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Photograph: PDET Photography

The best Chicago beer festivals

Try out new brews and meet the people who made 'em at our favorite Chicago beer festivals

By Emma Krupp and Zach Long
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Over the past decade, Chicago has emerged as the craft beer capital of the country. Don't believe us? According to the Brewers Association, our fair city is home to more than 150 breweries, more than any other metro area in the U.S. There's no better way to sort through the bunch than at the best Chicago beer festivals, where Chicago breweries and national purveyors sample their latest creations, hand out swag and field your tipsy questions. After an afternoon at a Chicago beer festival spent sampling lagers, sours and ales, you'll know exactly what to ask for when you sit down at a neighborhood dive bar or a Chicago beer garden, and you may even find a new favorite brew. Sip a barrel-aged stout or a funky cider (and meet the folks that made 'em) at some of the best Chicago beer festivals.

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The best brewery tours in Chicago

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

The best brewery tours in Chicago

Bars

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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