Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Hoppy Holidays with Beer-Themed Gifts!

This year we're excited to introduce a few NEW holiday items to our Etsy shop for the beer lovers and homebrewers on your gift list! 

Beer-themed holiday cards, including "Hoppy Holidays", "Christmas Cheer", "Let's Get Merry", "He Sees You When You're Drinking", and Surviving Awkward Holiday Parties. Cards can be purchased individually, or in packs of 6 or 12 cards. Cards are 4.25" x 5.5" and come with an accompanying A2 (4.375" x 5.75") envelope. Check them out here!

- Our unique, hand crafted hop ornaments made from silk flower components and decorated with rustic twine and ribbon. Hops vary slightly in shape, size and shade of green. Dimensions: approximately 3" x 1.5" x 1.5"

- Dried hop cone grapevine wreath ornaments, made from real, professionally dried hop cones from Michigan, 2" x 2" grapevine wreath, and ribbon. The dried hop cones are extremely delicate and must be treated and stored with care, away from direct sunlight to prevent damage.

These ornaments are available for purchase online for a limited time in our Etsy shop

For custom orders please send us a message via our Etsy shop and we'll be happy to accommodate your requests. Cheers!

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Hail to the Ale Pop-Up Shop at BeerHoptacular

Chicago’s original craft beer festival, BeerHoptacular, is back and better than ever – with more beer and fun than ever before! BeerHoptacular takes place over two sessions on Saturday, November 5, 2016 at the awe-inspiring Cinespace Chicago Film Studios. Purchase Tickets here!

75 brewers and 150+ craft beers  •  Some of Chicago’s Best Food Trucks    Annual BeerHoptacular Homebrew Competition Sponsored by Bell’s Brewery    DJ spinning an all-vinyl playlist    Featured Artists  •  Bicycle Kegerator    Pappy’s Fridge    Live Insult Booth... and much more!

We're excited to be one of the featured artists pop-up booths, with lots of beer, wine and cider themed art and gifts to purchase, for the beer-lovers in your life. For a preview of the work we'll be bringing, check out our Etsy shop.

Photo credit: Kevin Schmalandt

Friday, October 28, 2016

Upcoming Cider Classes At The Northman

The Northman, Chicago’s first pub and bistro dedicated to cider, is offering its Cider Class Series twice a month. These intimate classes give cider lovers a chance to delve into the long and complex history of cider and are a great way to celebrate autumn in Chicago.

Classes cost between $30-40. Attendees are treated to expert instructions, cider flight, light snacks and an opportunity to taste a rare or specialty cider that ties to that session's lesson. Class space is limited.

November 7
Cider Cocktails: Fall and winter are the perfect seasons for entertaining. In this class we will focus on simple cider cocktails for the holiday season. We will learn the basics of how to make cocktails for different tastes and group sizes.
Tickets available @brownpapertickets.com

November 21
Perry: Perry is a unique cousin of cider made from 100% pears and nothing tastes quite like it. This class will explore all of the wonderful aromas and different flavors found in perry.
Tickets available @brownpapertickets.com

The Northman
4337 N. Lincoln Ave.
Chicago, IL 60618

Additional food and beverage are available for purchase.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Cider Art Available On Etsy

Fall is here – a season filled with warm colors, spicy aromas and full-bodied beverages. With that, we were inspired to create some NEW cider-themed artwork for purchase in our Etsy shop, to indulge the cider enthusiasts.

Our "cider lovers" print will be featured in the December issue of CiderCraft Magazine. Click here for subscription information.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Making A Beer Run 6K & Beer Fest

New Beer-Fueled Fun Run Along The Lakeshore To End In A Party

Chicago, IL – A new fun run with a beer-fueled twist is making its debut in Chicago on Saturday, October 15th 2016. Runners will make their way alongside Lake Michigan for a 6k course with spectacular views of Chicago’s skyline. At the finish line there will be a beer fest where runners and guests can enjoy samples from fifteen craft breweries with family and friends.

**Just Announced**

Toppling Goliath Brewing Company, considered by many to be among the best breweries in the country, will pop up in Chicago for the first time at the upcoming Making A Beer Run 6k Fun Run and Beer Fest. Among others, they'll be pouring their flagship beer PseudoSue (98 BeerAdvocate Score), their Double IPA King Sue (100 BeerAdvocate score), and a surprise mystery beer!

Other breweries featured will be 3 Sheeps, Bell's, Boulevard, Burnt City, Founders, Goose Island, Moody Tongue, Summit, Upland, Urban Chestnut and Virtue Cider.

In addition to the 6k and beer fest, there will be a variety of tasty foods as well as three enormous 9’x13’ elevated TV systems for guests to cheer on their favorite college football team. For $60, runners can partake in the 6k, snag a sporty fleece complete with the logo, a chill puck frozen coaster and relax at the three-hour beer fest. Friends, family and fellow beer-fans can skip the run and join the party with beer fest tickets at $25.


Saturday, October 15, 2016
Run: 12pm
Beer Fest: 12:00pm to 3:00pm


The Northwest Terrace Of The Field Museum
1400 S Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, IL 60605

Tickets & More Info

Monday, September 19, 2016

Oktoberfest Road Trip to Wisconsin

By Guest Contributor Eric Zeigler

Ahhh, the smell of Fall is in the air. With it, there is excitement. For Foodies, it’s the beginning of Comfort Food Season. Heartier fare and bigger, bolder beers and wines. For me, September and October hold the promise of my favorite celebration of all. Break out your Trachten shirts, lederhosen and dirndls people. It’s Oktoberfest!!!!

This year, as always, I am headed beyond the Cheddar Curtain to the Promised Land —Wisconsin. Home to a 42% Germanic populace and to the most authentic Oktoberfest celebrations in the U.S. this side of Munich.

The Bavarian Bierhauswhich opened earlier this year, will host the oldest and one of the most authentic Bavarian Oktoberfest celebrations in the Midwest. Modeled after the one that takes place in Munich, Germany, it takes place every September on the four weekends following Labor Day. Admission is $5 at the door or $4 in advance (available at the restaurant). Kids 12 and under are free and firefighters, police, active duty military and veterans get in for free on Fridays. The festivities include traditional German brass bands, Schuhplatter folk dancing, singing, yodeling, sing-alongs, dancing, food and drink. Wearing the traditional lederhosen and dirndls at this festival is as normal as someone putting on jeans and a T-shirt to go to a regular bar. Meanwhile, you can try your hand at various smaller carnival-like games or enjoy a large Bavarian pretzel or bag of hot, roasted candied nuts. It is truly an epic experience. 

To round up your month of Gemütlichkeit, you may also want to try downtown Milwaukee’s Oktoberfest celebration. Situated in the beautiful Pere Marquette Park across from the Hofbrau-franchised Old German Beer Hall (one of the sponsors), this equally exuberant festival is initiated by none other than the Mayor of Milwaukee tapping the first wooden keg to get things rolling. This harkens back to the same tradition in Germany of the Mayor of Munich tapping the first keg. At any festival in Wisconsin patrons are even encouraged to bring their own Maßkrug steins to be filled with the glorious beers produced by Hofbräu. Later, if one is so inclined, you can try your hand at Maßkrugstemmen (beer stein holding). See how long you can hold a 1-liter glass stein full of beer (about 6 pounds) straight in front of you. At any point, you can retreat from the tent’s festivities by walking around the gorgeous park scenery right on the river. I am taking my father for his first experience this year. I can’t wait until he tries his first cold sip out of a Maß in his new Trachten shirt! 

Get out of your normal comfort zone and head to Wisconsin this month. You won’t regret the experience! 

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Celebrating Oktoberfest in the Chicago Suburbs

BuckleDown Brewing's 2nd Annual Oktoberfest takes place this Saturday in Lyons, IL. Photo credit: @clever_gents

The traditional German Oktoberfest season is upon us! We're highlighting some of the excellent celebrations taking place right in the suburbs of Chicago, perfect for a quick getaway from the city or a destination for family activities. Highlighted festivals feature local craft beer.

September 16-18th

Palatine Oktoberfest - Downtown Palatine, IL
Celebrate in a big heated tent full of good food, beer, live music, and family-friendly festival activities. Put on by the Rotary Club of Palatine. Friday 5-12pm, Saturday 12-12am, Sunday 12-6pm. More info.

Peoria Oktoberfest - Riverfront, Peoria, IL
The German American Central Society & Peoria Park District. Featuring German Heritage tent, puppet theatre, live music, German vendors, family activities and rides. Featuring Spaten Oktoberfest, German wines and spirits. Friday 5-11:30pm, Saturday 12-5pm, Sunday 11am-5pm. $10 admission. More info.

September 16-17th

Oak Park Oaktoberfest - Downtown Oak Park, IL
Live music, craft beer, local food, kids activities. Friday 5-10pm, Saturday 12-10pm. More info.

September 17th

BuckleDown Brewing Oktoberfest (12pm-11pm) - BuckleDown Taproom, Lyons, IL
Traditional Oktoberfest beer, Bavarian fare, live Oompah music.

German American Heritage Center's Oktoberfest (2pm) - Frankfort, IL
Entertainment including raffles, music, vendors, German food & beer. $10 admission adults/kids free. 

September 18th

Two Brothers Oktoberfest (12pm-9pm) - Two Brothers Roundhouse, Aurora, IL
Live authentic German Oompah music from The Happy Wanderers and Jimmy's Bavarians. Enjoy a beer stein full of Atom Smasher: Oak Aged Oktoberfest Style Lager, while eating authentic German food and playing classic Oktoberfest games!

September 23-24th

German Society of Rockford Oktoberfest - Loves Park City Hall, Loves Park, IL
52nd annual festival with German food and beer. Bier barrel race, running of the wieners, yodeling contest and barmaid stein race. Menu options include potato pancakes, bratwurst, schnitzel, sauerkraut and more. Advance two-day entry tickets are $14. Gate tickets are $10 per day. VIP party tickets available. Friday 5pm-12am, Saturday 12pm-12am. More info.

September 24th

Noon Whistle Oktoberfest (12pm-11pm) - Lombard, IL
Rauchbier & other special beer releases, outdoor biergarten, food trucks throughout the day, live music and more.

Imperial Oak Oak-toberfest (12pm-1am) - Willow Springs, IL
Biergarten serving "Das Boot" Oaktoberfest Bier, "Kaiser Kolsch" & many more favorites. 
Rum barrel aged "Sinister Minister" Belgian quadruple, bottle release and tapping at 12pm
Live Oktoberfest music by Super Oberkrainer (sets at 3pm, 4:30pm, 6:45pm and 8pm)
Food by Burger Antics, Chicago Pizza Boss, Toasty Cheese Mobile Eatery, The Roaming Hog

Lisle Ale Fest (12pm-11pm) - Prairiewalk Pond, Lisle, IL
Featuring 80 unique craft beers, including one of the largest selections of Oktoberfest beers in the area. Live music, local food. Tickets $45-55. More info.

September 30th - October 1st

Naperville Oktoberfest - 523 S Webster St. Naperville, IL
Live music, German beer & food, family activities. Friday 5-10pm, Saturday 12-10pm. Tickets $12 adults/$8 children. More info.

October 1st

Galena Oktoberfest (12-10pm) - Depot Park, Galena, IL
Ceremonial keg tapping, live music, polka lessons, beer stein contest, kids entertainment. Tickets $5 adults. More info.

October 7-8th

Batavia Oktoberfest - Downtown Batavia, IL
Featuring authentic German food, music, entertainment and of course beer! Family activities all day Saturday and official Sam Adams stein hoisting contest Friday and Saturday nights. Friday 5-10pm, Saturday 11am-10pm. More info.

Goose Island Migration Week Comes To Chicago's Logan Square

Chicago’s own Goose Island Brewing Co. is bringing Migration Week, a week-long celebration of beer, food and music, to Logan Square September 26-30 to show some local neighborhood love. The week kicks-off with a return of the famous Brewers Workout —an exercise class designed around the day to day life of a brewer. More events are included below with descriptions and links for tickets.

Brewers Workout
Date: Monday, Sept 26
Time: 6:30-8 p.m.
Location: Illinois Centennial Monument, 3150 W. Logan Blvd., Chicago, IL 60647
Event Description: 
Kick off your week with a Brewers workout brought to you by Goose Island! Ever wonder how brewers get those svelte figures? We are hosting an exercise class designed around the day to day life of a brewer. After the class we will celebrate with the end product that those brewers work so hard to make. Post-workout beers at 8 p.m. at The Rocking Horse 2535 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago, IL 60647).

Bang Bang Pie Event

Date: Tuesday, Sept 27
Time: 7:30-9:30 p.m.
Location: Bang Bang Pie Shop 2051 N. California Ave., Chicago, IL 60647

Event Description: Celebrate Logan Square Migration week at a local favorite: Bang Bang Pie Shop. Treat yourself to pies inspired by and created with a variety of Goose Island beers.

Longman & Eagle Matilda Vertical Tasting

Date: Wednesday, Sept 28
Time: 5:30-7:30 p.m.
Location: Longman & Eagle 2657 N. Kedzie Ave., Chicago, IL 60647

Event Description: Explore the effects on aging beer using five different vintages (2010-2014) of Matilda from Goose Island accompanied by a tasting menu from Longman and Eagle. This is a rare offering as the older vintages are no longer available for purchase.

Fulton & Wood 1516 Release Party

Date: Thursday, Sept 29
Time: 7-9 p.m.
Location: The Radler 2375 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago, IL 60647
Event Description: 1516, Goose Island’s fall Fulton & Wood release, is brewed to honor the traditional German brewing practices and processes as a gently smoked Bavarian Kellerbier— slightly hazy with bready malt and a clean finish. Well balanced and complex, the beer drinks well alone or with food. The name 1516 pays homage to the 500th anniversary of the Reinheitsgebot or German Beer Purity Law. This law stated that the only ingredients that could be used in production of beer were water, barley and hops. It was adopted by all of Bavaria on April 23, 1516, making this year the 500th anniversary. Please join the 1516 team and the rest of Goose Island at the Radler for a celebration of this limited release.

Jessy Lanza Concert
Date: Friday, Sept 30
Time: 6:30 p.m. doors open; ends at 10 p.m.
Location: Comfort Station 2579 N. Milwaukee Ave, Chicago IL 60647

Description: The Empty Bottle presents Jessy Lanza at the Comfort Station

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Live Local, Drink Local

We're excited to introduce our new line of Drink Local art for the beer lovers in your lives. Choose your hometown or your favorite states to drink in to create a local love collage. Check out our Etsy page to purchase these prints and other beer and wine-themed gifts.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Cider School at The Northman

The Northman, Chicago’s first pub and bistro dedicated to cider, is excited to continue Chicago's cider education with its Cider Class Series. Throughout the rest of summer and early fall, these intimate classes give cider lovers a chance to delve into the long and complex history of cider.
Attendees will be treated expert instructions, cider flight, lights snacks and an opportunity to taste a rare or specialty cider that ties to that session's lesson.
History of American Cider
This country was built on cider. From the formation of the United Stated to present day, cider’s history is rocky.  In this class we will dive in and sip on the same beverage that our Founding Fathers made and loved.

Monday, August 29
7-8 p.m.

The Northman
4337 N. Lincoln Ave.
Chicago, IL 60618

$30 ticket includes a flight of 4 ciders, light snacks, special/limited cider sample and a quality cider education! Additional food and beverage are available for purchase.
Tickets available at brownpapertickets.com

Planning Ahead, More Cider Classes at The Northman:
Apples: Single Variety Ciders
Monday, September 12. This class covers all aspects of this amazingly hearty tree/fruit with a complicated growth pattern. Tastings will focus on single variety ciders.

Tickets available @brownpapertickets

Cider Making
The final class for this season will take place on Monday, September 26. This class will go into the details of the cider making process. Attendees will get to taste how the variation in cider making affects the final product.

Tickets available 

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Goose Island Migration Week Comes Home To Chicago

Chicago’s own Goose Island Brewing Co. is bringing Migration Week, a week-long celebration of beer, food and music, to Lincoln Park next week (June 20-24) to show some local neighborhood love. The week kicks-off with a return of the famous Brewers Workout —an exercise class designed around the day to day life of a brewer. More events are included below with descriptions and links for tickets.

Brewers Workout

Date: Monday, June 20
Time: 7-8:30 p.m.
Location: Webster Place Athletic Club, 1455 W. Webster Ave.
Event Description: Kick off your week with a Brewers workout brought to you by Goose Island! Ever wonder how brewers get those svelte figures? We are hosting an exercise class designed around the day to day life of a brewer. After the class we will celebrate with the end product that those brewers work so hard to make.
Sign up here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/brewers-workout-with-goose-island-webster-place-athletic-club-620-tickets-25905498042
After party: Distilled Chicago, 1480 W. Webster Ave.

Drink Tank

Date: Tuesday, June 21
Time: 5:30-8:30 p.m.
Location: Moosejaw Lincoln Park, 1901 N. Clybourn Ave.

Event Description: You bring your creativity and imagination, we’ll bring awesome people, and Goose Island will provide great beers to cheers with. Together we’ll build a new kind of map, one that’s community generated and tells the story of what the lake means to us, our neighborhoods and the city of Chicago. We’ll share these creative insights and artifacts with our friends from the Alliance for the Great Lakes, who will be joining us for this Party with a Purpose.
To purchase tickets: http://www.drinktankthat.com/lake-michigan#map-lake-michigan
After party: Derby Bar, 1224 W. Webster Ave.

Bee Squad Release

Date: Wednesday, June 22
Time: 5-8 p.m.
Location: The J Parker, 1816 N. Clark St.

Event Description: Bee Squad is a Biere de Miel traditionally brewed with honey. Bee Squad has a saison-like base, combined with honey and apricot essences. In the end, the beer is easy drinking and has a nice complexity for an 8% ABV beer. Please join the Bee Squad and the rest of Goose Island at The J Parker for a celebration of this limited release. All of the ticket sales will benefit The Chicago Honey Co-op Training Center.
To purchase tickets: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/goose-island-release-event-bee-squad-a-biere-de-miel-tickets-25791256342
After party: Wells on Wells, 1617 N. Wells

Sofie “Brinner”

Date: Thursday, June 23
Time: 7-9 p.m.
Location: Summerhouse, 1954 N. Halsted St.

Event Description: Goose Island is putting a twist on the traditional beer dinner with a Sofie "Brinner" (breakfast for dinner). Join us at Summerhouse for a three-course brinner paired with Sofie, our Belgian farmhouse ale, as well as Sofie cocktails and Sofie Mimosas. All of the ticket sales will benefit The Chicago Honey Co-op Training Center.
To purchase tickets: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/sofie-breakfast-for-dinner-at-summerhouse-tickets-25796227210

The Empty Bottle Presents: Strand of Oaks

Date: Friday, June 24
Time: 9 p.m. doors open; 10 p.m. opener; 10:45 p.m. Strand of Oaks
Location: Goose Island Brewpub, 1800 N. Clybourn Ave.
To sign up: http://www.ticketweb.com/t3/sale/SaleEventDetail?eventId=6760415&dispatch=loadSelectionData

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Father's Day For Beer Lovers

Introducing our new line of Father's Day cards for the beer lovers in your lives. From the new Dad to the seasoned pro, we have a sentiment for everyone. Check out our Etsy page to purchase these cards and other beer-themed gifts.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

HttA Picks for Chicago Craft Beer Week 2016

The 7th Annual Chicago Craft Beer Week (11 days long to be exact) is upon our beer-loving city once again. With tons of new and exciting events spanning all ends of the city and suburbs, we've dove in and featured 2 fun and affordable events for each day of the celebration. Enjoy, be safe, and cheers to our local, Illinios-made craft beers!

All week, 3rd Annual Battle For Lake Michigan at Links Taproom, 5pm: 10 kegs and a firkin from each participating state will be on tap in a race to determine who is the master of the lake. Follow progress on their digital menu starting 5/19 and going until 1st and 2nd place are determined. Donations to Alzheimers Association.

May 19th, Hop Head Farms Tap Takeover at Hopleaf, 7 pm: showcasing beers from all over the country made with Hop Head Farms hops – 35 different Beers, 2 Ciders & a Mead all made with HHF hops on draft. Learn about basic hop farming, hop selection methodology and hop sensory analysis during a Hop Quality workshop upstairs at 7:30pm given by the founder of HHF. Admission is $10 at the door

May 19th, BUT (Beer Under Tin) at Paddy Long's, 7pm: featuring beers from Metropolitan and Off Color that pair perfectly with our bacon-centric menu.

May 20th, Beauty & The Brews at The Sedgwick Stop, 7pm: All 14 taps will feature women brewed or women owned breweries with brewers and representatives on hand to chat with about their beers.

May 20th, Beer Friends at Hopewell Brewing, 4pm: Kicking off their first CCBW with a new ongoing collaboration with our friends throughout the industry, featuring Ipsento Coffee and Mott Street. Beer Friends will bring in great minds from the worlds of beer, cocktails, coffee and beyond, exploring different ways to offer twists on existing Hopewell beers.

May 21st, Brews & Yoga at Alter Brewing, 11am: Enjoy yoga in the brewery before they open up to the public. $15 for one hour of yoga and one beer afterwards. Ticket sales in the taproom only.

May 21st, Burnt City Brewing Steampunk Ball, 9pm: Channel your inner history buff, get out your dusty sewing machine and don your best steampunk attire for the classiest party to ever pay homage to a fictional era. DJ beats and beer specials.

May 22nd, Goose Island 3rd Annual Sunday Funday Dodgeball Tournament at the Barrel Warehouse, 2pm: Battle of the Breweries dodgeball tournament, special beer tappings. Tickets $25 with 100% donation to Special Olympics.

May 22nd, Pipeworks & Spiteful Fighting Like Cats & Dogs for PAWS at Smallbar, 12pm: Swag and amazing brews with reps from both breweries as they hang out and talk pets and beer, with 100% of the profits from the event benefitting PAWS Chicago. Pipeworks beers on draft: The Jones Dog BA Stout, Passionfruit Guppy IPA, Lupine DIPA. Spiteful beers on draft: Working for the Weekend DIPA, God Damn Chocolate Vanilla Donut Pigeon Porter.

May 23rd, Yoga On Tap at Begyle Brewing, 6:30pm: An hour of yoga (all levels) with Yoga On Tap Chicago followed by two beer flights. $25. Bring your own mat, water and towel. 

May 23rd, Andersonville Neighborhood Brewers at Jerry's Sandwiches, 7pm: Get up close and personal with Half Acre, Empirical and Aquanaut breweries.

May 24th, A Taste of Belgium in Chicago at Beermiscuous, 5:30pm: Get a taste of Belgium from local breweries Empirical, Illuminated, Old Town Abbey Ales, Une Année, Penrose.

May 24th, Corridor & Broken Nose Cider Collaboration Release at Corridor Brewery, 6pm: Taste the 1st collaboration of a sour kettled Apple Brett/Lacto Saison.

May 25th, Stop, Collaborate & Listen: Buckley's Barkstravaganza at Fischman's, 6pm: Showing love for dogs and local beer, this dog-friendly event will feature Mikerphone Brewing, Transient Artisan Ales and Hailstorm Brewing beers including their brand new collaboration "Stop, Collaborate & Listen" Benefitting Hopeful Tails Animal Rescue.

May 25th, Brown Line Brews 4 at The Long Room, 6pm: A showcase of the breweries along the Brown Line hosted by the Cicerone Certification Program and The Long Room also reside. Food pairing provided by Beard and Belly for each featured beer.

May 26th, Art of Craft Beer at Village Tap, 5pm: Celebrating craft beer and the artists who create your favorite craft beer labels in a festive beer garden gallery. While you’re taking in the art you can also enjoy special craft beers from the featured breweries.

May 26th, Celebrating Women of Craft Beer at Riverview Tavern, 7pm: Celebrate with women of the craft beer and cider industry, featuring collaborations by Brickstone/Pink Boots Society, the women of Dryhop/Corridor and surprise firkins by Metropolitan, Rock Bottom and 3 Sheeps. Proceeds benefit Deborah's Place.

May 27th, Ultra Fresh Brews at Bitter Pops, 6pm: The Hop Review and Bitter Pops are bringing together 20 local beers packaged within days of the event, as fresh as they can be, to drink with the folks who brewed them.

May 27th, Werk Force Sausage Fest, 6pm: Werk Force brewing is teaming up with Solstice and The Roaming Hog for a kickass night of beer and sausage featuring 4 collaboration sausages and beer pairings.

May 28th, Memorial Day BBQ Fest at Tribes Alehouse, 11:30am: Kicking off their summer-long "Beer & Smoke Menu" featuring wings, ribs, brisket and more with $4 Tribes pints. Live entertainment and music from 11:30am-4pm.

May 28th, 3rd Annual Pipeworks Tap Takeover at Emporium Arcade (Wicker Park), 12pm: Featuring 30 beers, including barrel-aged beers and never before released variants. Custom tap handles will be given away to the last pint orders of each keg.

Monday, May 16, 2016

4th Annual Celebrating Women of Craft Beer Event

Join us for the 4th Annual 
"Celebrating Women of Craft Beer" event
May 26th at Riverview Tavern (1958 W Roscoe), 7pm - ?

It's that time again and the third year will be bigger and better than ever! Numerous female brewed collaborations and special firkins will be tapped as well with proceeds benefiting Deborah's Place in Chicago.

Featured drafts:

  • Pink Is the New Black, Black American Lager brewed by Pink Boots Society/Brickstone
  • She Sells Sea Salt, Farmhouse Ale with Hibiscus & Sea Salt by the women of Dryhop/Corridor
  • Metropolitan - surprise firkin
  • Rock Bottom Chicago - surprise firkin
  • 3 Sheeps - surprise firkin
Women from some of your favorite Chicagoland breweries will be in attendance, including Brickstone Brewery, Rock Bottom, Metropolitan, DryHop, Goose Island, 3 Sheeps, Solemn Oath, Church Street Brewing, Twisted Hippo, Revolution, Two Brothers and more!

Event Details:
Thursday, May 26th @7pm
Riverview Tavern – 1958 W Roscoe Ave, Chicago
FREE to attend with drinks and food for purchase
Open to men and women and is a family friendly event
Facebook invite

Come out and support the Midwest's most talented women!

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

The Best of Goose Island Stout Fest 2016

If you're a stout lover, you will happily pass up green, watered down beer on St. Patrick's Day weekend and hold out for Goose Island's Annual Stout Fest. With a list of over 100 dark, flavorful and high octane stouts to choose from, strategy is always essential. We were on the lookout for some of the new breweries in attendance, as well as rare beers by some of our favorites such as Goose Island Clybourn, Perennial, and 18th Street. New this year: Alter Brewing, 2nd Shift, Maplewood Brewing, Cruz Blanca, Motor Row, Sketchbook Brewing, Horse Thief Hollow, Urban Legend, Aquanaut, Noon Whistle, Vice District and CHAOS Homebrew Club.

This year's sold out event took over the entire brewpub space, with well designated sections, much better traffic flow and shorter lines than years past. Food was available to order from the bar off of the regular menu, which was much needed half way through. 

Right: Brewers John & Steve of Goose Island Clybourn being presented with an ABV Chicago "Crotchee" award.

In years past the Goose Island Clybourn brewers had dominated the show for us, but we found so many creamy, balanced and flavorful stouts from neighboring tables, that it was extremely difficult to narrow down our top choices. Overall a fantastic experience that we hope continues at the Brewpub.

David and Andy from Horse Thief Hollow


MIND FK, Maplewood Brewery & Distillery
Black Tea Infused Russian Imperial Stout with hints of chocolate and coconut  |  11%

Double Milk Stout aged in Cognac Barrels  | 11%

COCOVORE CUVEE, Horse Thief Hollow Brewing
A blend of 60% Cocovore, 35% Cheval Deux (2014 World Beer Cup Silver Medal), 5% Pat Mac's Irish Red  |  9.8%

Hopped-Up Stout |  7%

Wood-Aged Belgian-Style Imperial Stout with Sour Cherries  | 11%

BITCHES BANK, 18th Street 
Russian Imperial Stout brewed with cinnamon, vanilla and cacao nibs  | 10%

PROPRIETARY, Goose Island Clybourn
Barrel Aged Imperial Stout with Toasted Coconut  |  11.5%

Chewy, chocolately stout with Blueprint Chiri Coffee  |  11.5%

2015 BCBS COFFEE, Goose Island Brewing
Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Stout with Intelligentsia Los Delirios Coffee | 13%

Mexican Hot Chocolate Stout brewed with vanilla beans, peppers, cacao nibs & cinnamon |  10.5%

Spiteful Brewing took home the "Brewer's Choice Award." 

The People's Choice Awards went to Revolution Café Deth (3rd place), Spiteful Malevolence Chocolate Caliente (2nd place), and Goose Island Clybourn Propriety (1st place).

Monday, February 29, 2016

The Best of Cider Summit Chicago 2016

This year's annual Cider Summit at Navy Pier was bigger and better than ever, expanding to the second floor balcony with a selection of cider cocktails from The Northman, Woodford Reserve and Uncle John's. This year boasted 140 ciders with approximately 10 new Producers since last year's event. We found this year to be supremely enjoyable with very few lines for cider, food or restrooms and ample opportunity to talk with the cider makers themselves. Below is a recap of our "Best of" winners of the event.

Best Dry Cider
Farnum Hill Extra Dry Cider (7.5%)

Best Semi-Dry Cider
EZ Orchards Semi Dry Cider (6.4%)

Best Farmhouse/Wild Fermented Cider
Shacksbury Arlo (6.2%)

Best European/Import Cider
Manoir de Grandouet Cambremer Cidre de Tradition AOP Pays d’Auge (4.5%)

Best Barrel-Aged Cider
Vander Mill Green Mill Barrel-Aged Cyser (6.8%)

Best Fruited Cider
Starcut Ciders Squishy (7.5%)
Seasonal Hard Cider made with Northern Michigan Cherries, tart and dry finish

runner up:
Cider Brothers, Pacific Coast Apple with Wild Cherry
Semi-dry, stone fruit and spice, tastes like cherry pie

Best Newcomer to Chicago
Starcut Ciders (by Shorts Brewing), Elk Rapids, MI
Now available throughout the Chicagoland market

Best Cider Cocktail
The Northman "Ginger Snap"
Few Bourbon Whiskey, Vander Mill Ginger Peach cider, ginger syrup, soda water

Cider Summit view from the balcony
Kim (Hail to the Ale), David (Shacksbury Cider), Craig aka "John Apple" (ABV Chicago)

left: Uncle John's Old Fashion cider cocktail. right: The traditional Spanish long pour.

For more on tasting cider, check out our latest podcast appearance on ABV Chicago, Episode 109 "Cider House Rulez" where we taste 6 ciders from across the US, talk about the cider making process, and share a whole lot of laughs in the process.

Curious about the cider making process or learning more about apple varieties? Take a look at our Amazon book list devoted to Apples & Cider.

Check out your local bottle shops, as the selections of cider continues to grow. Don't see what you're looking for? See if they can request it or email the cideries for availability. The more demand, the better!

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Guest Podcast Appearance on ABV Chicago: Episode 109

In preparation for the upcoming Chicago Cider Summit at Navy Pier (February 27th), we join Craig and Ryan of ABV Chicago Podcast series to talk all things cider making and tasting, along with some crazy banter and a lot of laughs. We hope you enjoy it!

Episode 109 – Cider House Rulez

We enter unfamiliar territory on this one by doing our first-ever cider show. Kim Leshinski of Hail to the Ale and MC Johnsen of Worth 1000 Beers join us to educate us on these fermented apple beverages. You’ll learn a lot about how ciders are made, apple varieties, local cider sources (including Broken Nose Cider), heirloom apples, and “the long pour.” We go from “cider stupid” to just plain stupid at times, as the diversions here are frequent and give Craig a good core workout. And Ryan is made to feel stupid by being the only one familiar with Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader. Listen and let us be the apple of your…ears?
Ciders reviewed:
Farnum Hill Dooryard Cider
Shacksbury Farmhouse
Bantam The Americain
Uncle John’s Apple Hard Cider
Vander Mill Chapman’s Blend 2014
Wandering Aegnus Wanderlust