Events

A Yearly Calendar of the Best Beer Events in Chicago

Published On 01/04/2016 Published On 01/04/2016

The secret to success is always good planning. In a city like Chicago that takes its beer scene as serious as a pizza-induced heart attack, it’s also essential to your survival. So here you go, beer nerds: a comprehensive list of the 42 finest beer-soaked events 2016 has to offer.

Flickr/Damian (edited)

Date

Event

Location

Jan 12 Tue

Haymarket Pub & Brewery Beerthday It’s been five years since Haymarket opened in the West Loop. This calls for a party.

Haymarket Pub & Brewery

Haymarket Pub & Brewery Beerthday Haymarket Pub & Brewery It’s been five years since Haymarket opened in the West Loop. This calls for a party.

Date

Event

Location

Jan 23 Sat

Chitown Beernival Beer pong tournament, competitive flip cup, carnival games for charity. Carnies optional.

Joe's Bar

Chitown Beernival Joe's Bar Beer pong tournament, competitive flip cup, carnival games for charity. Carnies optional.

Date

Event

Location

Jan 30 Sat

CHAOS Stout & Chili Night Battle the Chiberian cold with hot, spicy chili, and 30+ homebrews from CHAOS Brew Club, this year focusing on coffee beers.

C.H.A.O.S. Brew Club

CHAOS Stout & Chili Night C.H.A.O.S. Brew Club Battle the Chiberian cold with hot, spicy chili, and 30+ homebrews from CHAOS Brew Club, this year focusing on coffee beers.

Naperville Winter Ale Fest (edited)

Date

Event

Location

Feb 6 Sat

Festibarrel The annual winter celebration of barrel-aged brews returns to Riverview Tavern.

Riverview Tavern

Festibarrel Riverview Tavern The annual winter celebration of barrel-aged brews returns to Riverview Tavern.

Date

Event

Location

Feb 27 Sat

Frost Fest Craft Beer Festival What better excuse to throw a beer fest than ungodly cold weather? This Northalsted fest includes live music and food trucks in a 5,000sqft HEATED tent.

800 W. Waveland

Frost Fest Craft Beer Festival 800 W. Waveland What better excuse to throw a beer fest than ungodly cold weather? This Northalsted fest includes live music and food trucks in a 5,000sqft HEATED tent.

Date

Event

Location

Feb 27 Sat

Naperville Winter Ale Fest Situated on the frozen tundra of Naperville’s Frontier Park, the fest will feature over 130 unique beers from craft breweries around the country. Yes, you read that right. This event is outdoors.

Frontier Park

Naperville Winter Ale Fest Frontier Park Situated on the frozen tundra of Naperville’s Frontier Park, the fest will feature over 130 unique beers from craft breweries around the country. Yes, you read that right. This event is outdoors.

Shutterstock (edited)

Date

Event

Location

TBA

Firkin Fest Firkin (cast-conditioned ales) are the stars of this show.

Headquarters Beercade

Firkin Fest Headquarters Beercade Firkin (cast-conditioned ales) are the stars of this show.

Date

Event

Location

TBA

Drunk Monk Challenge Homebrew competition focused on the monastic brewing traditions of Belgium and Germany.

Two Brothers Roundhouse

Drunk Monk Challenge Two Brothers Roundhouse Homebrew competition focused on the monastic brewing traditions of Belgium and Germany.

Flick/edwin (edited)

Date

Event

Location

TBA

Dark Lord Day It’s the only day of the year you can buy Three Floyds Dark Lord Russian Imperial Stout. So naturally, it’s a party.

Three Floyds Brewing

Dark Lord Day Three Floyds Brewing It’s the only day of the year you can buy Three Floyds Dark Lord Russian Imperial Stout. So naturally, it’s a party.

Date

Event

Location

TBA

River North Beer Fest 50+ beers and socializing with fellow twenty-somethings. Call it networking with beer.

Array

River North Beer Fest Array 50+ beers and socializing with fellow twenty-somethings. Call it networking with beer.

Courtesy of Chicago Beer Classic (edited)

Date

Event

Location

May 7 Sat

Chicago Beer Classic Stadium tour, Soldier Field food vendors, and the chance to wander around the field sans shoulder pads with beer in hand.

Soldier Field

Chicago Beer Classic Soldier Field Stadium tour, Soldier Field food vendors, and the chance to wander around the field sans shoulder pads with beer in hand.

Date

Event

Location

TBA

Chicago Craft Beer Week It’s the 10-day party beer nerds look forward to all year, with beer-focused events going down at venues around the city plus the annual Beer Under Glass party at Garfield Park Conservatory.

Various locations

Chicago Craft Beer Week Various locations It’s the 10-day party beer nerds look forward to all year, with beer-focused events going down at venues around the city plus the annual Beer Under Glass party at Garfield Park Conservatory.

Chicago Ale Fest (edited)

Date

Event

Location

Jun 3 Fri

Two Brothers Summer Festival Celebrate the start of Chicago summer the Chicago way: with a beer fest.

Two Brothers Roundhouse

Two Brothers Summer Festival Two Brothers Roundhouse Celebrate the start of Chicago summer the Chicago way: with a beer fest.

Date

Event

Location

Jun 17 Fri

Brew to Be Wild Drink beer while checking out animals. This one pretty much sells itself.

Lincoln Park Zoo

Brew to Be Wild Lincoln Park Zoo Drink beer while checking out animals. This one pretty much sells itself.

Date

Event

Location

Date

Event

Location

TBA

Chicago Ale Fest Drink beer in Grant Park surrounded by Buckingham Fountain, with the added benefit of not being lost at Lollapalooza.

Grant Park

Chicago Ale Fest Grant Park Drink beer in Grant Park surrounded by Buckingham Fountain, with the added benefit of not being lost at Lollapalooza.

Date

Event

Location

TBA

Lagunitas Beer Circus Lagunitas beer, circus freaks, crazy costumes. What’s not to love?

Lagunitas Brewery

Lagunitas Beer Circus Lagunitas Brewery Lagunitas beer, circus freaks, crazy costumes. What’s not to love?

Date

Event

Location

TBA

AlphaBeer Drink a beer for every letter of the alphabet. Take that, elementary school.

A.J. Hudson’s Public House

AlphaBeer A.J. Hudson’s Public House Drink a beer for every letter of the alphabet. Take that, elementary school.

Flickr/Devon Christopher Adams (edited)

Date

Event

Location

Jul 23 Sat

Chicago Craft Beer Festival Get boozy in Lincoln Park in conjunction with the annual Sheffield Music Festival & Garden Walk with 80+ craft beers from 40+ breweries.

Sheffield Ave between Webster and Fullerton

Chicago Craft Beer Festival Sheffield Ave between Webster and Fullerton Get boozy in Lincoln Park in conjunction with the annual Sheffield Music Festival & Garden Walk with 80+ craft beers from 40+ breweries.

Date

Event

Location

TBA

Tour de Fat Fat Tire’s annual extravaganza of beer, bikes, and steampunk weirdness is not to be missed.

Palmer Square Park

Tour de Fat Palmer Square Park Fat Tire’s annual extravaganza of beer, bikes, and steampunk weirdness is not to be missed.

Date

Event

Location

TBA

Naperville Ale Fest One of the biggest beer fests in the 'burbs = one of the only reasons to visit the burbs.

Naper Settlement

Naperville Ale Fest Naper Settlement One of the biggest beer fests in the 'burbs = one of the only reasons to visit the burbs.

Date

Event

Location

TBA

Tribesfest One of the biggest parties in the 'burbs at one of the best bars in the 'burbs.

Tribes Alehouse Tinley Park

Tribesfest Tribes Alehouse Tinley Park One of the biggest parties in the 'burbs at one of the best bars in the 'burbs.

Flickr/Peter Thoeny (edited)

Date

Event

Location

TBA

Beer, Bourbon & BBQ Fest Tickets include tastings of beer, bourbon & whiskeys plus a BBQ lunch catered by Old Crow Smokehouse.

Array

Beer, Bourbon & BBQ Fest Array Tickets include tastings of beer, bourbon & whiskeys plus a BBQ lunch catered by Old Crow Smokehouse.

Date

Event

Location

TBA

Bacon, Sports & Beer Celebration On hold last year, the return of this year’s holy trinity of (duh) beer, bacon, and sports games is a matter of faith at this point.

Union Station

Bacon, Sports & Beer Celebration Union Station On hold last year, the return of this year’s holy trinity of (duh) beer, bacon, and sports games is a matter of faith at this point.

Date

Event

Location

TBA

Old Irving Park Beer & BBQ Challenge Brewers and BBQ pit masters join forces for an epic pairing.

St. Viator Elementary School

Old Irving Park Beer & BBQ Challenge St. Viator Elementary School Brewers and BBQ pit masters join forces for an epic pairing.

Date

Event

Location

TBA

Oak Park Micro Brew Review Do good by drinking beer at the Midwest’s largest zero-waste craft beer event.

Downtown Oak Park

Oak Park Micro Brew Review Downtown Oak Park Do good by drinking beer at the Midwest’s largest zero-waste craft beer event.

Courtesy of Goose Island (edited)

Date

Event

Location

TBA

Logan Square Beer Fest Expect live music from hipster bands and food truck eats in addition to the usual assemblage of brew.

Logan Square Auditorium

Logan Square Beer Fest Logan Square Auditorium Expect live music from hipster bands and food truck eats in addition to the usual assemblage of brew.

Date

Event

Location

TBA

Oktoberfest Chicago Tap kegs in church with St. Alphonsus Church’s in-house taproom as the party spews out into the street.

St. Alphonsus Church

Oktoberfest Chicago St. Alphonsus Church Tap kegs in church with St. Alphonsus Church’s in-house taproom as the party spews out into the street.

Date

Event

Location

TBA

Berghoff Oktoberfest The Old Faithful of beer fests sets up shop at the Kluczynski Federal Plaza with outdoor bands, a public keg tapping, and special events inside the Berghoff.

The Berghoff/Kluczynski Federal Plaza

Berghoff Oktoberfest The Berghoff/Kluczynski Federal Plaza The Old Faithful of beer fests sets up shop at the Kluczynski Federal Plaza with outdoor bands, a public keg tapping, and special events inside the Berghoff.

Date

Event

Location

TBA

Oaktoberfest Oak Park gets into the beer fest game with brews, bands, and all the usual amenities.

Marion Street & North Boulevard

Oaktoberfest Marion Street & North Boulevard Oak Park gets into the beer fest game with brews, bands, and all the usual amenities.

Date

Event

Location

TBA

Goose Island 312 Urban Block Party 25 heavy-hitting indie bands, specialty beers from Goose Island, and local food that may or may not include Hot Doug’s.

Goose Island Fulton Street Brewery

Goose Island 312 Urban Block Party Goose Island Fulton Street Brewery 25 heavy-hitting indie bands, specialty beers from Goose Island, and local food that may or may not include Hot Doug’s.

Date

Event

Location

TBA

Festival of Barrel Aged Beers The country’s largest celebration of wood and barrel-aged beers plus the famous #BarricAle, which gives brewers the chance to create barrel-aged beer with only slight variables.

UIC Forum

Festival of Barrel Aged Beers UIC Forum The country’s largest celebration of wood and barrel-aged beers plus the famous #BarricAle, which gives brewers the chance to create barrel-aged beer with only slight variables.

Date

Event

Location

TBA

Motor Row Craft Beer & Wine Festival New fest kicked off Labor Day weekend last year featuring local brews in Chicago’s historic Motor Row district in the South Loop.

Wabash & 18th

Motor Row Craft Beer & Wine Festival Wabash & 18th New fest kicked off Labor Day weekend last year featuring local brews in Chicago’s historic Motor Row district in the South Loop.

Date

Event

Location

TBA

HOPS! Oktobefest Join the crew from Homebrewer's Pride of the Southside for a Bridgeport pig roast at a VFW Hall with a variety of oddball homebrews and more familiar “pro” brews.

VFW Post 5079

HOPS! Oktobefest VFW Post 5079 Join the crew from Homebrewer's Pride of the Southside for a Bridgeport pig roast at a VFW Hall with a variety of oddball homebrews and more familiar “pro” brews.

Date

Event

Location

TBA

Independence Park Beer Fest This new fest sets up show in an area of the city tragically underserved by beer fests.

Independence Park

Independence Park Beer Fest Independence Park This new fest sets up show in an area of the city tragically underserved by beer fests.

Jerry Wang/Pro Event Photography (edited)

Date

Event

Location

TBA

Chicago Bacon & Beer Classic Vote for best beer in a variety of styles (pilsner, stout, pale, etc.) while crowning winners from local restos in food categories like best sweet, savory, and “people’s choice.”

Soldier Field

Chicago Bacon & Beer Classic Soldier Field Vote for best beer in a variety of styles (pilsner, stout, pale, etc.) while crowning winners from local restos in food categories like best sweet, savory, and “people’s choice.”

Date

Event

Location

TBA

Harvest Hopdown How to handle the crowds of tourists at Millennium Park? Beer. Lots of it.

The Plaza at Millennium Park

Harvest Hopdown The Plaza at Millennium Park How to handle the crowds of tourists at Millennium Park? Beer. Lots of it.

Date

Event

Location

TBA

Chicago Beer Festival Drink beer in Union Station. Without the train ride to some hellish location.

Union Station

Chicago Beer Festival Union Station Drink beer in Union Station. Without the train ride to some hellish location.

Date

Event

Location

TBA

Beer Hoptacular After going on hiatus in 2015, we expect the popular Lollapalooza of beer fests to return in 2016, but you never know.

Aragon Ballroom

Beer Hoptacular Aragon Ballroom After going on hiatus in 2015, we expect the popular Lollapalooza of beer fests to return in 2016, but you never know.

Chicago Festiv-Ale (edited)

Date

Event

Location

TBA

Festiv-ale One of Chicago’s fancier beer fests brings together high-end beers from the finest Midwestern breweries for charity (and the chance to win a 30-case “Tower of Beer”).

Block 37

Festiv-ale Block 37 One of Chicago’s fancier beer fests brings together high-end beers from the finest Midwestern breweries for charity (and the chance to win a 30-case “Tower of Beer”).

Brew Year's Eve (edited)

Date

Event

Location

TBA

Beer Fest Beat Down What’s missing from your usual beer fest? Lucha libre wrestling, of course. Not anymore.

Sears Centre

Beer Fest Beat Down Sears Centre What’s missing from your usual beer fest? Lucha libre wrestling, of course. Not anymore.

Date

Event

Location

Dec 31 Sat

Brew Year’s Eve Champagne is overrated. Spend your New Year’s Eve doing something a little different. Like a beer fest in a cool warehouse building.

Salvage One

Brew Year’s Eve Salvage One Champagne is overrated. Spend your New Year’s Eve doing something a little different. Like a beer fest in a cool warehouse building.

Clickbait

close

Learn More