The best Chicago beer festivals

Try out new brews and meet the people who made 'em at some of our favorite beer festivals in Chicago
Lombard Ale Fest
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As much as we love drinking at dive bars and looking through the cases at liquor stores, they're not always the best places to sample multiple beers in the span of a few hours. That's why Chicago boasts a growing number of beer festivals, which allow drinkers to meet the folks who make their favorite beverages and try out new releases. Think of it as a self-guided brewery tour—but with fewer mash tuns and far more imbibing. If you want to spend an afternoon tasting drafts from local and national breweries, we've gathered a list of the best Chicago beer festivals that you won't want to miss.

The best Chicago beer festivals

Friday Night Flights
Photograph: Courtesy Illinois Craft Brewers Guild
Things to do, Festivals

Friday Night Flights

icon-location-pin Near West Side
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The Illinois Craft Brewers Guild and Choose Chicago team up to curate another lineup of mini-beer fests this summer with their Friday Night Flights event series. Taking place in neighborhoods throughout the city, the end-of-the-week tastings welcome local breweries to sample their wares. Admission is free, but a tasting pass will get you ten 3-ounce pours from the brewers in attendance—they're $15 in advance or $20 at the door.

The best brewery tours in Chicago

Lagunitas in Douglas Park is one of the many Chicago breweries to offer tours.
Photograph: Martha Williams
Bars

The best brewery tours in Chicago

Chicago loves beer, whether it's spending a night at a great beer bar or picking up a six-pack of a local brew to take to a party. There are dozens of breweries in the area, and many offer tours, which range from a booze-fueled, hours-long lesson on beermaking to quick and dirty 20-minute overviews. We tagged along on local brewery tours, where we learned a few things about brewing and drank more than a few pints of great local beer.

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