First, some bad (for me) news. I have allowed myself to get pushed against the wall with a drop-dead deadline for my Web Design course from IIT. It was actually due last semester, but I got a semester reprive on the mistaken belief that would be enough time. Well, it wasn't.
So this column is going into brief hibernation while I try to finish up before the final mid-May deadline. Yes, that means I'm missing out on Dark Lord Day festivities, and most of the national and Chicago Craft Beer Weeks.
I have a few PR releases I said I would push through, more or less verbatim, so we'll have those out today. I will continue to update my Google Calendar as I find new events, but I won't be making my rounds of web sites, so some might be missed. Here's where you can keep up:
- My basic Google Calendar listings are kind of cluttered with HTML that GCal won't read, so I can more quickly out put them here. But the HTML, with links, shows up fine on my old ChiTownonTap calendar. There's a printable version on my GCal API. This is one of my class projects, and is still being tinkered with.
- Chicago Craft Beer Week is May 16 through 26. Their website will have the full schedule. Yes, the opening "Beer Under Glass Event" at the Garfield Park Conservatory is already sold out.
- There will also be some local events around American Craft Beer Week, sponsored by the Brewers Association, MAy 13-19. Information can be found at this website.
And hopefully, I will have a full time job someday, that will make it a little easier to spare the time.
Friday, Apr. 19
4:00 pm ♦ Gigantic Brewing Chicagoland Launch Party
The Bavarian Lodge, 1800 Ogden Ave, Lisle, IL (630) 241-4701
We're happy to welcome one of Portland, Oregon's smallest, most celebrated, artisanal breweries: Gigantic Brewing Company, to Chicagoland! Stop in and meet Brewer/Owners Ben Love & Van Having, veterans of the Portland brewing scene, and enjoy six Gigantic beers on tap!
At Gigantic they only do two things: make the best damn IPA in Portland, and produce seasonal, exciting, flavorful beers, most of which will be brewed only once. Their goal is simultaneously to create new interpretations of classic styles and to ignore those same style guidelines completely and brew whatever their creative natures produce. They vow to start small and (stubbornly) stay small, focusing their efforts on making exceptional beer, rather than a lot of beer. When you drink Gigantic, know that they didn’t just put their names on the label – their effort, imagination, and dry wit are in every bottle.
We'll be pouring SIX Gigantic Beers on Tap. Try some great Gigantic brews while hanging out with Gigantic Brewer/Owners Ben Love & Van Havig:
Royale Belgian Pale
Whole In The Head Imperial IPA
End of Reason Petite Belgian Quad
Dark Meddle Vienna Lager
Time Traveler Porter
Meet & Greet with Ben & Van Starts Around 8:00 PM
All Gigantic Brews Available at 4:00 PM, First Come, First Served Basis
5:00 - 7:00 pm ♦ Tieton Cider Works Tasting at Monk's Pub
Monk's Pub, 205 W. Lake St., Chicago (312) 357-6665
Stop in to taste two ciders from Tieton Cider Works in Tieton, Washington. We will be featuring Wild Washington Apple and Yakima Valley Dry-Hopped Cider which are new to Chicago!
Saturday, Apr. 20
11:30 am ♦ Baconfest Chicago (SOLD OUT)
UIC Forum, 725 W Roosevelt Rd., Chicago
Baconfest is a festival dedicated to America’s favorite cured meat: bacon! At Baconfest, Chicago’s best chefs concoct and serve brilliant bacon dishes to thousands of passionate bacon lovers. Liquor sponsors provide cocktails, beer and wine designed to complement a bacon meal. Bacontrepreneurs and bacon-friendly brands exhibit their wares and connect with our bacon community. A panel of judges bestows the Golden Rasher awards on chefs and guests for achievement in the bacon arts.
Goose Island will be there pouring Honker's Ale, Pere Jacques, Pepe Nero, and Dark Traveller, the latest installment in the Fulton & Wood series. Other drinks sponsors pouring at Baconfest will be Labatt Blue, Old Style, Pabst Blue Ribbon, Greenbush Brewing, Lagunitas, Templeton Rye, and of course, Bacon Vodka. Tickets are sold out, no more will be available at the door.
12:00 pm ♦ AlphaBeer X
John Barleycorn River North, 157 W. Kinzie St., Chicago (773) 348-8899
AlphaBeer is the only event that teaches you about 26 beers - one for every letter of the alphabet! The focus is on craft brews and the experience is led by experts who truly appreciate fine beer. It's a three hour tour of hops and barley and lagers and ales, and everything is crafted by masters who are passionate about their beers.
We're celebrating our "X"th AlphaBeer on April 20! At this very special event we're highlighting breweries from the Great Lakes area, including Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin, Indiana, and, especially, Chicagoland! We've also partnered with Chicago Beer Geeks and Barley's Angels to curate our selection, so you know these beers are going to be amazing.
You won't just be tasting; you'll also learn about the ABV, the IBU and what to eat with each brew. Notes on each beer are broadcast on multiple screens so you don't miss a letter. There's no better way to learn your A-BEER-C's!
Tickets are just $45 to try 26 different craft beers, each introduced by an expert. BONUS: Bring 5 friends and you get to go free! A table of 6 is only $225.
Here's what's "on tap":
- All Day IPA, Founders
- Breakfast Stout, Founders
- Curmudgeon, Founders
- Dynamo, Metropolitan
- Eugene Porter, Revolution
- Farm House Ale, Brewery Vivant
- Goose Island Pepe Nero
- Iron Works Alt, Metropolitan
- Jinx Proof, Three Floyds
- Kalamazoo Stout, Bell's
- Loudmouth Soup, Greenbush & Cleetus Friedman
- Monkey King, New Holland
- New Grist, Lakefront
- Over Ale, Half Acre
- Paleooza, New Holland
- Querkus Smoked Oaked Porter, Ridgeway
- Revolution A Little Crazy
- Sky High Rye, Arcadia
- Tiny Dancer, Goose Island
- Unfiltered Wheat Beer, Boulevard
- Hammer, Bullet, Vice; Half Acre
- White Chapel Wit, Haymarket
- "X" FIDY, Oskar Blues
- GFY Stout, Spiteful Brewing
- Zaison, Brewery Vivant
Please note that due to availability beers are liable to change. Tickets and info here.
1:00 - 5:00 pm ♦ Ballpark Brew Fest
Schaumburg Boomers Stadium, 1999 S. Springinsguth Rd., Schaumburg, IL (847) 925-0183
Schaumburg Boomers Baseball will host Ballpark Brew Fest Schaumburg’s first annual beer fest.
This four-hour, unlimited sample brewery festival features specialty beers from over two-dozen breweries. General admission tickets are $49 each and VIP tickets are $75 each, which allows the ticketholder access to the event an hour early at 12:00 p.m. and special tappings from a select group of exclusive brews.
The exclusive craft brewery festival will showcase the newest batches of craft beers by well-known and up-and-coming brewers, including the country’s first vegan brewery, and live music by “This Must Be The Band,” Chicago’s only Talking Heads tribute band. Guests can utilize the free parking available, as well as the convenience of the Schaumburg Metra station being a quarter-mile from the festival entrance.
Tickets are now available at www.ticketmaster.com. Please visit www.ballparkbrewfest.com for more information on the event and event news.
Confirmed brewers: Abita, Allagash, AngryOrchard, Argus, Artisanal Ales (La Trappe), BlueMoon, Boulevard, Chicago Beer Co., Church Street Brewing, Crispin, Dogfish Head, Firestone Walker, Fox Barrel, GreatDivide, Half Acre, Hopothesis, Lagunitas, Lakefront, Left Hand, Leinenkugel’s, Krombacher, Metropolitan, New Belgium, New Holland, NorthCoast, Oskar Blues, Pig Minds, Revolution, Sam Adams, SierraNevada, Sixpoint, Ska Brewing, Southern Tier, Stone, Third Shift, TwoBrothers, UncleJohn's, Wild Onion.
2:00 - 6:00 pm ♦ Saturday Tastings
The House of Glunz, 1206 N. Wells St., Chicago
In-store, open house tasting featuring new arrivals, seasonal specials and end-of-bin deals. Tastings, unless otherwise stated, are free of charge.
4:00 - 8:00 pm ♦ Map Room Beer School
The Map Room, 1949 N. Hoyne Chicago, IL 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. Topic: Seasonal beers. Limit, 45 people. Price, $25 per person. Hosted by Greg Browne. Call 773.252.7636 for more information. Tickets went on sale on the Monday evening before beer school (April 15), starting at 7 p.m.. Cash only, maximum 2 tickets per purchase, and first come-first serve until all tickets have been sold. You must have a ticket to attend Beer School.
2:00 - 9:00 pm ♦ 6th Annual Chicago Zombie Pub Crawl
Register at pH Comedy Theater, 1515 W. Berwyn, Chicago
The hugely popular event once again takes place in Chicago's Andersonville neighborhood. Once the zombies are registered at The pH Comedy Theater, the pub crawl begins with pH Productions sending groups of zombies up and down Clark Street, much to the delight and horror of unsuspecting people. Zombie hordes will be led on multiple routes to the many participating bars and enjoy specially priced cocktails and themed drinks.
Advanced Registration tickets are $25 and include an event cup and an official Chicago Zombie Pub Crawl T-Shirt. Tickets are $30 at the door the day of the event. Information and ticket sales here. Check the Arcade Brewery Facebook for your password for Arcade's limited exclusive Zombie Pixelated Phil buttons at Hamburger Mary's.
Arcade will also have a raffle to win signed prints and shotgun shells from The Walking Dead co-creator and their "6 Pack Stories" label designer Tony Moore!
*All proceeds from the crawl go to pH Productions, a non-profit comedy theater here in Chicago.
Sunday, Apr. 21
12:00 - 5:00 pm ♦ Whiskey Barrel Aged Beer Tasting
Delilah's, 2771 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago (773) 472-2771
We are hosting our second annual Tasting of Whiskey Barrel Aged Beers! There will be beers from over 50 breweries, many of them in multiple vintages. We will be looking at beers aged in Bourbon barrels: Goose Island Bourbon County Stout, Central Waters Bourbon Barrel Stout, Founders KBS; and Scotch barrels: JW Lees Lagavulin Finished Harvest Ale, Brewdog Storm aged in Islay casks, etc.
Free to attend - $20 for 20 sample tickets.
8:00 pm ♦ Rock And Beer with KVELERTAK & Local Option
Bottom Lounge, 1375 W. Lake St., Chicago (312) 666-6775
Norwegian rockers KVELERTAK will land at Chicago’s Bottom Lounge for the maiden date on their North American headline tour in support of its sophomore release Meir. To celebrate the occasion, the band, venue and Roadrunner Records have teamed up with Chicago’s LOCAL OPTION BIERWERKER to have “Dampf Loc” and “Voku Hila” available on draft at the show. KVELERTAK – who recently made its opinions on America’s worst beers known on Metal Injection – have welcomed the opportunity to arm its Chicago followers with two devastating beers from one of Chicago’s most respected brewers. Tickets for the KVELERTAK concert can be purchased HERE.
Monday, Apr. 22
Ale Syndicate & Green Exchange Earth Day
The Green Exchange, 2545 W. Diversey Ave, 2nd Floor Chicago
Celebrate Earth Day with Ale Syndicate at The Green Exchange.
The evening will include a number of workshops, including our "Intro to Homebrewing". Homebrewing is a fun, creative and - of course - rewarding hobby that can be easier than you'd ever believe. Ale Syndicate will be on hand to talk about the basics of brewing and to give you tips and techniques for making delicious beer right in your abode. Samples of beer will be provided as supplies permit.
All participants must be 21 and over. Two classes (5p-6p and 6p-7p). Space is limited. First Come First Serve.
Following the workshops will be a concert featuring Rebecca Loebe, singer and songwriters from Season 1 of NBC's "The Voice".
Click here to purchase tickets or for more info. Use code "GxFamily" for $10 off.
Follow me on Twitter, Google+ or my Facebook fan page. For more tappings and events, check my Google Calendar. View my One-Take Beer Review Videos. And see the latest of my 2,600 beer reviews on RateBeer.