Chicago Craft Beer Events: September 20-22

I am quite swamped with the start of "official" Oktoberfest events this weekend, and I just now found out about a little sausage-fest right downtown.

Now through Friday, September 20

10:00 am - 8:00 pm ♦ Chicago Wurst Festival
Daley Plaza, 118 N. Clark St., Chicago
Chicago’s Wurst Festival is a culinary celebration of local and sustainable artisan sausage, craft beer and wine, and Chicago music. This is sausage made the old fashioned way, naturally pastured, sustainably raised meat from local farms. The City of Chicago’s Farmers Market Program has partnered with Red Meat Market and Family Farmed to host this three day Wurst Festival.
The Wurst Festival at Daley Plaza will also serve as an outdoor showcase for the City of Chicago’s very first Chicago Music Summit on Friday, September 20th at the Chicago Cultural Center (78 E. Washington St.). The Chicago Music Summit is a new local music conference presented by the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events to shine a spotlight on Chicago’s innovative and thriving music scene and connect professionals with local and national industry leaders. Chicago Music Summit musicians will perform live on the main Wurst Festival stage throughout the day featuring such local acts as Psalm One, Ari Brown and Matthew Skoller. Customers can enjoy tasty locally pastured bratwurst, a cold craft beer and the best new local music Chicago has to offer. Admission is free.
In addition to local sausage and craft beer and wine, many local providers will be on hand to sell sauerkraut, breads and frozen sausages and locally pastured meats to take home. The Wurst Festival main stage will also showcase chefs, butchers, sausage makers and other guest speakers throughout the day.

Friday, September 20

Goose Island & River North Beer Present: Be a Brewmaster
Black Rock Pub & Kitchen,
3614 N Damen Ave., Chicago
Whether you're an avid homebrewer or just an appreciator of craft beer, it's hard to deny how cool it would be to create and name a genuine Goose Island Beer with Goose Island Brewpub Brewmaster, Nick Barron. Goose Island and River North Beer have teamed up to give one lucky winner (and two companions) the opportunity to do just that.
To enter to win, attend any of the the "Be a Brewmaster" events at Craft beer bars around Chicago. One winner from each event will be entered into the Grand Prize drawing which will be held in October.

5:00 - 8:00 pm ♦ Revolution Oktoberfest Beer Pairings
Prairie Moon All American Dining, 1502 Sherman Ave., Evanston, IL (847) 864-8328
Head to Prairie Moon for four food pairings with four Revolution brews!
We'll have A Little Crazy, Cross of Gold, Double Fist, and of course our Oktoberfest on hand!

5:30 - 8:30 pm ♦ Firkin Friday: Revolution Anti-Hero IPA (Crystal Dry-Hopped in Cask)
The Bavarian Lodge, 1800 Ogden Ave, Lisle, IL (630) 241-4701
Join us for another Firkin Friday! A cask-conditioned ale dispensed by gravity directly from the firkin, tapped right on the bar counter.
For this week's Firkin Friday feature, we're quite excited to present Revolution Anti-Hero IPA presented in true in cask-conditioned format, with the added twist of being dry-hopped in the cask with a huge amount of Crystal hops. A deep golden hued, citrusy, hop-forward IPA. Don't miss Anti-Hero in this very special cask conditioned presentation this Friday night!
The cask will be tapped at approximately 5:30 pm at the bar. Its delicious contents will be available to everyone in both the restaurant and pub until the firkin runs dry.

6:00 - 9:00 pm ♦ Ram Schaumburg's Oktoberfest and 1,000th Beer Tapping
Ram Restaurant & Brewery, 1901 McConnor Parkway, Schaumburg, IL (847) 517-8791
Celebrate Oktoberfest, the 1,000th beer to be brewed at the Ram's Schaumburg location. A special German style menu and Stein Holding contest both night. 10%of proceeds from sales on Friday will be donated to Northwest Community Outreach Program, 10% of Saturday's proceeds will go to Clearbrook.

6:00 - 9:00 pm ♦ Brewery Ommegang “Take The Black Stout” Bottle Release
West Lakeview Liquors, 2156 W Addison St., Chicago (773) 525-1916
Brewery Ommegang will be releasing their next beer in the Game of Thrones Series. Second in the series is “Take The Black Stout”, a drink is inspired by Night’s Watch, the military order that guards the Wall on the northern border of the Seven Kingdoms. The ale, brewed with star anise and licorice root, is 7 percent alcohol by volume. Balanced with a chocolate, dark coffee, and rich malt character.
Draft samples will be available. A limited number of bottles will be available for sale.

6:00 - 11:00 pm ♦ 7th Annual Festiv-Ale
Carmichael's Chicago Steak House, 1052 W. Monroe, Chicago (312) 433-0025
The 7th Annual Festiv-Ale Craft Beer Charity Tasting features 25 craft breweries, 9 local restaurants and a silent auction to raise $100,000, presented by the Junior Advisory Board of The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Tickets for this event, starting at $65, are still available at
Sample food from nine local restaurants, many of whom will pair with local brewers to provide food that complements the beer being served. Throughout the night, guests will also have the opportunity to bid on silent auction packages, which range from home brew kits and private brewery tours to hotel and restaurant packages. Raffle prizes include three towers of beer which entitles the winner to walk away with over 20 cases.

7:00 - 11:00 pm ♦ Oktoberfest for Hope
Joffrey Ballet, 10 E. Randolph St., Chicago
Provide hope to children and families in need by joining the One Hope United Auxiliary Board for our 4th annual Oktoberfest-themed beer tasting including appetizers and wine. The event will also include a silent auction. Tickets are $80 per person, online only. Tickets will not be available at the door. Attire for this event is smart casual. Beer sponsored by Revolution Brewing. For more information, please visit

7:00 pm ♦ Ommegang Game of Thrones Take the Black Stout Release Party
Logan Theatre, 2646 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago (773) 342-5555
Celebrate the launch of Brewery Ommegang's new Game of Thrones Take the Black Stout. There will be food, drink, raffle prizes, a costume contest and a screening of a really awesome (and secret, for now) episode of Game of Thrones in the theater. CLICK HERE to RSVP and to sign up to win an Iron Throne replica from G-Mart Comics. We'll be choosing the winner at the party, so make sure you're there to claim your prize. All entries must be 21+, must be present to win.

11:00 am - 11:00 pm ♦ Glenview House’s 2nd Annual Oktoberfest Tent Party
The Glenview House, 1843 Glenview Road Glenview, IL (847) 724-0692
Inspired by the famous German celebration, Glenview House will host the North Shore’s most exciting all-day Oktoberfest this side of Munich. Feast on authentic grub, grog and live music in the 60’x40’ Oktoberfest tentin the railroad parking lot directly west of the restaurant.
The Beer includes commemorative Glenview House liters ($12) and half liters ($6) of Munich brewery, Hacker-Pschorr, Hacker-Pschorr Oktoberfest, and Sam Adams Oktoberfest.
Chef Jeff Modica will be serving up festive Bavarian food specialties like brats ($5), giant pretzels ($7) and a German Plate ($8) filled with a brat, potato salad and sauerkraut. The six piece German band, Die Musikmeisters, will play a rousing blend of traditional German music. Free admission.

11:00 am - 12:00 pm ♦ Solemn Oath Oktoberface Tapping
Arrowhead Golf Club, 26W151 Butterfield Road Wheaton, IL 630-653-5800
Oktoberfest beers are already on tap at Arrowhead Golf Club! Join them Saturday for a special tapping of Solemn Oath's Oktoberface, complete with 1/2 price German pretzels.

12:00 pm ♦ Oktoberfest Kick-Off and Pig Roast
The Bavarian Lodge, 1800 Ogden Ave, Lisle, IL (630) 241-4701
Celebrate the start of this year's Oktoberfest season with our Annual Oktoberfest Pig Roast accompanied by six very special casks of Oktoberfest beers made especially for this event by some of our favorite local breweries! All firkins will be tapped right on the bar counter and gravity dispensed until they're gone... Stop by and enjoy an unprecedented line-up of cask-conditioned Oktoberfest beers.
In addition to all of the fresh brewed goodness, this same day marks the beginning of our Oktoberfest Pig Roast! Succulent pork, roasted whole, and carved to order. Accompanied with parsley boiled potatoes, our homemade sauerkraut, and pan gravy. Join us and kick off Oktoberfest in style!
Available from Cask-Conditioned Firkin: Goose Island Oktoberfest, Revolution Oktoberfest, Metropolitan Diablo Dynamo, Solemn Oath Oktoberface, Lakefront Oktoberfest, Last minute surprises possible!
Other Oktoberfest & Autumnal Specialties on Draft: Hacker-Pschorr Oktoberfest Marzen, Ayinger Oktoberfest-Marzen, Metropolitan Afterburner Oktoberfest and  Zwickel Flywheel, Southern Tier Pumking, and more. First firkin tapping between 12:30 & 1:00 pm.

12:00  - 6:00 pm ♦ River North Craft Crawl
John Barleycorn River North, 149 W. Kinzie St., Chicago (773) 348-8899, ChicagoTwentySomething & has brought this unique experience to the comfort of your favorite River North Bar or Restaurant. Savor 9 varieties of craft beers and food pairings all while watching Saturday afternoon football at places like American Junkie and John Barleycorn. Recommendations will be made to try your favorite craft beers with a variety of culinary options from some of Chicago’s top restaurants and bars.
the six hour crawl will include:
-tasting of 9 featured craft beers (3-4 ounces in size)
-1 drink voucher for a full size craft pint
-featured craft beers will be only $4 for all attendees of the event
-food pairing suggestions will be made to compliment each sip
Tickets start at just $10 at Eventbrite; you must be 21 years older with a valid ID to attend.

12:00 - 6:00 pm ♦ 6th Annual Rib-a-Cue Smoke Out
Moonshine Brewing Company, 1824 W. Division St., Chicago (773) 862-8686
Pro and Amateur BBQ Chefs to Duke it Out for Gilded Grill Trophy at Moonshine's 6th Annual Rib-a-Que Smoke Out. Applications now being Accepted!
In the Moonshine parking lot, the culinary gauntlet will be thrown down and pro BBQ chefs will compete with amateurs for the rights to the coveted Gilded Grill trophy – and cash prizes. The winners will be determined by the public and a panel of celebrity judges.
The Fest: The Rib-a-Que pits BBQ rib aficionados against each other. One ticket samples all the contestants. This year’s event figures to feature over 2 tons of ribs, 500-plus hungry rib lovers and up to 16 fierce competitors! The Rib-a-Que is the perfect way to button-up summertime activities in Chicago.
The Contest: It's culinary school vs. momma’s family recipe, big boys vs. the small guys…and baby back ribs are the muse. Competing chefs will set up shop in the spacious Moonshine parking lot to showcase their skills. Each chef will feature their own take on BBQ baby back ribs, plus one side dish. Discriminating foodies and celebrity judges alike will taste several unique and savory rib recipes to help determine the overall winner.
Confirmed for 2013: 90 Miles Cuban Cafe, Top Shelf BBQ, Gordon Food Service, Sweet Ginny's, Banh Mi & Co. Lakeview, Hutch Chicago, Sweet Smoke Chicago, Smokin Hops, Moonshine Wicker Park.
Applications for this year’s Rib-a-Que are still being accepted; contact Greg Bauer at if interested.
The public will cast their vote, along with a line-up of celebrity foodie judges. Winners are selected for both categories; popular vote and judge’s vote. 1st place in each category gets $700 each and a Gilded Grill trophy! Runner ups in each category get $350 a piece.
Tickets are $25 in advance through or at Moonshine, or $35 at the door. This event is “Rain or (Moon)Shine!!

1:00 - 5:00 pm ♦ 5 Rabbit Beer Cocktail Party
5 Rabbit Brewery, 6398 W. 74th St., Bedford Park, IL
Join us for our Beer Cocktail Party at the brewery. We've tapped the mixing mastery of distiller Ian Van Even (Letherbee, Three Dots and a Dash) to give you a day of fall fun. You'll learn about brewing, distilling and mixing, and try your hand at making your own. We'll supply to food; you bring the enthusiasm. Tickets (this link) are $35 and include beer school, beer cocktails and apps.

1:00 pm ♦ Firkin Oktoberfest Kick-off Tapping
Northdown Cafe & Taproom, 3244 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago (773) 697-7578
Tapping four German Fest Firkins to celebrate the beginning of Oktoberfest in Munich.
Löwenbräu Buttenheim Kellerbier, Mahr’s Ungespundet Lager and Pils, and Weissenohe Benediktiner Zwickel.

1:00 - 5:00 pm ♦ Logan Square Beer Fest
Logan Square Auditorium, 2539 N Kedzie Blvd., Chicago, IL
The Logan Square Beer Fest will feature 20+ mostly mid-west breweries, and about 40-50 beers, including rare beers (barrel aged, cask conditioned, collaboration, etc).
Tickets are $45 for regular admission at 2:00 pm, or $55 for 1:00 pm VIP admission through Ticketweb.
Scheduled participating brewers include Abita, Ale Syndicate, Begyle, Bell's, Boulder, Goose Island, Half Acre, Lagunitas, Lake Effect, Lakefront, Metropolitan, New Holland, Revolution, Rock Bottom, SixPoint, Solemn Oath, Sprecher, Summit, Two Brothers, and Wild Onion.

1:00 pm - 7:00 pm ♦ Brew at the Bridge
Hudson Crossing Park, S. Harrison St, Oswego, IL
Local craft beer enthusiasts are welcome to sample the greatest beers in the region. Brewers will be present to answer questions about their craft. Enjoy live music, terrific food and a beautiful a beautiful fall Saturday at Hudson Crossing Park.
For $15, receive a souvenir pilsner glass and 5 taste tickets from top craft brewers and emerging brewers with buzz in the region. Additional taste tickets will be available for purchase.
For additional information on participating breweries, bands and tickets visit
Brewers represented: Solemn Oath, Ale Syndicate, Emmett's, Baderbrau, 5 Rabbit,
Angry Orchard, Lagunitas, Argus, Stone, Fireman's Brew, Village Vintner, Stockholm's (Geneva IL), Temperance, Big Bay (Shorewood IL), Three Angels (Yorkville IL), Urban Legend, Boston Beer, Hopothesis.

4:00 - 10:00 pm ♦ 312 Urban Block Party
Goose Island Fulton Street Brewery, 1088 W. Fulton St., Chicago, IL
Goose Island Beer Company and WXRT present the second annual 312 Urban Block Party. Once again Goose Island will be rolling out some exclusive and rare beers from their secret stash in the brewery. The Goose Island Brewpub will be roasting a pig in addition to there being a block full of Chicago's best food trucks and food stands. In addition to door prizes you can expect a whole day full of surprises. Come help us celebrate 25 years of brewing beer in Chicago with a traditional neighborhood block party right outside our brewery at the corner of Fulton and Wood. Music by Tokyo Police Club and Low. Tickets are $25 plus fees at Ticketweb.

5:00 - 10:00 pm ♦ Tighthead HopToBerFest 2013
Tighthead Brewing Co., 161 N. Archer Ave., Mundelein, IL 847-970-9174
An evening of great beer, food and music to celebrate the Hop Harvest Season! Beers will include the release of our Oktoberfest Marzen style lager, your favorite Tighthead standards and whatever else we decide to pull out of the cooler. Vendors will provide a variety of food and live music provided by the Hurricane Reggae Band and Silver Machine starting at 6:00.

7:00 - 9:00 pm ♦ Octoberfest Celebration and Sam Adams Stein Hoisting Competition
Blackfinn American Grille, 157 W, Randhurst Village, Mt. Prospect, IL (847) 398-5501
Join us and Frank Ustach from Sam Adams to kick off Octoberfest! Prizes for the winner of the contest. We will also feature a limited release Sam Adams draft. More details to come!

Saturday & Sunday, Sept. 21 & 22

Andersonville City Made Fest
Clark Street between Argyle & Carmen, Chicago
Featuring an array of Chicago-based musicians, brewers and artisans, this new festival is a celebration of all of the great stuff being made right here in our city.

Our stage line-up features a small sampling of a diverse array of genres that make up the larger Chicago music scene - folk, blues, indie rock, hip hop, world, Latin - and will be a great chance to see established performers and discover new and up-and-coming talent.

BEER! In the past few years the Chicago craft beer scene has exploded with dozens of new breweries opening all over the city. The beauty of City Made Fest is it will feature craft brews from the larger operations but also from some of the smaller producers who have opened recently (some right in Andersonville's backyard) and are busy gaining new fans. We are also happy to welcome a brewery that is making a very big splash by opening a huge new facility in Chicago this fall! We are pleased to feature at City Made Fest: RevolutionLagunitasMetropolitanFinch'sOff ColorBegyle, Hamburger Mary's4PawsAle SyndicateLake Effect
More info, plus the band schedule, at All Things Andersonville.
The event is open to the public (suggested $5 donation at gate). Further information: Anderson Development Corp. website.

Sunday, September 22

12:00 pm - 12:00 am ♦ Two Brothers Oktoberfest
Two Brothers Roundhouse, 205 N. Broadway, Aurora, Illinois 60505
Prost! Beer, Brezen, Bags, and Bears, come join the Two Brothers Family for our first Oktoberfest celebration at the Two Brothers Roundhouse. Traditional German food and beer will be pouring all day, stick around to pre-game the Bears vs. Steelers.

12:00 - 5:00 pm ♦ Whole Cow #2 at HopLeaf
Hopleaf, 5148 N. Clark St., Chicago (773) 334-9851
We will again be cooking off an entire cow at Hopleaf. Steaks, filets, stews, roasts, sausages, skewers, ribs and more. Lots of side dishes. Guest chefs. Outdoor grilling.This year our brewery partner is Solemn Oath and we'll have a collaboration abbey-style double brewed with beef in mind.
Our cow will be a local organic pasture-raised, hormone and antibiotic-free animal. This is an all-the-beef-and-sides-you-can-eat and all the Solemn Oath beer that you can drink event. Tickets are $80. At Brown Paper Tickets or the Facebook Events page.

7:00 pm - 2:00 am ♦ Dark Harvest III
Jerry's - Wicker Park, 1938 W. Division, Chicago.(773) 235-1006
A night of opaque offerings to usher in the darkness on the autumnal equinox, set to the backdrop of silent horror. Spectral sounds provided by DJ Grimsbørg
Tentative Tap List:

Oktoberfest Specials beginning Saturday, September 21

The Pony, 1638 W. Belmont Ave., Chicago (773) 828-5055
Through Thursday, October 31: Oktoberfest Beer Flights for $9 each. Beer selections include 8-ounce samples of Oktoberfest beers from Spaten, Great Lakes, Leinenkugel and Sam Adams. Or splurge for 32-ounce Steins of any of the Oktoberfest beers for $10 each. Featured food specials include a Jumbo Soft Pretzel for $4 served with dipping mustard and cheese.

LandShark Beer Garden, Navy Pier, 700 E. Grand Ave., Chicago (312) 595-5446
Through Sunday, October 27, enjoy Oktoberfest specials with seasonal beers including Leinenkugel and Sam Adams Oktoberfest on draft for $6 each. The beer garden will also feature Angry Orchard Apple Cider, Lagunitas PILS, Two Brothers ATOM Smasher, Dogfish Head Punkin, Hofbrau Oktoberfest, Breckenridge Vanilla Porter, and Capital Oktoberfest, available by the bottle for $6.50 each. Oktoberfest combo specials include a Jumbo Bratwurst and Leinenkugel Oktoberfest draft for $10. (Yes, I too was surprised to find the biggest tourist trap in the city has a decent beer list.)

Lottie's Pub, 1925 W. Cortland, Chicago (773) 489-0738
Through Thursday, October 31, enjoy Oktoberfest Beer Flights for $9 each. Beer selections include 8-ounce samples of Spaten Oktoberfest, Great Lakes Oktoberfest, Leinenkugel Oktoberfest and Sam Adams Oktoberfest drafts. Or splurge for 32-ounce steins of any of the Oktoberfest beers for $10 each. Featured food specials include a Jumbo Soft Pretzel for $4 served with dipping mustard and cheese.

Riva Crab House on Navy Pier, 700 E. Grand Ave., Chicago (312) 664-7482
Through Thursday, October 31, Oktoberfest specials featuring Shiner Oktoberfest Beer Steamed Black Mussels for $13 as well as Oktoberfest Beer Selections for $5.50 each including Shiner Oktoberfest Draft and Sam Adams Oktoberfest Draft.

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    Mark McDermott

    Writer, trivia maven, fan of many things. I thought to learn all there is to know about beer as a way to stay interested in learning. It is my pleasure to bring Chicago's craft beer scene to you.

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