Chicago Area Craft Beer Weekend, June 5-7

Chicago Area Craft Beer Weekend, June 5-7
With more establishments moving toward limited reopening in Phase 3 of the COVID-19 virus shut down, I'm taking the optimistic step of removing my articles detailing self-quarantine business hours from the "sticky" status on my blogroll. Part of this is due to the fact that decisions on re-opening are being made at the last minute. These events could change again at the last minute due to curfews or management concern from the current civic unrest in the area. I will try to keep up by updating status here. As places are reopening, I have been listing live music shows and food truck events, which was not my custom during the times when the calendar was much more crowded. But I want to give our beer joints a shout out for any event that might bring us out for some socially distant socializing...

Luna Bay Hard Kombucha: Talking with Co-Founder Bridget Connelly

Luna Bay Hard Kombucha: Talking with Co-Founder Bridget Connelly
Preface: I'll probably remove this paragraph later. If it seems odd for me to be posting about new products, sold at stores that are probably closed during the current pandemic and the civic unrest; well, I agree. But catching up to articles I've been writing is just my own kind of therapy. My attempt to manage some order here in the Upside-Down. I can only keep doing what I do here. Reserve my bigger rants for my personal social media. And prepare for better days to come.
Another player in specialty brewing is expanding into the Chicago market and elsewhere. Luna Bay Booch is notable in that they are producing "hard" kombucha, and because they are headed by women. Bridget Connelly is co-founder and CEO of the company. She worked with brewer Claire Ridge to formulate recipes in the Chicago, where they were scaled up to commercial batches at Pilot Project Brewing on Milwaukee Avenue...

Will Chicago Open for Craft Beer the Week of June 1-4

Will Chicago Open for Craft Beer the Week of June 1-4
The city of Chicago had set June 3 as the date restaurants can open for patio service. I only have a few of these listed as of Saturday night. We can expect more of these to be announced much closer to the exact date, so I'll add them as I find out. No doubt there are many local and neighborhood hurdles to clear, and not the least of them is finding space for outdoor seating in some streets. No doubt some of these reopenings may be delayed owing to the current unpleasantness in downtown. I will try to keep up with changes as well as additions...
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Chicago Suburban Craft Beer Re-Opening Weekend, May 29-31

Chicago Suburban Craft Beer Re-Opening Weekend, May 29-31
Update: It's Thursday evening and I am still adding listings for re-opening establishments. Up to 30, and still that's not all of them. I have found a clarification: So far, only suburban locations will be able to enter Phase 3 this weekend. Places in Chicago are working on opening for next Friday. I have also had to truncate much of the information on safety restrictions that each place has listed, to spare your scrolling thumbs. I cannot guarantee each one will have the same set of rules, so check ahead. I have tried to differentiate who is taking only reservations, and who is "first come, first served."
Hey, there! It's late Wednesday night and I'd hoped by now that I'd a nice big list of all the Illinois-side-of-the-line brewers and bars doing the socially-distant reopening this weekend. But then I had 3 extra hours of work from home tonight. Gotta watch my priorities: writing about beer while drinking beer, or making extra money which can be used to buy more beer… Hmm… So I have a start on the establishments that have announced their weekend plans. I'll keep adding to this list, though I'm sure I'll miss some. Many places may not be opening because they have not got space for outdoor seating, or they're still working with their home towns and guidelines. So if you plans on going out to these places, please do check their websites for all the restrictions they might require, especially if they can only seat people who reserve in advance. And please follow the rules about wearing your mask. You might be able to take it of while eating or drinking. Don't be a dick and ruin it for the rest of the state...

Chicago Post-Memorial Beer Week, May 26-28

Chicago Post-Memorial Beer Week, May  26-28
I'm putting this out (minus the Monday for Memorial Day) and hoping to start compiling reopening plans for Chicago area bars and beer brewers starting Friday, May 29th. These will all be restricted to outdoor seating spaces, so not everyone will be able to open...

Chicago's Memorial Day Beer Weekend, May 22-25

Chicago's Memorial Day Beer Weekend, May 22-25
Update: In the midst of these strange times and of places closing down, I've just added news of two new brewers opening this weekend! Art History Brewing in Geneva is open for carryout beer orders, and Urban Forest Craft Brewing opens Saturday in Rockford! Check the details below!
First, the good news (maybe): The state of Illinois and Gov. Pritzker announced Wednesday that bars and restaurants may open for limited outdoor seating starting Friday, May 29. I will try to keep up with posted plans, and get out an early events schedule as a learn about them (Chicago Tribune article). And, some not-so-good news (maybe): Rather than open along with other establishments in Indiana, Three Floyds brewpub in Munster had furloughed its employees, and not set a date for a possible return. The move has been speculated as based on financial issues, or the Floyds' slow progress on a new facility, founder Nick Floyd told Josh Noel, “I can’t put people in danger. No one should die over a beer. I would die for beer and probably will, but I’m not going to make people endanger themselves.” The fact that the brewpub only has space for 70 patrons may have contributed to the decision. Three Floyds commercial brewing and distilling operations will continue (Chicago Tribune). Also of note: This is the last weekend for Brixie's, the Brookfield beer bar opened in 1934. The bar was purchased by Imperial Oak of Willow Springs, which will be turning it into a second brewery and taproom. Chris DiBraccio had been managing Brixie's since 2002, taking over from his father-in-law Russel Brixie. DiBraccio is also one of the owners of Imperial Oak. More details below. I've left a space for Monday events for the Memorial Day holiday. Usually holidays are pretty light, beer-wise, but something may be announced at the last-minute...
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Chicago Craft Beer Remote Week, May 18-21

Chicago Craft Beer Remote Week, May 18-21
Our experiment in isolation may start to show some cracks, as restaurants in Indian start opening this week. Will new rules for keep separated from fellow patrons prove useful, or will we be closed down again by weeks end...

Regional Beer Review: Saugatuck Imperial BBA Neapolitan Milk Stout

Regional Beer Review: Saugatuck Imperial BBA Neapolitan Milk Stout
Here’s another review of a beer that I was able to find during our current self-isolation. These are regional beers that can be readily purchased at a decent price. Tonight, from Michigan’s Saugatuck Brewing, I have their Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Neapolitan Milk Stout (yes, that name is a mouthful). Saugatuck, like many brewers, has... Read more »

Chicago Remote Craft Beer Weekend, May 15-17

Chicago Remote Craft Beer Weekend, May 15-17
It appears some beer establishments in Indiana may be opening up further this weekend. I'll try to have some updates on the list of open bars and brewers on my right rail, what they call that column over there——>...
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Local Beer: Hopewell Lil Buddy

Local Beer: Hopewell Lil Buddy
Hey, time for another local beer that can be easily picked up for carryout, or ordered for curbside or delivery. Hopewell Brewing is a packaging brewer at 2760 N. Milwaukee Ave. in Chicago. In more public times, they’d have a taproom with no kitchen, but deliveries available from nearby restaurants, and scheduled brewery tours. Their... Read more »
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