Chicago Craft Beer Events, December 14-17

Chicago Craft Beer Events, December 14-17
PBR was really 33 separate brews in one blend? Was the secret lost in WWII.

I have left out the ongoing "12 Beers of Christmas" promotions, but they can be found in the latest few articles just over to your right (or way down below, if you're reading me on your phone).

Monday, December 14

5:00 - 8:00 pm ♦ Morton Arboretum Beer Release
Morton Arboretum, 4100 Illinois Rte. 53, Lisle, IL
The Morton Arboretum introduces Arbor Oak Amber Ale, its first-ever namesake beer. Brewed in partnership with Chicago’s Lake Effect Brewing Co. using oak from the Arboretum’s grounds and Wisconsin special-roast malts, the new beer is a perfect blend of seasonal flavors.
A traditional Amber Ale brewed with oak chips, Arbor Oak Amber Ale will be available exclusively at the Arboretum’s Ginkgo Café and Restaurant through April 2016. Three months in the making, the craft beer balances malt complexity with just enough hops for a citrus-spice finish. Brewing the beer with oaks delivers a hint of warm vanilla.
Beer fans are invited to be the first to try the unique new brew during a special tasting event on Monday. From 5 p.m.-8 p.m., enjoy food and taste the new beer, and hear about the beer’s inspiration and connection to oak trees from Lake Effect's co-founder Clint Bautz, and Matt Lobdell, head of collections and curator at The Morton Arboretum. Event tickets include one complimentary Arbor Oak Amber Ale and popcorn. Additional food and beverages will be available for purchase. For more information, visit
$10.00 members / $15.00 nonmembers. Tickets on Sale online, by phone at 630-725-2066, 10:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m., 7 days a week (excluding holidays); or stop by Visitor Center during open hours.
The Morton Arboretum and Lake Effect are currently collaborating on another beer variety, to be introduced in spring 2016.

6:00 pm ♦ Jake Melnick's 12 beers of Christmas (in One Night)
Jake Melnick's Corner Tap, 41 E. Superior St., Chicago (312) 266-0400
Jake Melnick’s Corner Tap hosts this a one night only event. The Twelve Beers of Christmas, curated by Beverage Director Emilie Sharboneau, offers an array of Christmas ales and seasonally-inspired beers. The full list includes:
Great Lakes Christmas Ale, Port Brewing Santa’s Little Helper, Two Brothers Peppermint Bark Porter, Anderson Valley Winter Solstice, Ska Euphoria Pale Ale, Dark Horse 4 Elf, Victory Winter Cheers, 21st Amendment Fireside Chat, Lost Abbey Gift of the Magi, Avery Old Jubilation Ale, Revolution Brewing Fistmas, Metropolitan Brewing Magnetron Lager with Raspberries On Cask, A one-time only beer brewed exclusively for Jake Melnick’s

7:00 pm - 9:00 pm ♦ Alarmist and The Woolgathering Project Sock Drive
Alarmist Brewing, 4055 W. Peterson Ave., Rear, Chicago
Quick Lowdown: You come to Alarmist, you bring at least 3 pairs of new socks to donate. In return you get to feel good about helping homeless folks have some warm feet this winter and beyond.
Oh, but wait. You get more than that. You get to be part of the FIRST EVER PUBLIC TOUR of Alarmist Brewing! That's right, you bring socks, we show you the man behind the curtain.
As if that wasn't enough, we'll be pouring samples of all of our beers. You can hang out, talk, ask questions, and find out how you and your friends can help out The Woolgathering Project by dropping off socks all over town! Or maybe you can host a drop off site?
What Kind of Socks? New, all sizes. Adults, kids. Wool, athletic, cotton, whatever kind of socks you can think of, they are needed.
Why Socks? Well, did you know that one of the clothing items most requested by homeless shelters is socks? Coats, shirts, pants, shoes are all wonderful, but socks seem to fly under the radar (because they're hidden by the shoes?). The Woolgathering Project is changing all that. This is the third year our good friend Beth Lacke has been running this effort and has collected thousands of pairs of socks in 4 states, but mostly here in Chicago, IL.
Beth has set up numerous events in the Chicago area and suburbs these past three years and she has set up sock drop offs around town. She's a good egg.

(Pssst, you can also catch Beth in Steppenwolf Theatre Company's newest production "Domesticated"!)

Tuesday, December 15

11:00 am ♦ Cider Night
The Olympic Tavern, 2327 N. Main St., Rockford, IL (815) 962-8758
Join us as we tap a bunch of fresh hard ciders from some of our favorite cidermakers in the world. Flights will be available and our barkeeps will be mixing up some creative cider based cocktails as well.
Taplist (may change due to availability):
Vander Mill Totally Roasted (spiced cider with pecans)
Aspall Peronelle's Blush (cider + blackberries)
B. Nektar Meadery Zombie Killer Cherry Cyser (mead + cider)
...more coming as they arrive in our cooler.

3:00 - 6:00 pm ♦ Russian Imperial Stout w/ Coffee and Cocoa Nibs Bottle Release and Shopping Mall Avoidance Day
New Oberpfalz Brewing, 121 E. Main St., Griffith, IN
Through Dec. 20
We will be celebrating the highly anticipated release of the new Star Wars movie for an entire week at New Oberpfalz Brewing. Food and beverage specials, games, and the opportunity to hang around with like minded Jedi and Sith Lords. Plenty of parking for your AT-ATs and Speeders. Star Wars questions will be sprinkled into our trivia night with QQ Trivia on Thursday night, too! We hope you can make New Oberpfalz your pre-movie or post-movie hangout for Star Wars Episode VII. Wookies are served here.

6:00 - 7:00 pm ♦ Imperial Demonic Tapping
Sovereign Restaurant, 24205 W Lockport St, Plainfield, IL (815) 556-8577
Join Sovereign and Cademon as we both celebrate our first year in business. We will be tapping some specialty kegs of Imperial Demonic as well as a Firkin of Demonic, with some small plates to go along with them.
The beer lineup will be:
Imperial Raspberry Demonic, Imperial Marshmallow Demonic (Vanilla and Lactose), Imperial Morning Demonic (Maple, Oats, and Extra Coffee), Imperial Spicy Demonic (Ancho and Habenero), Demonic Cask with Toasted Coconut.

6:00 pm ♦ Yeti Unleashed
Depart from Firkin, 515 N. Milwaukee Ave., Libertyville, IL (847) 367-6168
Its that time of year again, when the elusive Great Divide Yeti can be seen on tap at Firkin. And while you're here, why not see some of his friends from 2014 too, like Chocolate Yeti, Espresso Yeti, and Belgian Yeti, all on draught for your enjoyment. Don't miss the Yeti!

7:00 pm ♦ Begyle Brewing's Ugly Pajama Party: A Neighborly Christmas Bash
The Bar on Buena, 910 W. Buena Ave, Chicago 773-525-8665
Put your kitschy sweaters away, folks.
Help us celebrate the holiday season and our Brewery of the Month, Begyle Brewing Co., on the same night!
On draft: Begyle Christmas Ale, Nitro Freebird Pale, Flannel Pajamas, and more! The Begyle guys themselves will be here to party with us, and answer any questions you want to throw at them!
Ugly Pajamas are optional, but completely encouraged. Onesies, bathrobes, comfy moo moos - whatever you feel relaxed in, barring tighty-whiteys and birthday suits.
Be a part of our Christmas Cookie Contest! Bring in your favorite holiday treat for our esteemed panel of judges to taste. Bonus points awarded for anyone using a Begyle brew in their recipe! Winner gets a top-secret, extra-fancy beer prize! Judging starts at 8 pm!
He doesn't care if you're naughty or nice, he only cares whether or not you want to share a drink with him. Santa's got some gifts to give, so you should be here to receive them!
We'll have Christmas classics on the big screen, like Die Hard, Lethal Weapon, Batman Returns and Gremlins. There will be Christmas tunes blasting through the bar, food specials using the brews, and memories to be made at your favorite neighborhood spot with a favorite neighborhood brewery!

7:00 pm ♦ Cowboys & Robots
The General, 2528 N California, Chicago (773) 698-8754
While usually employed to pour beer at fests, Oscar (the Metropolitan Brewing mascot) is making a rare appearance as guest bartender at The General for a special night of beer, movies, music, and food.
On tap: Flywheel Bright Lager ($4 daily special, served in 12oz boots), Dynamo Copper Lager, Generator Doppelbock, Cherry-infused Generator Doppelbock (one of only a few kegs produced)
The General will be screening the movies Westworld and Futureworld on its TVs as well as offering a special menu that pairs with the brews.

7:00 - 10:00 pm ♦ Two Brothers Beer Dinner at Barcocina
Barcocina, 2901 N. Sheffield Ave., Chicago
5 Courses/5 Beers
Chef’s Exclusive Pairing Menu
$55 Ticket inclusive of Tax & Gratuity.
Ebel’s Weiss Hefeweizen | Jumbo Lump Crab Stuffed Piquillo Pepper - curried apple salsa
Night Cat Dark Wheat Ale | Roasted Eggplant in “Nogada” - Greek yogurt, walnut relish, pomegranate
Domaine DuPage French Country Ale | Blackened Hamachi Collar - toasted garlic and chiles, basil, cilantro, lime
Cane & Ebel Red Rye Ale | Berkshire Pork Rib Chop - natural jus, chiles, braised kale
Peppermint Bark Porter & a cup of Two Brothers Coffee | Foie Gras Crème Brulée - red mole powder

Wednesday, December 16

2:00 - 10:00 pm ♦ Viking Takeover
Plank Road Tap Room, 39W149 Plank Road, Elgin, IL (224) 238-3527
For the first time, Solemn Oath will be releasing all four Viking IPAs at the same time. Join us for Hunted By Vikings, Kidnapped By Vikings, Ravaged By Vikings and Death By Viking.
The love fest starts when we open. If you're cool, we may even stay open late.

4:00 - 8:00 pm ♦ Anchor Our Special Ale Vertical
Monk's Pub, 205 W. Lake St., Chicago (312) 357-6665
Anchor Brewing's Our Special Ale (Christmas Beer) has a different recipe every year, as is the tree on the label, but the intent with which we offer it remains the same: joy and celebration of the newness of life.
Serving Anchor Our Special Ale 2012, 2013, 2014, & 2015, each one at 5.5% ABV

4:00 pm ♦ Wednesday Tapping at Tribes Alehouse, Mokena
The Tribes Alehouse, 11220 W. Lincoln Hwy, Mokena, IL (815) 464-0248
Revolution Deth's Tar Imperial Stout: A play on Josh’s name, this Russian imperial stout is aged in four different types of bourbon barrels (Old Fitzgerald, Old Forester, Elijah Craig, and Evan Williams), then blended for the resulting thick and dark brew. If you had a chance to taste Alderaan, this is the aged version.

7:00 pm ♦ Johnny Quest Thinks We're Sell Outs Collaboration Release and Tap Takeover
DryHop Brewers, 3155 N. Broadway Ave., Chicago (773) 857-3155
Join Begyle Brewing and Dryhop for the 4th annual release of their collaboration Black IPA, Johnny Quest! Also featuring Christmas Ale, Coffee Tough Guy and Free Bird on tap.

7:00 pm ♦ Headquarters Beercade's Epic Star Wars Giveaway
Headquarters Beercade Lakeview, 2833 N. Sheffield Ave., Chicago
Everyone is celebrating the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and Headquarters Beercade in Lakeview is hosting an epic Star Wars Giveaway. They are giving away a Star Wars pinball machine. To win the pinball machine, all you have to do is share, comment, and tag a friend on Headquarters Facebook page . Then, come dressed as your favorite character and may the force be with you! No cover.

7:00 pm ♦ Pink Boots Society Chicago Holiday Party
Goose Island Brewpub, 1800 N. Clybourn Ave., Chicago (312) 915-0071
Join us for the second annual PBS Chicago holiday party! It's time to unleash your creative skills because this year we'll be making holiday cards for Cards for Hospitalized Kids!
Basic card and crafting supplies will be provided, but feel free to bring a fun sticker sheet!
Drinks and food are à la carte. $5 is kindly requested to cover the server fee.

Thursday, December 17

12:00 pm ♦ Rubix IPA Celebration
Noon Whistle Brewing, 800 E. Roosevelt Rd., Lombard, IL (708) 906-3625
Most people would say we are crazy for waiting a year before we brewed our first true IPA. Not a double, not a session but a good ole 7% West Coast Style IPA. We figured if we waited this long it better be good. So we loaded this guy with Simcoe, Galaxy and Amarillo hops. Get in here on Thursday to be one of the first to try this brew and let us know what you think.

3:00 pm - 9:00 pm ♦ The Imperial Force Awakens
Thursday: Imperial Oak Brewing Co., 501 Willow Blvd, Willow Springs, IL (708) 559-7311 Friday:  Werk Force Brewing, 14903 S. Center St., Plainfield, IL (815) 531-5557
On Thursday, the new Star Wars movie “The Force Awakens” will be released at midnight in theaters everywhere. You didn’t get your ticket for the midnight screening? No worries!
We will be releasing Barrel Aged Imperial Force, imperial black ale. You may remember the original version of this Werk Force/Imperial Oak collaboration which was released last spring. We held back a little just for this occasion and aged it in a Koval Whiskey Barrel for 7 months.
This will only be on tap, no bottles.
To add to the festivities we will also be tapping a keg of Werk Force's Millennium Falconer's Flight IPA, brewed with Millennium, Galaxy and Falconer’s Flight hops.
To top off the inter-galactic fun will be showing Star Wars movies back to back BOTH DAYS and Pierogi Street food truck will be on-site BOTH DAYS.
And yes you read that right - the party is TWO DAYS!
Two awesome beers, movies and pierogis...two days!

4:00 pm ♦ Thursday Tapping at Tribes Tinley Park
The Tribes Alehouse, 9501 W. 171st St., Tinley Park, IL (708) 966-2051
Founders Backwoods Bastard: Big and delicious for your ’perty mouth. Expect lovely, warm smells of single malt scotch, oaky bourbon barrels, smoke, sweet caramel and roasted malts. A bit of earthy spice and a scintilla of dark cherries. It’s a kick-back sipper made to excite the palate.

6:00 - 8:00 pm ♦ AleSmith Tap Takeover
Burger Antics, 3740 Grand Blvd, Brookfield, IL (708) 255-5182
Burger Antics is having another exciting Tap Takeover (well, half our taps anyway) featuring AleSmith out of San Diego, CA! Here's the lineup:
Lil' Devil Belgian Pale Ale 5.95%, IPA 7.25%, Double Red IPA 8%, Anvil ESB 5.5%, Nut Brown 5%, Old Numbskull Barleywine 11%, Vietnamese Speedway Stout 12%, Hawaiian Speedway Stout 12%
A rep from AleSmith's distributor will also be here during the aforementioned times handing out Coasters, Bottle Openers, and other Swag!
Don't miss this chance to try a bunch of great beers from one of the newest and best breweries to hit the Chicagoland market!

6:30 pm - 9:00 pm ♦ Holiday Beer Dinner with Revolution Brewing
Wyler Road, 3581 W Belden Ave - Chicago, IL 60647
Please join us for a festive night of food and drink presented by Wyler Road and Revolution Brewing. The dinner will include six specially curated dishes by Chef Forster Sorenson as well as six specifically paired beers from Revolution Brewing. Seating is limited.
Pancetta Crust Pot Pie: Carrot - Snow Pea - Sweet Potato - Mushroom Gravy: Rev Pils

Elotes Crab Cake Slider: Matzo - Hollandaise - Spinach:  Coup D’Etat

“Ham 2 Ways” Christmas Ham Chowder Shooters: Red Vein Sorrel & Glazed Ham Bread Pudding - Cranberry Gastrique: Red Skull

Red Wine Braise Lamb Shank: Mint Jelly - Oyster Mushroom Puree - Purple Shiso - Truffle Jus: Unsessionable

Confit Goose: Brussel Sprouts - Turkey Skin Puce - Savory Pumpkin Sauce: Fistmas

Buche De Noel: Bean Gene

Tickets are $65 through Eventbrite.

7:00 - 10:00 pm ♦ Bourbon County Stout Night
Dark Horse Tap & Grille-Wrigleyville, 3443 N. Sheffield Ave., Chicago
We’ll have each variety of the 2015 BCS, including the almost impossible to find Rare!
Be one of only 12 people at the event to buy a bottle of the BCS Rare. This nearly impossible to find bottle typically goes for around $100. This uncommon treat is dark and powerful yet silky, with charred oak, chocolate, vanilla, caramel, and smoke.
The Proprietor’s BCS is a version that changes every year and also is extremely limited. This year it has been brewed with maple syrup and aged in bourbon barrels, toasted pecans and guajillo peppers.
With all the other 2015 releases of the BCS, make sure you add this to your calendar! Remember to show up on time; Bourbon County never lasts long. RSVP here to save your spot!
This event is free to attend, pay as you drink.

7:00 pm ♦ End of The (Beer) Year Industry Party & Viking Invasion
Emporium Wicker Park, 1366 N. Milwaukee Ave, Chicago (773) 697-7922
Twenty-fifteen is rapidly coming to a close. You've worked all year long. You deserve a beer event that doesn't seem anything like a beer event! You deserve a party! A party to celebrate the end of your beer year! We give you......

Join Emporium & your fellow industry colleagues, as we celebrate the end of the business year, the holiday season, and everything we love & love to hate about BEEEEER!!!
24 taps full of delicious beer on the main bar from 4 Hands Brewing Co., Almanac Beer Co., New Holland Brewing Co., Half Acre Beer Co., Goose Island, Avery Brewing Co., Oskar Blues Brewery, Penrose Brewing Co., 18th Street Brewery, Perennial Artisan Ales, Two Brothers Artisan Brewing, Three Floyds Brewing Co., Off Color Brewing, Dark Horse Brewing Co., Pipeworks Brewing Co., Surly Brewing Co., Boulder Beer Co., Vander Mill.
All 4 of the "Bonus Level" taps invaded by the four Solemn Oath Brewery "Viking" beers!!!!
That's 28 insane beers from some of the most amazing breweries in ALL the land. Bet'cha can't drink just 10!!
PSA: No beer industry affiliation actually required to enjoy said beer. Come one, come all... just come out!

7:00 - 8:00 pm ♦ Meet The Cider Maker
Begyle Brewing, 1800 W Cuyler Ave Chicago (773) 661-6963
Meet and talk all things cider with Paul, Head Cider Maker of Broken Nose Cider Co. (brewed at Begyle). The event will start at 7pm with a small presentation and Q&A. Then feel free to hang out in the taproom and enjoy fine ciders and beer.
No charge to get in. All of our current ciders will be available for purchase at the bar.

10:00 pm ♦ Star Wars Episode VII Release Tapping
World of Beer Evanston, 1601 Sherman Ave., Evanston, IL (847) 328-3688
Celebrate the release of Star Wars Episode VII with some great craft beer! Pre-game the midnight showing with us at WOB and enjoy some festive, Star Wars-themed Draughts:
Revolution Brewing Deth's Tar: 11.4%, Imperial Stout, aged in four different types of bourbon barrels
Firestone Walker Brewing Co. Wookey Jack: 8.3%, Black IPA
Clown Shoes Beer Space Cake: 9%, Imperial IPA, brewed with Mosaic hops
Lake Effect Brewing Co. Falcon Dive: 6.5%, IPA, brewed with Columbus and Cascade hops
Can’t decide what to drink? Try them ALL with our featured “Flight of the Falcon” beer flight!

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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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