Chicago's best beer festivals

Hops, malts and good times await you at these top craft brew festivals

0

Comments

Add +

Photograph: Michael Jarecki

As much a we love our neighborhood bars, beer festivals offer the opportunity to try new things with a group of likeminded drinkers, whether you're a beer nerd or a casual craft brew fan. As the industry continues to explode, the number of festivals bringing together regional and national brewers has also increased. We took a look at all of the beer-related events happening in Chicago this summer and put together a list of our top picks. If you want to thank us, you can buy us a beer.

Lagunitas Beer Circus

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

Now that Lagunitas' hoppy concoctions are officially being brewed in Chicago, it's time to celebrate. The California craft brewery (founded by a Chicago native) is bringing one its time-honored traditions to its new digs in Pilsen: the Beer Circus. The two-day event will assemble local performers like Vau de Vire Society, Redmoon and Mucca Pazza; beer from Ale Syndicate, Begyle and Finch’s; and food trucks such as Tamale Spaceship, Chicago Patty Wagon and the Fat Shallot.

  1. Lagunitas Brewing Company 1843 S Washtenaw Ave, W 18th Dr
  2. Until Sun May 18
Buy tickets

West Loop Craft Beer Fest

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

Chicago Craft Beer Week comes to an end at this West Loop blow out, which gathers a long list of local brewers for one more tasting event. Anyone who isn't hungover from the previous week's festivities can sample some beers, munch on food from Chicago French Market Vendors or take in some of the local entertainment.

  1. Chicago French Market 131 N Clinton St, at Randolph
  2. Sat May 24
Buy tickets

Wisconsin Beer and Cheese Tour

  • Price band: 2/4

Don't get us wrong, there's a ton of great beer produced in Illinois. But if we're being honest, we're a just a little bit jealous of Wisconsin. Thankfully, there's a beer (and cheese!) festival that brings the best of the best of the Badger state to Aurora and Wheaton. Attendees will be able to sample beers from breweries such as 3 Sheeps, Big Bay and Potosi.

  1. RiverEdge Park 360 N Broadway St
  2. Sat May 31
Buy tickets

Clips Beer & Film Tour

  • Critics choice
  • Free

New Belgium Brewing's annual traveling short film festival rolls through Eckhart Park, where 20 shorts selected through an online competition will be shown on an inflatable screen. Refreshments will include beer provided by New Belgium and food from the Slide Ride, Tamale Spaceship and 5411 Empanadas, with proceeds benefiting the Recyclery Collective and Alliance for the Great Lakes.

  1. Eckhart Park 1330 W Chicago Ave, between Noble and Elizabeth Sts
  2. Fri Jun 6
More info

Kegs for Kidneys

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

Put your liver to work at this fundraiser for the National Kidney Foundation of Illinois, which features samples of rare brews from the likes of 3 Floyds, Goose Island, Dogfish Head and Bell's. A ticket gets you a tasting glass and the opportunity to enter a rare bottle raffle and silent auction.

  1. Fischman Liquors and Tavern 4780 N Milwaukee Ave
  2. Fri Jun 6
Buy tickets

Lombard Ale Fest

  • Price band: 2/4

Lombard's first craft beer festival showcases more than 80 seasonal beers from breweries across the country, including Ommegang, Firestone Walker and Stone Brewing Co. Thirsty attendees will gather in the downtown Lombard Metra station to sample brews and wash down savory dishes from Chicagoland food trucks.

  1. Lombard Metra Station 20 S Main St, St Charles Rd
  2. Until Sat Jun 14
Buy tickets

Two Brothers Summer Festival

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

Every summer, the Two Brothers Brewing Company puts together a weekend full of beer and music at its Aurora Roundhouse, conveniently located directly off of the Aurora Metra stop. This year's festivities include sets by Justin Townes Earle, Los Lobos and the Autumn Defense in addition to a plethora of locally-brewed beers. All proceeds benefit charities like the Make-A-Wish Foundation, so you can feel good about drinking one more beer.

  1. Two Brothers Roundhouse 205 N. Broadway
  2. Sun Jun 22
Buy tickets

Wisconsin Beer and Cheese Tour

  • Price band: 2/4

The second installment hits Wheaton (see above).

  1. DuPage County Fairgrounds 2015 Manchester Rd
  2. Sat Jun 21
Buy tickets

Wicker Park Bucktown Tap Beer Festival

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

The second annual Tap beer festival features brews curated by 17 Wicker Park and Bucktown bars, including Fatpour, Map Room and Piece. Each ticket includes 10 six-ounce tastings, a commemorative glass and paired food samples.

  1. Chop Shop 2033 W North Ave.
  2. Sun Jun 22
Buy tickets

Tour de Fat

  • Critics choice
  • Free

Ft. Collins’ New Belgium Brewery brings its signature celebration of bikes and beer to Palmer Square for another year of freaky fun. The day begins with a bike parade and continues with vaudeville acts, circus performers and live music in Palmer Park. The environmentally conscious festival raises funds for local non-profits and culminates with one lucky attendee trading his or her car in for a brand new bicycle.

  1. Palmer Square Park 3100 W Palmer Blvd, between Humboldt Blvd and Kedzie Ave
  2. Sat Jul 12
More info

Barrington Brew Fest

  • Price band: 2/4

The 11th annual Barrington Brew Fest brings beer lovers to this northern suburb for some celebratory sampling. Each attendee will receive 20 three-ounce samples from brewers like Southern Tier, Lakefront and Boulevard. Burgers, brats and barbecue will be available for anyone with an empty belly accompanied by rockin' tunes from Second Time Around.

  1. Barrington Metra Station 201 S Spring St, Lake St
  2. Sat Jul 12
Buy tickets

Naperville Ale Fest

  • Price band: 2/4

Ever wondered what it might be like to quaff ale in a historical village? Pack up your tankard and head to Naperville Ale Fest, where the beer is fresh and the buildings are old. The historic Naper Settlement will play host to brewers like Central Waters, Deschutes and Great Lakes.

  1. Naper Settlement 523 S Webster St, at Port Ave
  2. Sat Jul 19
Buy tickets

Chicago Craft Beer Festival

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

Foamy, flat macrobrewed suds in a plastic cup not exactly your idea of a good time? Unleash your inner sophisticate at this Lincoln park fest, which serves up more than 100 local, regional and national craft beers. Purchase tickets before making your way to the tasting session each day from 12–4pm—each ticket is good for one three-ounce sample of beer.

Sierra Nevada Beer Camp Across America

  • Price band: 3/4
  • Critics choice

Sierra Nevada Brewing Company invited more than 600 Midwestern craft brewers to the Navy Pier stopover of its seven-city traveling beer festival. Selection will be the name of the game, with brewers like 3 Floyds, New Glarus and Ballast Point offering up samples of rare brews to thirsty attendees.

  1. Navy Pier 600 E Grand Ave, at Streeter Dr
  2. Sun Jul 27
Buy tickets

Oak Park Micro Brew Review

  • Price band: 2/4

There are a lot of beer festival that serve micro brews but most of them create a considerable amount of waste. That's not the case at the Oak Park Micro Brew Review, which prides itself as being the largest zero-waste craft beer event in the Midwest. Head over to Oak Park to sample more than 150 beers at an event that goes easy on the environment.

  1. Marion St and Lake St 1048 Lake St, Marion St
  2. Sat Aug 16
Buy tickets

Midwest Brewers Fest

  • Price band: 2/4

If you're looking for a short weekend road trip, Midwest Brewers Fest is the perfect reason to visit scenic Plainfield, Illinois. Highlights of the event include a tent featuring 15 to 20 casks in addition to beers brewed specifically for the festival.

  1. Plainfield Riverfront Park 24321 W Lockport St
  2. Sat Aug 23
Buy tickets

Logan Square Beer Fest

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

The Logan Square Beer Fest returns for a second year, expanding to two tasting sessions in response to last year's sold out event. In addition to more than 50 different suds for sampling, attendees will be treated to live music, food from a local restaurant and a brewery swag raffle.

  1. Logan Square Auditorium 2539 N Kedzie Blvd, at Albany Ave
  2. Sat Sep 20
Buy tickets


Users say

0 comments