#chicago – PorchDrinking.com
By the time you’re done reading this sentence, tickets for Mikerphone Brewing Smells Like A Beer Fest would have sold out. An exceptionally lucky 400 people obtained tickets to the inaugural event that will be held at the brewery on April 28 which features a star-studded lineup of breweries both local and from around the country.
The festival replaces Pale Pauper Day which had been held over the past few years as an alternative to the popular 3 Floyds Dark Lord Day.
Chicago has always been a weekend destination as people look to explore the city’s rich history, culture and of course, have a slice of deep dish pizza. It’s also now a place where craft beer fans can indulge in the wide array of breweries that the city offers. If anything, it might be overwhelming when trying to think of how to tackle all the breweries within the city limits. Spoiler alert—it would be virtually impossible to visit every single brewery in a weekend.
So if you’re coming to Chicago for a weekend, here’s a guide on how to get the most out of the Chicago craft beer scene in a limited amount of time. Understand that like I said above, it would be virtually impossible to do every brewery, so I had to leave some out. It’s nothing personal and you can alter this itinerary however you like. You’ll also notice that there are no suburban breweries on this list. I’ll be doing another itinerary in a couple of weeks that will focus on just suburban breweries—don’t worry guys, I didn’t forget about you!
As the number of craft breweries expanded rapidly in not only the suburbs of Chicago but all across the state of Illinois, there was talk if Chicago Craft Beer Week was feeling a little restrictive.
Chicago’s Howells & Hood restaurant and pub, with its 119 beers on tap, lies at the confluence of two Chicago icons—the “Mag Mile” and The Tribune Building. Besides the lauded culinary program and extensive beer list (and draft wine, and cocktails and more), H&H boasts of a fabulous patio that provides patrons with an exceptional, photogenic view of the Chicago skyscape. On March 1, Howells & Hood raided the Bourbon County barrel cellars of Goose Island for its five-year anniversary. The Goose presence served to be somewhat symbolic, sort of speak, as is proved to be Howells & Hood’s Anniversary Party swan song; renovations to the Tribune building will force H&H out on September 30. That leaves fans of the pub (and tourists) one more summer to drink beer surrounded by Chicago’s architectural big shoulders.
For over two decades, Two Brothers Brewing Company has been making solid beer and is a mainstay in the Chicago beer scene. Just recently, they added a new year-round beer to their rotation as well as two seasonal/limited releases.
Rarely do I geek out over a specific beer. There’s a lot of great beer out there and getting to live in Chicago, we get the next “must-have” beer more often than not. But when I had More Brewing’s Henna Batch 3, I had a beer that I knew was truly special.
Just minutes before Marz Community Brewing Company was set to open for the first time this past Saturday, a line stretched from the door and around the corner with craft beer fans ready to welcome the long-awaited taproom to the Chicago beer scene.
At the 2017 Cider Summit in Chicago, Denver’s Stem Ciders was officially introduced into the Chicago market. One year later, they’ve carved out a nice foothold in the growing cider offerings throughout the city and have been able to stand out in a very crowded space.
One day on Twitter I asked our followers which brewery we should visit for the next Inside the Tank. Almost immediately my notifications went off with people telling me to visit Open Outcry Brewing. I’ll admit I had never even heard of the brewery, but the support they got on Twitter got me curious.
Over the past three to four months Chicago has seen a plethora of great coffee stouts released from local breweries. Off Color Brewing’s Coffee Dino S’mores made with Dark Matter coffee continues the boom we’ve seen of java-forward beer.
While Surly Brewing resides in Minneapolis, Minnesota, its second home lies within the Windy City. In a move to meet growing demand in the Chicagoland area, Surly is shifting its distribution relationship from Windy City Distributing to Lakeshore Beverage, which also distributes the likes of Bell’s, Founders and AB-InBev’s High End group to the Chicago region. While the shift in local distributors might not seem like much on its face, it’s actually an intriguing signal of Surly’s larger Midwest strategy and emphasis on gaining market share in Chicago.
As the days get shorter and the temperatures continue to drop, I continue to look to barrel-aged beers to make the winters bearable. When 2016 and 2017 Boathouse Reserve from Crystal Lake Brewing Company showed up on my front door I was excited to open them up.
About a year ago I wrote how in 2017 I was going to stop cellaring beers and enjoy them fresh. The article got way more exposure than I would have ever thought and it brought out some pretty strong emotions in people—both for and against cellaring.
2017 will undoubtedly go down as the year of the tap room for Chicago craft beer. Big names that have become synonymous with beer in the city finally opened their doors to the public. Off Color Brewing, Metropolitan Brewing, Maplewood and Half Acre’s new production facility are just to name a handful of places you can now go drink where you couldn’t before.
Whenever I thought of Alarmist Brewing, its Entrenched IPA can stuck out. It’s probably the brewery’s most highly available beer and is distributed in the city. Located in the Sauganash neighborhood of Chicago – an area I typically don’t visit often, I had never been to the brewery before.
Quick Sips is our way of highlighting beer events, tap takeovers and other notable beer news around the city of Chicago. If you’d like to submit something to be included in the next Quick Sips, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Once known for bombers of big IPAs and the Abduction series, Pipeworks Brewing Co. has changed quite a bit over the past few years. The variety of beers coming out of the brewery in Chicago’s Logan Square neighborhood have increased not just in volume, but styles. Its session IPAs have become quite popular and Passion Fruit Guppy is the latest to be available in cans.
When Fischman Liquors announced they would be closing in July 2016, it didn’t take them long to announce a new location. In fact just 24 hours before the old location would close forever, they had already announced a new location would open sometime in 2017.
If you’re in Chicago in November you’ll find a never-ending lineup of great barrel-aged beers being released seemingly every week. In addition to constant releases, you also have FoBAB in the beginning part of the month. This year, one release to not overlook is Revolution Brewing’s Deep Wood Series which gets released Nov 17.
As you rub your eyes and nurse that pounding headache, it’s time to reflect on another year of FoBAB. The nation’s largest gathering of barrel-aged beers is always the marquee event to hit Chicago’s beer scene. Once again, FoBAB lived up to the hype by bringing together some of the country’s most sought after beers and putting them under one roof for thousands to enjoy.