Chicago Craft Beer Weekend, October 11-13

My apologies for those events I may have missed, owing to huge crushes on my time. Like Thursday's Harvest Beer Tasting at the Chicago Botanic Garden, which was sold out anyway. Click the e-mail link if you have any Chicago craft beer events I might have overlooked. And my Facebook beer page is easier to find at

Friday, October 11

12:00 - 8:30 pm ♦ Taste of Oktoberfest
The Art of Beer, 316 Green Bay Rd., Highwood, IL (847) 423-8638
A very special tasting of 22 of the best Oktoberfest beers that we could get our hands on. Takes at least one hour so reservations are encouraged, but not required, at 847-423-8638.
Every Friday & Saturday from September 20th through the weekend of October 12th.
Picture of the lineup

5:00 - 8:00 pm ♦ Fall Festival: Harvest Hoedown
Park Grill at Millennium Park, 11 N Michigan Ave Chicago (312) 521-7275
Come celebrate the Park Grill Fall Festival with the Harvest HopDown! A competition between local beer purveyors to be named the Seasonal Harvest HopDown favorite!
Tickets include admission to the Harvest HopDown, with tasting samples and voter cards included. Guests must be 21 and up with proper identification to attend this event. Come for the beer and vote for your favorite! Tickets are $25 through PayPal.

5:30 - 8:30 pm ♦ Firkin Friday: Abita Oak-Aged Pecan Harvest Ale
The Bavarian Lodge, 1800 Ogden Ave, Lisle, IL (630) 241-4701
For this week's Firkin Friday feature, we're quite excited to present Abita Oak-Aged Pecan Harvest Ale (5.2% ABV), presented in true in cask-conditioned format. A classic deep brown hued Brown Ale with a rich roasty character. Pecan Harvest Ale is made with real Louisiana pecans that have been toasted to perfection. That makes it something really special, because most beers with a nutty flavor or aroma aren’t made with real nuts. The natural oils from the Louisiana pecans give the ale a light pecan finish and aroma. This cask has been additionally aged in oak barrels for added complexity.
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. First come, first served.

6:00 - 9:00 pm ♦ Upland Brewing Launch Party
World of Beer, 1727 Freedom Dr., Naperville, IL (630) 955-0399
World of Beer - Naperville along with River North Distribution & Ale to the Burbs will be hosting a special suburban launch party for Upland Brewing Co from Bloomington, IN.
In addition to featuring Upland Wheat and Dragonfly IPA on draught, the folks at Upland will bring a few extremely limited beers for us to sample. We can't say exactly what they're bringing just yet but we can say that it will be the only opportunity to try it in the Chicagoland area. And it will be in very limited supply. And if you miss it, you will be sad. Very sad.
A member of the Upland Brewing Company team will be in attendance to talk about the brewing process of the special beers as well as the history and philosophy of Upland itself.
You can RSVP using this form, which also enters you into our drawing to win a homebrew class from Chicago Brew Werks or a FoBAB ticket from Ale to the Burbs! We'll draw a winner at the event so make sure you're in attendance if you'd like to win!

6:00 pm ♦ The (Un)Official Local Brewery Appreciation Day
Warren's Ale House, 51 Town Square, Wheaton, IL 630-462-5126
There is nothing better than having locally crafted beers brought to our establishment, and having you all try them. But wait...there is.
Having locally crafted beers along with their creators and some free swag! Join us as we appreciate some of the craftier people we know in the industry.
We'll have fine folks from these breweries with us:
Flesk Brewing (Lombard, IL) will be bringing their Front Toward Enemy (IPA) and Feral Cat (American Wheat).
Urban Legend (Westmont, IL) will be bringing I'm Coming to Join You Elizabeth (American "Redd" Ale), It's the Big One and also Responsibly (Harvest Hop).
SlapShot Brewing (Chicago) will be bringing their Honey, You're Blonde Ale.
We will also have some craft beers on deck from these local favorites:
Two Brothers (Warrenville) Domaine DuPage (French Country Ale) and Cane and Ebel (Red Rye)
Solemn Oath (Naperville) Hexafoos (Farmhouse Ale)
Join us Friday for a killer time. Reservations------ 630-462-5126

Saturday, October 12

12:00 - 3:00 pm ♦ Saturday Rare Keg Release, Plus Annual Oktoberfest Wooden Barrel Tapping and Pig Roast
The Bavarian Lodge, 1800 Ogden Ave, Lisle, IL (630) 241-4701
Join us on Saturdays at noon this fall and winter as we roll out a different rare, cellared, and otherwise sought-after draft specialty from the depths of our keg vault. Rare brews from around the world will be featured. This Week's Featured Rarity Release: Goose Island Bourbon County Stout (2012) - 15% ABV Bourbon-Barrel Aged Imperial Stout.
Then, at 5:00 pm, we'll swing the mallet and tap into not one, but TWO, traditional wooden barrels of Oktoberfest beer imported just for this event. The beautiful wooden barrels will be tapped directly on the bar counter and the beer poured straight from the barrel. The delicious contents of these wooden casks will be available to everyone until they run dry. Enjoy a half liter of one of these fine selections along with our famous Oktoberfest Pig Roast! (Our pig roast is available through the end of October.)
To Be Poured from the Wooden Barrel:
Georg Schneiders Wiesen Edel-Weisse Organic, 100% Organic, Floral, Unfiltered, Unpasteurized, Bavarian Wheat Ale
Hofstetten Hochzeitsbier von 1810, Traditional Rustic Amber Oktoberfest Lager from St. Martin, Austria.

12:00 pm ♦ AlphaBeer XI
Beer Bistro North, 1415 W. Fullerton, Chicago (773) 525-2727
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.
At this very special event we're highlighting breweries from the Chicago area, and if you know beer, you know this is going to be good. Don't know beer? Here's your perfect chance to learn! You'll learn about the ABV, the IBU and what to eat with each brew. Your take-home program means you'll have your notes handy when you want to pick up your favorites. We'll even have several special guests joining us from participating breweries to share their love and passion for the art of fine brew with you.
NEW: For the first time, we're offering TWO sessions! Prefer day drinking? Join us at 12pm. Want to stay after and enjoy your favorites? Sign up for the 5pm session.
Tickets are just $45 to try 26 different craft beers (on sale at this link), each introduced by an expert.
Beer is better with friends: Bring 5 friends and you get to go free! A table of 6 is only $225. We have a very limited number of tables at this price, and they always sell out.

A Ale Syndicate Municipal IPA
B Berghoff Sir Dunkel
C New Belgium Coconut Curry Hefe
D Deschutes Obsidian
E Evil Twin Hipster Ale
F Founders Red's Rye
G Goose Island Big John
H Slapshot Honey, You're Blonde
I Ommegang Iron Throne
J Jolly Pumpkin La Parcela Pumpkin Ale
K Kentucky Bourbon Barrel
L Liefmans Goudenband
M Greenbush Memento Mori
N New Holland Black Hatter
O Baderbräu Oktoberfest
P Pipeworks Chai Dog
Q Atlas quasIPA (blend of Hyperion and Diversey Pale Ale)
R Revolution Deth's Tar
S Brewery Vivant Sgt. Peppercorn
T Timmerman Strawberry Lambic
U Uinta Dubhe
V 5 Rabbit Vida Y Muerte
W Avery White Rascal
X Southern Tier 2X Stout
Y Evil Twin Yang
Z Three Floyds Zombie Dust

1:00 pm ♦ Binny's Anniversary Beer and Wine "Best of" Tasting
Binny's Beverage Depot, 767 W. Golf, Des Plaines, IL 847-956-1000
Celebrate 20 years of Binny's at the very first Binny's location with this "best of" beer and wine tasting.

3:00 - 7:00 pm ♦ Founders Brewing Presents: The Art of Left Handed Wave
Northdown Cafe & Taproom, 3244 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago (773) 697-7578
Northdown is pleased to announce the incredibly limited release of Founders Brewing Co. Inspired Artist Black IPA! This is the first time it’s been released outside of Michigan and we’re fortunate enough to have received one of the few kegs being sent to Chicago!
Inspired Artist Black IPA is a powerhouse IPA brewed using malted midnight wheat and a unique variety of hops with tropical characteristics, created specifically to benefit ArtPrize, the world’s largest art competition that takes place annually in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
To celebrate this great beer Left Handed Wave is bringing you an incredible afternoon of art! Voted best street artist of 2013 by the Chicago Reader, Left Handed Wave is a local emerging artist who continues to spread his celebrated wheat pastes from coast to coast. Highly acclaimed for his playful high-spirited characters, its difficult to shy away from kid in a banana suit.
We’ll have 60+ unique screened images available for your viewing (and purchasing!) pleasure!
Stop by, have a beer and support Chicago’s own art scene!

6:00 pm ♦ Tap This! Oktoberfisch
Fischman's Liquors & Tavern, 4780 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago (773) 545-0123
Let's celebrate Oktoberfest like we always do, outside in our lot! We will be some delicious fall beers, have food trucks on hand, live music by Zydeco Voodoo and the first annual Fischman's Masskrugstemmen!
What is Masskrugstemmen? It's basically a stein holding competition. Here is the deal, contestants hold a full mug of beer at arms length until there is a winner. There are a few rules:
1) Do not spill the beer!
2) The arm must be straight, no bent elbows.
3) Your arm must be parallel to the ground and in front of your chest.
Brooklyn Brewery does German/Bavarian style beer so true to the style that we had to have them lead the charge at our Oktoberfest celebration. Not to mention Brooklyn Brewery's Chicago Rep, Andrew S. Maxson can rock out some lederhosen like no one I've ever seen! He makes it sexy....not an easy task!
Brooklyn Brewery Lineup: Oktoberfest, Pilsner & Post Road Pumpkin Ale
Beers too tasty to not be included: Firestone Walker Oaktoberfest, Point Whole Hog Pumpkin Ale, Revolution Oktoberfest.

Sunday, October 13

5:00 - 9:00 pm ♦ Oktobeard Fest!
Jerry's Wicker Park, 1938 W. Division, Chicago (773) 235-1006
It will be a great night of food, drinks, and facial hair!!! There will be a $5 donation at the door with proceeds going to Jammin’ for Joseph for muscular dystrophy research. Come on out have a beer, get some grub, meet awesome dudes with facial hair & compete in our first ever Oktobeard Fest!

6:30 - 8:00 pm ♦ Beer, Wine, Cheese, and Chocolate Pairings
Bigby's Pour House,1700 W. Lake St., Addison, IL (630) 773-1050
Bigby’s Pour House and Goose Island will be teaming up together to offer some of the best craft beers that Goose has to offer. In addition, Bigby’s will be putting together some of their favorite wines, cheeses, and chocolates to go along with these great Goose Island brews.

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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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