The best Chicago beer festivals

Try out new brews and meet the people who made 'em at our favorite Chicago beer festivals
Lombard Ale Fest
Lombard Ale Fest
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If you want to try a bunch of new beers in the span of a few hours, hit up one of Chicago's many beer festivals, where local and national breweries sample their wares, hand out swag and listen to your drunken tales. In a city that's filled with so many excellent breweries and dive bars, there are plenty of opportunities to kick back and sample locally crafted stouts, lagers, sours and ales without going far from home. Whether you prefer barrel-aged beers or funky ciders, there's something for everyone on our list of the best beer festivals in Chicago. 

RECOMMENDED: Go straight to the source when you tour Chicago's best breweries

The best Chicago beer festivals

Festival of Wood & Barrel Aged Beers 2015
Photograph: Elizabeth Atkinson
Things to do, Festivals

Festival of Barrel Aged Beers

icon-location-pin UIC Forum, Little Italy, UIC
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Affectionately known as FOBAB, the Festival of Barrel Aged Beers offers a stacked lineup of wood- and barrel-aged concoctions that some serious beer-lovers worship. More than 200 craft brewers come to Chicago for the annual event, where attendees can sample stouts, sours, ciders and mead throughout three tasting sessions. Throughout the weekend, judges evaluate all of the beers being poured and award medals in various categories—it's like the Olympics of high-ABV brews.

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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