#craftbeerweek – PorchDrinking.com
The inaugural Illinois Craft Beer Week (ICBW) replaced the former, annual Chicago Craft Beer Week (CCBW), but both the kick-off and closing festivals took place on Chicago’s north side, and most of the intra-week events occurred within the nation’s third-biggest market, which also happens to be where the vast majority of Illinois breweries operate. So, as they say, “A rose by any other name.” Nevertheless, the 2018 version is in the books and once again demonstrated that the enthusiasm for craft beer remains high. There are nuances to the industry and week-long festivities worthy of mentioning, so let’s take the time to note a few observations made during ICBW.
The vast majority of craft brewers take immense pride in every beer they produce, and it shows in the exuberance they demonstrate while discussing their creations to patrons during Illinois Craft Beer Week. Sure, beer releases, festivals, events and tap takeovers during craft week are wrought with stressful, logistical challenges. Nonetheless, whatever might betide, in those moments when a beer fan inquires as to the details of a beer served, sheer joy routinely arises. In fact, all those associated with the brewery exude palpable excitement when presented with an opportunity to speak about their products.
All that hard work. All that cleaning. All that blood and sweat is worth it when it gets boiled down to the very essence of beer making — the beer, itself.
This year PorchDrinking.com is pairing up with two local Chicago bottle shops for two great events during Illinois Craft Beer Week. Both events are designed to introduce the city to breweries that are new to Chicago or are out in the suburbs and might not be well-known to people living in the downtown area.
Every year since 2010, Chicago Craft Beer Week has celebrated the city’s craft beer industry and all those that work so hard to produce so many great beers. On Thursday, the week-long celebration kicks off with Beer Under Glass (B.U.G) and then will be followed by hundreds of events over the next seven days.
Let’s be real – every week in Madison is craft beer week (CBW). With new breweries sprouting up on every corner and constantly rotating taps at every bar, living in Madison leaves very little to be desired for the hop-seeker. But hey, what better way to celebrate a culture of new beers and new breweries, than with a week packed with brand new crafts and new collaborative strategies in brewing?
The Beatles got one thing wrong: happiness is not a warm gun. No, no. Happiness is a week celebrating craft beer in your home town. And by a serendipitous turn of events this one kicks off on the back end of my birthday weekend. So what that really means is that Lexington’s Craft Beer Week coincides with my birthday week (that’s right, we celebrate birthdays for a week round these parts).