Chicago Craft Beer Weekend, December 14-16

December 13 - 24

12 Beers of Christmas
Flossmoor Station Restaurant & Brewery, 1035 Sterling Ave., Flossmoor, IL (708) 957-BREW
To celebrate the upcoming holidays, we're releasing 12 spiced, blended, steeped and hopped beers; through the 24th. We're tapping a new beer everyday, starting at 11:30 am, and will be served all day or until it kicks. Here's a list of what to expect!

  • Dec 13th - Coriander and Orange Zest 12.21 Ale
  • Dec 14th - Maple Syrup and Candied Pecan Pumpkin Lager
  • Dec 15th - Cold Pressed Coffee Barrel Aged Smoked Porter
  • Dec 16th - Cold Steeped Midnight Wheat Golden Opportunity Ale
  • Dec 17th - Star Anise Barrel Aged Imperial Schwartz
  • Dec 18th - Chocolate and Raspberry Imperial Schwartz
  • Dec 19th - Smoked Chile Pepper Smoked Porter
  • Dec 20th - Rooibos Steeped Golden Opportunity Ale
  • Dec 21st - Cinnamon Orange Peel and Nutmeg Golden Opportunity Ale
  • Dec 22nd - Passion Fruit Golden Opportunity Ale
  • Dec 23rd - Apricot 12.21 Ale
  • Dec 24th - Mango and Dry Hopped Golden Opportunity Ale

Friday, Dec. 14

3:00 pm - 2:00 am ♦ Winter War at Local Option
Local Option, 1102 West Webster Avenue Chicago, IL, USA 60614
Local Option will host its final beer event of 2012: “Winter War”. The courage of Finnish troops who successfully repelled invasions by air, land and sea from the Soviet Union in December 1939 will be honored by the tapping of the most defiant and subversive beers available. Highlights include Barrel Aged Black Sun Stout and Barrel Aged Owd Engwish Barley Wine from Three Floyds. These beers will be tapped at times corresponding to dates of battles in which the Finns emerged victorious against the Red Army. The event will also feature barrel aged beers from Half Acre (Chicago), Firestone Walker (California), and a tapping of the latest creation from Pipeworks` (Chicago): Unicorn Galaxy. A special appearance will be made by DJ Upside Down Cross.
Partial Draft list: BFM Douze; Central Waters Mud Puppy *Nitro*; Dark Horse Too Cream; Firestone Walker 16; Great Divide Oak Aged Yeti; Half Acre Barrel Aged Dripping Saison and Bourbon Barrel Aged Over Ale; Hitachino Commemorative Ale (Zymatore – Zinfandel Barrel Aged); Hoppin’ Frog B.O.R.I.S The Crusher; La Rulles Cuvée Meilleurs Voeux; Local Option Bierwerker Schmetterling Gose; Mikkeller Ris-A-La-M’Ale; Pipeworks Unicorn Galaxy; Port Santa’s Little Helper; St. Bernardus Christmas; Struise Tjseeses 2011; Three Floyds Bourbon Barrel Aged Black Sun Stout, Bourbon Barrel Aged Owd Engwish Barley Wine, Das Kleine Schwarz Einhorn, ReplicAle, Stack N’Stabb, Zombie Dust; To Øl Snowball.

4:00 - 7:00 pm ♦ Beer Tastings at Kenwood Liquors
Kenwood Liquors, 12037 W. 159th St., Homer Glen, IL (708) 590-8210
Sampling out New Belgium beers.

5:00 - 10:00 pm ♦ Revolution Straight Jacket Release
Revolution Brewing Co. - Kedzie Brewery, 3340 N. Kedzie Ave., Chicago (773) 588-CANS
Straight Jacket, our barrel aged Institutionalized Barleywine, is the next up in our Deep Woods Series to get the bottle treatment in 22's and it will be on sale only direct to customers at our Kedzie Ave. brewery. Although it's aged for six months in Woodford Reserve barrels, this brew is surprisingly smooth and sells for $15 a bottle. Straight Jacket sales will begin to our dedicated Mug Club members at 4pm, with sales to the general public from 5pm-10pm. This is a limited release of around 5000 bottles and we will enforce a 4 bottle limit per person and keep it on sale until it sells out.

5:00 pm ♦ New Belgium Tap Takeover, Cask Night & Food Drive
The Bavarian Lodge, 1800 Ogden Ave, Lisle, IL (630) 241-4701
We'll be featuring a selection of nine fantastic drafts and two exclusive cask-conditioned ales from New Belgium Brewing! Do you want a beautiful New Belgium glass to call your very own? Just bring in two non-perishable food items and we'll set you up with a New Belgium glass to take home with you. This holiday food drive benefits the Northern Illinois Food Bank! (Please do us a mega huge favor and make sure these items are fresh and not expired or soon to be expired.)
Available from Gravity-Dispensed Cask: New Belgium 1554 Black Ale (Dry-Hopped in Cask), New Belgium Belgo IPA (Dry-Hopped in Cask), Available On Draft: New Belgium & Vivant Biere De Garde, New Belgium & Lost Abbey Brett Bier, New Belgium & Alpine Super IPA, New Belgium Peach Porch Lounger, New Belgium Frambozen, New Belgium Imperial Chocolate Coffee Stout, New Belgium Ranger IPA, New Belgium Snow Day, New Belgium Trippel. All drafts will be available starting at 4PM. Firkins will be tapped between 5 & 6PM. Representatives from New Belgium will be here from 6-9PM. 21 & Over in the Pub Room, Please. Limit ONE FREE Glass Per Person While Supplies Last.

5:00 - 8:00 pm ♦ Finch's sampling at Capone's
Capone's Liquor & Craft Beer, 3678 North Elston Ave., Chicago 773-583-0240
Chicago’s very own Finch's will be sampling out there latest and finest brews at Capones from 5-8! Come meet both our crews!

5:00 - 8:00 pm ♦ Taste Beers of the World
Downers Grove Wine Shop & Café, 1240 75th Street, Downers Grove, IL (630) 322-9100
Sample beers from around the world including: Xingu from Brazil, Saigon from Vietnam, Chimay from Belgium, Breckenridge from Colorado New Holland from Michigan and 5 Rabbit from Chicago - Buy Local, Drink Local!

6:00 pm ♦ Friday High Gravity Series Tappings at Brixie's
Brixie’s Beer Bar, 9526 W. Ogden Ave., Brookfield, IL (708) 387-0050
Big Beer for the Big Beer Lover. Tapped every Friday. Tonight: Founders Backwoods Basterd Bourbon Barrel-Aged Ale. 10.2% abv.

7:00 - 11:00 pm ♦ Half Acre & Bacon Sausage 5-Course Dinner
Riverview Tavern, 1958 W.Roscoe, Chicago (773) 248-9523
Ever had Bacon Sausage? Join Riverview Tavern for a 5-course Half Acre & Bacon Sausage Dinner. Chef Lance Avery from Big Fork Brands Bacon Sausage will be heading up a 5-Course dinner. Seatings will be at 7 pm and 9 pm. $40 per person includes 5-course dinner and 5 different beers from Chicago's Half Acre Beer Company (+$10 for double beer tastings). Reservations at the bar, at 773.248.9523 or email Pete at Check the web site for the full menu.

9:00 pm ♦ Goose Island Tap Takeover at WhirlyBall Vernon Hills
WhirlyBall, 285 Center Drive Vernon Hills, IL
Goose Island will be tapping 12 beers at 9pm, accompanied by the band Unfiltered. No cover; 21 and older. Bourbon County Brand Stout 2012, Matilda, Fleur, Night Stalker, Sofie, Marisol, Big John, Casmir, Gran gas, Pere Jaques, Baudoinia, Minx.

Saturday, Dec. 15

2:00 - 7:00 pm ♦ Fisch-Mas: Christmas at the Fisch
Fischman's Liquors & Tavern, 4780 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago (773) 545.0123
Get ready to party in the lot under some heated tents. We will be tapping some of the finest seasonal ales we can get our hands on, and we want you all to be a part of it. The event will be a 5 hour tasting of all of the beers we tap ranging from some hard to find Christmas beers to some delicious stouts!
The Beers: Samichlaus 2011, St Bernardus Christmas Ale, Great Lakes Christmas Ale, Delirium Noel, Port Brewing Santa’s Little Helper, Anchor X-Mas, Avery Old Jubilation, St. Fueillen Speciale, Scaldis Noel, FFF Alpha Klaus.
Food trucks will be on hand to provide us with some savory dishes throughout the event! We will be releasing the beers as they are announced! Get your tickets now at Brown Paper Tickets! $30 in advance $35 at the door.

2:00 pm - 5:00 pm ♦ Beer Tastings at Kenwood Liquors
Kenwood Liquors, 12037 W. 159th St., Homer Glen, IL (708) 590-8210
Mendocino Brewing.

3:00 - 7:00 pm ♦ Winter Solstice Craft Beer Fest
Blarney Stone Pub, 15400 Cicero Ave., Oak Forest, IL (708) 535-4800
More than 30 breweries represented, with over 50 beers to taste. Breweries Include Firestone Walker, Crispin, 5 Rabbit, Dogfish Head, Wild Onion, Bear Republic, Left Hand, Shiner, Southern Tier, Great Lakes, Revolution, Two Brothers, Three Floyds, Goose Island, New Holland, Sam Adams, Lienenkugal, New Belgium, Dark Horse, Oskar Blues, Stone, Grand Teton, Founders, Anderson Valley, Green Flash, Breckenridge, Monk’s Café, Allagash, BrickStone, Wells & Young’s & more. Entrance Fee: $20.00.

5:00 - 7:00 pm ♦ A Samuel Smith Tasting
Prestige Wine and Spirits, 1471 Lee St., Des Plaines, IL (847) 824-0900
A Samuel Smith Tasting Featuring: Winter Welcome Organic Chocolate Stout Organic Lager

Saturday, Dec. 15
6:00 pm - 9:00 pm ♦ Belgian Beer & Cheese Pairing

Wine & Cheese by TCC, 24104 W Lockport Street, Plainfield, IL
Come sample some beers and cheese! This time, sampling some beers from my Belgian portfolio. Come drink, chat, & hang out with me! Timmermans Lambicus Blanche, Timmermans Kriek Lambic, Bourgogne des Flandres, Blanche de Bruxelles, Malheur 12. You should probably stay for dinner. Jason makes some fantastic food. Just sayin.

7:00 - 10:00 pm ♦ Argus Beer Dinner
Burger Bar Chicago, 1578 N. Clybourn, Chicago
Join Argus Brewery as we bring our traditionally crafted brews to Burger Bar Chicago in a 4-course beer dinner with food pairings from Chef John. Come to enjoy our Pegasus IPA, California Steam and Holsteiner Lager, and we'll tell you the story of how we create these flavorful beers locally in Chicago. Chef John has an amazing menu to go with the beer, so we hope to see you there! Join us by emailing or calling 312-255-0055 to reserve your spot. The cost to attend is $40 per person, plus tax and gratuity.

7:00 pm ♦ Brooklyn Black Chocolate Vertical Tapping at The Norse Bar
The Norse Bar, 6334 N Clark St., Chicago
Tapping 2011 and 2012 batches of Brooklyn Black Chocolate Imperial Stout. Try both separately, or together in a mini flight!

Sunday, Dec. 16

11:00 am ♦ Big Hugs vs. MechaHugs
Half Acre Beer Co., 4257 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago 773-248-4038
Whether you’re gearing up for the end or ramping up for all that’s to come, challenge sleeps at all our feet, and this year even the punisher of purr is squaring off with his rival of maniacal mechanical mayhem, MechaHugs. The force is out for us all, so dig in and size up your foes – arm yourself with Big Hugs Imperial Stout. The dim kitten is descending from the ether and bumbling through another year of robust and good intentioned destruction while finding his way to your insides. Brewed to hush your holidays, summoned to slice your inhibitions and fold you into the fur, Big Hugs Imperial Stout is the flouncing feline to pull you down into mortal embrace. Jet black magma birthed with liquid lightning, Big Hugs Imperial Stout is our gift to you. Similar to last year, we’ll have a cash line in addition to the standard check out method in the store. Below are the prices, which include tax. $12 per 22 oz bottle (limit 6 bottles per person) $22 per 64 oz growler refill, $27 for a new growler fill (limit 1 per person) $12 per 32 oz howler refill, $17 for a new howler fill (limit 2 per person) As always, we brewed Big Hugs with Dark Matter Coffee, and they’ll be on hand with coffee for the release, plus food being provided by our friends at Co-Op Sauce. New to the Big Hugs release will be draft pours, which you can find in our tap room on the day of the release. And as if that’s not enough, there will also be full-color posters of this year’s label available in addition to other new and surprising swag to comfort you in the last days of civilization. Please note, the brewery, store and tap room will all be CLOSED on December 17th for our holiday celebration.

5:30 - 7:30 pm ♦ Gordon Biersch Winterbock Brewer's Dinner
Gordon Biersch - Bolingbrook, 639 E. Boughton Road, Bolingbrook, IL 630-739-6036
Gordon Biersch at The Promenade Bolingbrook will host a special Brewer's Dinner celebrating the season with their renowned Winterbock Beer. Chef Simon Sulaica and his staff have created a special five-course meal that will be perfectly paired and served with Gordon Biersch’s delicious hand-crafted Winterbock Beer. Master Brewer, John Wyzkiewicz, will be on hand to dine with guests and explain how Winterbock pairs with the courses. Guests will have an exclusive tour of the Brewhouse and have opportunities to win Gordon Biersch prizes during the event. $50.00 per person (tax & gratuity not included) Reservations Required.

Follow me on Twitter, Google+ or my Facebook fan page. For more tappings and events, including early word on beer-centric New Year's Eve parties, check my Google Calendar.

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    Mark McDermott

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