica Creme Anglais. Full menu at

Monday, April 18

Beerducation classes with Marty Nachel
Crown Brewing, 211 S. East St., Crown Pount, IN (219) 663-4545
Beerducation classes with Marty Nachel will be held on 4/18 and 4/25. 4/18 is the level one course and 4/25 is level two. You can sign up at the bar. Space is limited.

5:00 - 7:00 p.m. Metropolitan Iron Works release
Green Grocer, 1402 W Grand Ave, Chicago
Jess from Metropolitan will be on-hand at Green Grocer to hand out free samples of our newest brew. Drinking while grocery shopping? Yes!

6:00 - 9:00 p.m. Highway 78 Artisan Beer and Cheese Pairing
Bangers and Lace, 1670 West Division Street, Chicago, IL
There is no doubt beer and cheese go superbly together. Now when they are expertly paired your talking total harmonization. How do you know if you have an expert pairing? Well, first you need experts, Certified Master Formager Coleen Graham has chosen your cheese and Stone beer guy Aaron Tyrell helped with the brew. Now these won't all be Stone Brewing Co. beers: They are 4 beers; 3 breweries; 4 cheeses all just $16. Full servings of the rare beers will be available for sale. Green Flash/Carsbad Pizza Port/Stone Highway 78 Scotch Ale w/ Mt Zion- from La Mariposa, Sweet Home OR aged raw goats milk cheese. Arrogant Bastard Ale w/ Ursinus- from Great American Cheese Collection- open plank aged sheeps milk Gouda. Lost Abbey Red Barn w/ 3 yr white cheddar- From Laack Brothers Cheese Greenleaf WI- cows milk. Green Flash West Coast IPA w/ Roasted Wild Rice Gouda- from Eichten's Cheese- Center City MN - cows milk. Facebook

7:00 p.m. The Bruery evening at Hopleaf
Hopleaf, 5148 N. Clark St. Chicago (773) 334-9851
Special beers from the Bruery of California, and a visit from Jonas Namura.

7:00 p.m. Tickets on sale for Map Room Beer School
The Map Room, 1949 N. Hoyne Chicago (773) 252-7636
Tickets go on sale this evening starting at 7 p.m. Cash only, maximum 2 tickets per purchase, and first come-first serve until all tickets have been sold. Greg Browne, brewmaster at Mickey Finn's Brewery in Libertyville, guides us through the nuances of beer and its appreciation. Next class - Saturday, April 23, 6 pm. Topic: Bock Beers. Limit, 45 people. Price, $25 per person.

9:00 p.m. Heavy Metal Monday Movie Night
Cigars & Stripes, 6715 W. Ogden Ave., Berwyn, IL (708) 484-1043
Lemmy: the Documentary! on our big screen! Movie Starts at 9:00. One order of our delicious Hot Wings and any American Craft beer only 10 bucks

Tuesday, April 19

6:00 - 11:00 p.m. Avery Night - Joe's Pils Tapping
Fountainhead, 1970 W. Montrose Ave, Chicago (773) 697-8204
We are helping launch Avery's newest beer, Joe's Pilsner. Enjoy a sneak preview with draft pints of the upcoming release. Joe's Premium American Pilsner is a contemporary rendition of a classic style, Joe's is hopped with purpose: beautifully bitter and dry with an abundance of floral, Noble German hops. Uber sessionable. Utterly American. This is Premiuim American Pilsner. ABV: 4.7% IBUs: 42 In addition to Joe's Pils, we will be pouring Avery's IPA, Karma, & Salvation, and a select amount of Mephistopheles bottles!!! As usual Chef Robyn will be whipping up some small plate pairing specials to go with these drafts.

7:00 p.m. Food Truck Summit and Book Signing
Goose Island Brewpub, 1800 N. Clybourn Ave., Chicago (312) 915-0071
With food-truck fever sweeping the nation, intrepid journalist Heather Shouse launched a coast-to-coast exploration of street food. In Food Trucks, she gives readers a page-by-page compass for finding the best movable feasts in America. Join us as we support the cause for the freedom of food trucks across the nation! Expect to enjoy service from Southern Mac, Flirty Cupcakes, Sweet Misgivings, Hummingbird Kitchen, Gastro-Wagon, 5411 Empanadas, Tamale Spaceship and Bridgeport Pasty. Author Heather Shouse will be signing copies of her book.

7:00 p.m. New Belgium Brewery Night
The Map Room, 1949 N. Hoyne, Chicago (773) 252-7636
If you enjoy the great beers of New Belgium Brewing, this is the night for you! We'll be pouring a number of beers from their Lips of Faith series, carefully paired with some delicious bites from Chef Andy from Third Coast Chef. 1554 with braised beef short ribs in a 1554 bbq sauce. Le Terroir with fried chicken wings with a sweet/sour terrior sauce. Dunkel Weisse with banana bread pudding. Additional information can be found on a special event page on Facebook.

8:00 p.m. Stammtisch Alt Tapping
Flossmoor Station Restaurant & Brewery, 1035 Sterling Ave., Flossmoor, IL (708) 957-BREW
We have the perfect bier for these windy spring days, and it's our Stammtisch Alt! Stammtisch is from the German to describe the "regulars" table. Found at many pubs, the stammtisch table is set aside for the regular diners/pubbers, and is generally set aside and marked off so that not just anyone can sit down at it. Not to worry, this Alt won't be just for our mug club members, but they will be the first to taste it next Tuesday, in our pseudostammtisch room! Cheers!

8:30 p.m. Charlie Sheen movie month
Cigars & Stripes, 6715 W. Ogden Ave., Berwyn, IL (708) 484-1043
Major League & Major League 2 on our big screen! One order of our Hot Wings and any American Craft beer, only 10 bucks.

Wednesday, April 20

4:20 - 6:00 p.m. Sierra Nevada Glissade Golden Bock Sampling
Cactus Bar & Grill, 404 South Wells, Chicago 312-922-3830
Please Join Sierra Nevada Brewing Company at Cactus Bar & Grill for a Glissade Golden Bock sampling.

5:00 - 7:00 p.m. Brew Masters Series
State and Lake at The Wit, 201 N. State St., Chicago (312) 239-9400
A weekly pairing of Craft Brewed beer and specially created burgers from Chef Evan Percoco. This week featuring "Caprese Italian sausage burger, fresh Mozarella, basil, cured tomatoes and sweet balsamic, with ciabatta Polenta fries. Paired with Peroni. This beer & burger pairing is also available Monday-Sunday after 2 p.m. for $10.

5:00 - 7:00 p.m. Trumer Pils Customer Appreciation Day
The Bank, 123 W. Front St., Wheaton, IL (630) 665-2265
Complimentary appetizers while enjoying Trumer Pils.

6:30 - 9:30 p.m. Lucky Monk Brewmaster Dinner
The Lucky Monk Burger, Pizza & Beer, 105 Hollywood Blvd., South Barrington, IL (847) 898-0500
Spend a night at The Lucky Monk learning the intricacies of brewing the perfect batch of beer with our Brewmaster, Anthony Carollo. You will have the opportunity to see our brewery in action with a guided tour. Afterwards, we will offer a pairing of our six craft beers with a six-course dinner, which will include Lobster Bisque, Filet Medallions and much more! Everyone will receive a complimentary Bomber filled with one of our signature brews.

7:00 p.m. Avery Brewery Night
The Map Room, 1949 N. Hoyne, Chicago (773) 252-7636
We'll be featuring three fine beers from Avery Brewing Company paired with four different cheeses, as selected by our good friend Dave Phillips from Cheese and Cheers. Trust us - Dave knows his stuff. It will definitely be a case of good judgement!

Thursday, April 21

6:00 - 7:00 p.m. Double Tapping at Rock Bottom Chicago
Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery, 1 W. Grand Ave., Chicago (312) 755-9339
Join us for our Heller Bock & Fujo Black Lager Double-Tapping Party.
Heller Bock - As seasons change and Biergartens open, so do the offerings of Strong Lagers. While Bocks of late winter tend to be dark, the Bock beers of spring lighten in color while retaining ample strength and plenty of flavor. Our Heller Bock is a medium to fuller-bodied, gold to amber in color, with fairly balanced flavors of hops and malt. A refreshing and soulful brew for the transition of seasons.
Fujo Black Lager - Traditional Black Lagers, or Scwartzbiers as they are known in Germany, are drinkable dark lagers with robust roasted barley and black malt flavor. This obscure style has been adopted by most major Japanese breweries as a standard offering. We have brewed this lager in charitable effort to raise money for tsunami relief efforts in Japan. Through the Rock Bottom Foundation, we will be donating proceeds from the sales of this beer. Fujo translates to English as aid, help, assistance, or support.

6:00 - 7:00 p.m. Goose Island Clybourn tapping
Goose Island Brewpub, 1800 N. Clybourn Ave., Chicago (312) 915-0071
Every Thursday, a new beer brewed at the Clybourn brewpub is tapped.

6:00 - 9:00 p.m. Goose Island Mini Invasion at Bistro 110
Bistro 110, 110 E. Pearson St., Chicago (312) 266-3110
Join Goose Island for a mini invasion as we take over Bistro 110's six taps for the month of April with a tasting party on the 21st.

6:00 - 8:00 p.m. Spring Gathering Charity Fund Raiser
Rock Bottom Orland Park, 16156 S. La Grange Rd., Orland Park, IL (708) 226-0021
We are holding a Charity Fund Raiser party to help raise funds for our annual Spring Gathering on the April 24th. The Spring Gathering is our annual giving back to the community event when we invite local underprivileged families into the restaurant for an Easter Brunch and fun packed activities for the kids. We will have special pint glasses available for purchase filled with beer, a silent auction and a 50/50 raffle.

6:30 - 11:30 p.m. Crispin Desert Noir Release Party & Artisanal Cider and Cheese Pairing
The Bavarian Lodge, 1800 Ogden Ave, Lisle, IL
Join us for the official release party of a very limited release draught oak barrel aged cider from Crispin! Desert Noir blends apple-wine aged in Tennessee Whiskey Barrels with apple-wine aged in red wine oak barrels then back-sweetened with Agave Nectar and a touch of Prickly Pear Nectar. Available on draft only in very limited quantities. Enjoy the very special Desert Noir plus three other ciders from Crispin's Artisanal Reserve series, served as a flight, with each cider paired with a handmade artisanal cheese. Representatives from Crispin Cider will be in attendance and will speak about each of their extraordinary ciders.
Crispin Cider Flight (Five Ounces of Each): - Desert Noir Cider - Honey Crisp (fermented with organic honey) - The Saint (fermented with Belgian Trappist yeast) - Lansdowne (fermented with Irish Stout Ale yeast) Plus a flight of four different artisan-made cheeses, paired with each of these premium ciders.
Cider & Cheese Flight: $15 each. No RSVP Required.

7:00 - 10:00 p.m. Death From Above: An Epic Burger Event
Three Aces Chicago, 1321 W. Taylor St., Chicago (312) 243-1577
Come out and try the burger that was featured on WGN. $20 gets you the Death From Above burger (this burger is being exclusively made for this event and this event ONLY) an kick-ass side and a New Holland Golden Cap that was perfectly paired for this burger directly from the guys at New Holland brewery. The Death From Above burger is an all duck meat patty, topped with a duck egg, bourbon prune jam and coleslaw with apple and spices. The side of duck fat fries are topped with duck confit poutine.

Follow me on Twitter, Google Buzz or Facebook. For future events in first draft, check my Google calendar.

Apr 15, 2011

Chicago craft beer weekend, April 15-17

Friday April 15 

Heller Bock Tapping, Rock Bottom Chicago
Rock Bottom, 1 W. Grand Ave., Chicago (312) 755-9339
April 15th - Heller Bock 

5:00 - 8:00 p.m. Bell's Spring Tasting at Vrai Amour
Vrai Amour, 953 W. Webster Ave. Chicago (773) 549-9740
Our annual tasting at this great shop just right around the corner from DePaul University. Help us kick off spring while tasting some Oberon! There will be many other great Bell's beers to sample also. No Charge for samples.

5:00 - 7:00 p.m. Ommegang BPA Tasting
Monk's Pub, 205 W. Lake St., Chicago (312) 357-6665
The lovely Shannon will be at Monk's Pub from 5:00 -7:00 p.m. tasting out Ommegang BPA!

5:00 - 7:00 p.m. Silly Name, Serious Beer
Binny's Beverage Depot, 844 S. Randall Rd., Algonquin, IL (847) 458-2470
Welcome the newest brewery to come to Chicagoland, Massachusetts' Clown  Shoes. Joe Katz of Stoller Wholesale will be on hand to answer your questions and pour free samples. Taste the beer that started it all, Hoppy Feet Black IPA, as well as Brown Angel, Clementine, and Eagle Claw Fist. All beers will be available for purchase.

6:00 - 8:00 p.m. New Belgium beer tasting
West Lakeview Liquors, 2156 W. Addison St., Chicago (773) 525-1916
Brian Stanek will be sampling beers from this fine Colorado brewery!

Saturday, April 16

11:00 a.m. Founders Tenth Annual Black Party
Founders Brewing Co., 235 Grandville Ave SW, Grand Rapids, MI
We're stoked to announce our TENTH ANNUAL Black Party, our annual celebration of Black Beers! Wrap your lips around our darkest brews from open-to-close, with a star-studded taplist featuring 2011 and 2010 KBS, Breakfast Stout, Imperial Stout, Black IPA, Oatmeal Stout, Frangelic Stout, Porter, and a BOATLOAD of surprise tappings.You will not want to miss this one! Plus, you can munch on Justin and Jmac's famous Dirty Bastard Bratwursts. AND make sure you don't miss evening entertainment starting at 9:30 p.m. with Oracle (Our very own supergroup, featuring head brewers Jer and Diamond, performing The Black Crowes "Southern Harmony and Musical Companion") with Four Finger Five (Funk, rock, and soul jams from Muskegon). Admission is $8 for the general public and $6 for 2011 Mug Club Members. Your paid entry includes your first Class 1 pint AND a commemorative pint glass to take home!

12:00 - 3:00 p.m. Hoppy Easter Beer Fest
Whole Foods, 201 W 63rd St., Willowbrook, IL (630) 655-5000
Jess from Metropolitan Brewing will be on-hand at this fun beer fest to sample out all four of their regular brews. Really, the only way to grocery shop is with a beer in your hand.

1:00 - 4:00 p.m. Best of the Midwest Beer Tasting Open House
Binny's Beverage Depot, 7330 W. North Ave. Elmwood Park, IL (708) 456-2112
Sample some of the best beers made right here in the great Midwest. Breweries include Argus, Dark Horse, Flossmoor, Goose Island, Half Acre, Metropolitan, Two Brothers and more. Call, or email for more information.

1:00 - 4:00 p.m. Hopfest Open House
Binny's Beverage Depot, 1919 Skokie Valley Hwy., Highland Park, IL (847) 831-5400
Hopheads of the world, unite! Binny's Highland Park is unleashing the ultimate IPA throwdown. Dozens of India Pale Ales will be available for your tasting pleasure, from Midwest favorites to the best of both coasts. $5 W/Binny's Card / $10 non-members.

    3:00 - 3:30 p.m. An Afternoon with Neil
    Lunar Brewing Company, 54 E. St Charles Rd., Villa Park, IL (630) 530-2077
    Lunar presents its Neil Armstrong Belgian Ale. Get it while it lasts...if it even lasts until 4/16 

    7:00 p.m. Crispin Cider Tasting at Cary Public House
    Cary Public House, 208 W. Main St., Cary, IL (847) 639-7244
    Crispin Cider will be sampling their artisanal reserves and their new Fox Barrel Pear line with different food items.

    7:00 p.m. Drinking & Writing Christmas Show in April
    Drinking & Writing Theater @ Haymarket Pub & Brewery, 737 W. Randolph Street, Chicago, IL
    Take the first step in April! So we didn't get a chance to perform our Christmas show a few months ago. So what's wrong with doing it in April? It's Drinking & Writing Volume IV, The 12 Steps of Christmas! We've added some new material and a few surprises. Plus $5 dollars from every ticket sold will be donated to Donate Life Illinois.

    Sunday, April 17

    10:30 - 11:30 p.m. ABA Chicagoland Breweriana Society Show
    VFW Hall, 400 E. Devon Ave., Elk Grove Village,IL
    Contact: Ray Capek 630-778-1482 Buy, sell and trade items related to sipping
    suds, including beer cans, glasses, signs, coasters, tap knobs and microbrewery items. Includes a raffle and free appraisal for items you bring in. Admission $1.
    Follow me on Twitter or Facebook. For future events in first draft, check my Google calendar.

    Apr 10, 2011

    Chicago craft beer calendar, April 11-14

    I apologize for Examiner suddenly running annoying "Congratulations!"and Netflix popunder ads and squeeze pages. If your ad blocker chokes, this page is mirrored at as The Beeronaut.

    Apr 7, 2011

    Craft beer review: Metropolitan Iron Works Alt

    We're liking this malty hybrid beer from right here in the Windy City. Click on.

    Chicago craft beer weekend, April 8-10

    Includes Brewfests @ Tinley Park & Blue Chip Casino, Binny's homebrew contest, new Avery brews to taste, End of Prohibition party.Click here!

    Apr 3, 2011

    Interview with Guinness Master Brewer Fergal Murray pt. 2 - Chicago craft beer |

    More from my chat with the brewer of the world's best-known beer. Click on!

    Chicago craft beer calendar, April 4-7

    Two Brothers’ film premiere, fundraiser for Japanese brewer’s family, beer dinner pairings, and where to hang out for the Sox home opener. Click on!

    Mar 31, 2011

    Craft beer review: Bell’s Batch 10,000 Ale

    I finally finished writing my review of this beer, just in time to buy some bottles at the Oberon Release Party TONIGHT at Binny's South Loop!

    Whatever happened to "Brew Masters?" - Chicago craft beer |

    Whatever happened to "Brew Masters?" Did "Big Beer" (aka Anheuser-Busch) kill Discovery & Dogfish Head's craft beer reality show? Click on!

    Mar 30, 2011

    Mar 29, 2011

    Chicago craft beer weekend, April 1-3 - Chicago craft beer |

    More chances to sample Metropolitan's Iron Works, and a local winner of Sam Adams LongShot. Plus a beer dinner at Limestone with guest beers from Two Brothers. And a Drinking & Writing Christmas! Click on!

    Mar 22, 2011

    Mar 21, 2011

    Dark Lord Day tickets sell out in minutes - Chicago craft beer |

    Not quite as fast as before, but this time the rush of ticket sales didn't break the internet.

    Mar 14, 2011

    Chicago St. Patrick’s week craft beer events

    Of course there's St.Pat's this week. Also beer dinners, and more chances at KBS!

    Mar 11, 2011

    Craft Beer Alert: Dark Lord Day tickets on sale March 19 (UPDATE!) - Chicago craft beer |

    Some updated information. Stay by your internet next Saturday!

    Craft Beer Alert: Dark Lord Day tickets on sale soon! - Chicago craft beer |

    Three Floyds Dark Lord Day, your chance to score one of the most popular geek beers in the world, is April 30. Your chance for a ticket to this event comes sometime in the following week.

    Mar 9, 2011

    Chicago craft beer weekend, March 11-13

    St. Patrick's celebrations including a pre-parade breakfast at Melnick's, a Bell's Beer Pairing at Wildfire, St. Baldrick's fundraiser, plus some chances at Kentucky Breakfast Stout!

    Mar 8, 2011

    YouTube - Embracing Sake at Union Sushi + Barbeque Bar

    Papa's always ready: TEACH ME SAKE! Just leave the fish out of it, okay?

    Craft beer review: Lakefront Big Easy - Chicago craft beer |

    There's the Easter Sunday tradition of popping a Doppelbock to end the Lenten fast, which is why the first commercial doppelbock was named "Salvator." But craft beer doesn't figure into a full-on Mardi Gras debauch when your aim is to get as much alcohol in you quickly as possible.

    Mar 7, 2011

    Goose Island wins 1st & 2nd at Day of the Living Ales - Chicago craft beer |

    The Chicago Beer Society held its seventh annual Day of the Living Ales tasting on Saturday, March 5. The festival featured 44 beers from 26 brewers from Chicagoland and across the nation, all served from casks in "real ale" style.

    Mar 6, 2011

    Chicago craft beer calendar, March 9-10 - Chicago craft beer |

    If you're done feeling penitential, here are some more beer tappings, dinners with 2 Brothers, Goose Island and RAM, and Fire Chief goes on at area Rock Bottoms. And stay tuned, I'll have news of something known as "KBS."

    Mar 2, 2011

    Obama food blogger has more on White House homebrewing

    Obama Foodorama blogger Eddie Gelman Kohan has rounded up more information on the White House homebrew served at the Super Bowl, and has passed it on to the beer community.

    Feb 26, 2011

    Chicago craft beer calendar, February 28-March 3

    Goose Island & Two Brothers dinners, brewpub tappings at Revolution & Limestone, festivals @ Cactus & Fountainhead

    Feb 16, 2011

    Pete’s Wicked Ales runs out

    One of the brands that helped kickstart the American craft beer movement is being discontinued. The Gambrinus Co. has notified beer distributors that as of March 1, they are discontinuing the Pete's Wicked brand, due to "rapidly declining sales volumes." Jay Brooks broke the story to beer fans Feb. 1 in his Brookston Beer Bulletin.

    Feb 14, 2011

    Chicago craft beer weekend, February 18-20

    J.W. Lee's Harvest Ale vertical tasting, Hopslam on tap in Indiana, Wrigleyville Pub Crawl, Rock Bottom's Polar Beer Festival, plenty of tastings, Oysterfest, and a barley wine beer school.

    Feb 13, 2011

    Chicago craft beer events, February 14-15

    Yet more Valentine's events, and so much else I'm splitting the week into two articles! Stone Odd Beers, Goose Island Belgian styles, Rock Bottom tappings, and more beer dinners!

    Feb 8, 2011

    Chicago craft beer weekend, February 11-13

    Pre-Valentine highlights include Delilah's Vintage Beer Festival.

    White House Super Bowl beer includes Homebrew

    Returning to presidential roots, or a new trend in sustainability?

    Feb 4, 2011

    Craft beer review: East End Gratitude of Pittsburgh

    The only beer I've had as yet from Steelertown.

    Jan 30, 2011

    Chicago Super Bowl weekend craft beer events: Feb. 4-6

    So here some of the beer-centric Super Bowl related events, plus other goings-on this weekend. I'll be updating throughout the week.

    Chicago craft beer events, January 31-February 3 - Chicago craft beer |

    Some rare local cask ales come out, another Belgian from Goose Island, a Brown Ale fest, and more beer dinner pairings.

    Jan 22, 2011

    Chicago craft beer events, January 24-27 - Chicago craft beer |

    More chances for Firestone Walker on tap, St. Baldrick's fundraiser, Founders & Tapas, gourmet pairings, and looking ahead to the Super Bowl!

    Jan 20, 2011