Drink beer. Help defeat prostate cancer. That’s the deal.
On Saturday, March 12th, from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., Chicago’s Pinstripes Bistro will host brewers from Half Acre, Off Color, Goose Island, Solemn Oath, and more at its River East location (435 E Illinois St). They’ll compete against each other in an elimination bocce ball tournament while simultaneously partnering with ZERO, a national nonprofit organization with a mission to end prostate cancer. For only $5, you can watch the events, have one free beer, and then, if you choose, purchase $3 pints of beer served from special half-kegs that each brewery will bring with them.
It’s no wonder that Pinstripes would host an event such as this. They uniquely combine the fun of bocce ball and bowling with upscale food, a large outdoor eating and drinking area (adorned with a fire pit), live music, and a passion for craft beers, spirits, and wine. They explain, “We feature seasonal, locally sourced quality ingredients in every scratch-made dish. We take pride in our thoughtfully selected wine list featuring the country’s premier wineries, rotating craft beers celebrating local breweries, and attractive variety of handcrafted cocktails.
Now, about these breweries. It’s unlikely you haven’t heard of them, but I love to shed light on breweries’ stories — often found on the “about us” sections of their websites. Here are a few samples:
Solemn Oath, a Belgian-inspired brewery notes, “Our approach to beer comes down to the fact that, more often than not, we like to try something new. Even if there’s a beloved standby on a beer list, we’re going for the unknown. So that’s the kind of experience we want people to have with our beer–always something new.” Their November release of Pernicieux Belgian Brown Rye Ale exemplifies craft-beer innovation, as well as skillful brewing — it’s delicious!
Half Acre Beer Company explains, “We brew purposefully rough, American micro beers that push for raw intensity through the careful selection of brewing materials and the promotion of natural process.” They are best known for their Daisy Cutter Pale Ale, but if you really want to see their skills shine, try Black Feather Black Ale, available from September through March. My favorite thing about Half-Acre is that they brew an array of styles, yet each one appears to be one of their specialties.
Off Color Brewing: They have one of my favorite “about us” sections. Here is an excerpt, “At some point John and Dave were born. They did other stuff for a while and then they figured out they were better at making beer than at the other stuff…the two somehow convinced enough otherwise-very-smart-people to invest enough money for them to buy some big shiny things to make their own beer.” Siebel Institute graduates and former Metropolitan Brewing interns, they make incredibly unique beer adorned with really cool artwork. In fact, a picture of Scurry — a Kottbusser style dark honey ale (with molasses) — just happens to be the centerpiece of my twitter-page cover photo.
Goose Island: All debates over their relationship with Ab-InBev aside, it’s impossible to argue that their beer is terrific, they continue to be active in Chicago craft-brewing events, they are committed to green causes (such as the Green Goose Project), and they have been in Chicago since 1988. So, let’s just talk about the beer. Personally, I’d recommend the Halia – their summer release farmhouse brew with peaches. The name, Halia, literally means “‘remembrance of a loved one’ in Hawaiian, Halia was brewed in memory of the dear friend of one of our brewers who loved peaches.” Of course, many will point to their most famous beer – their Bourbon Country series, the subject of non-stop Instagram pictures every November, posted by the lucky few that gain access to the wildly popular special release.
Will there be more breweries? Time will tell — and if there are, I’ll attempt to edit this list. Nevertheless, there’s already enough amazing breweries here to entice any beer lover. Throw in some competition and a great cause, it’s a no brainer. This is an event you should attend.
You can register through EventBrite, who lay out the following specifics:
There are two ways you can get involved: grab three friends and form a team or cheer on participants as you sip on $3 brews!
1. TEAM REGISTRATION: Limited team registration is available to participate in the all-day tournament. Teams consist primarily of breweries, but a few spots are open to the public for a chance to beat the brewer! $400 covers registration for 4 team members, plus lunch and brews to keep players hydrated! Team members may pay individually ($100 each) or as a team ($400).
2. SPECTATOR TICKET: $5 gets you in the door and covers your first beer! Sip on $3 brews donated by participating breweries and watch the best bocce competition in town, all while raising money to eradicate prostate cancer.
Drink great beer. Watch brewers play bocce ball. Beat cancer. It’s as easy as 1-2-3.
*Special thanks to Mot10n PR & Tom Donda for providing much of the information regarding this event.
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