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Chicago Craft Beer Week Keeps Things Local

By Chuck Sudo in Food on May 10, 2010 5:40PM

2010_05_beerweek.png American Craft Beer Week kicks off next Monday and, in what has been shaping up to be a high watermark year for local beer, local bars and restaurants are working closely with the Illinois Craft Brewers Guild to give events here a very local feel.

Chicago Craft Beer Week is essentially a victory lap not only for the local breweries that are commonplace throughout bars and retail shelves throughout the area, but also smaller, lesser know brewpubs that don't receive the attention of a Goose Island or a Half Acre. Places like Limestone Brewing in Plainfield, Gordon Biersch's Bolingbrook brewpub and all the local Rock Bottom outposts.

The full list of events can be found here, but we've condensed some of the more notable events within the city limits for your review after the jump.

Monday, May 17

Chicago Craft Beer Week Kickoff Party at the Map Room (1949 N. Hoyne)

The Illinois Craft Brewers Guild kicks off Chicago Craft Beer Week with a wide range of local brews featured for this kickoff party. There will also be a raffle for bottles of Symposium Ale at 8 pm.

Craft Beer Week Kickoff Party West at Marion Street Cheese Market (100 S. Marion St., Oak Park)

Oak Park's best cheese and beer shop is serving up a special Midwestern craft beer and cheese flight featuring Two Brothers Dog Days paired with Driftless Fresh Sheep's Cheese from Wisconsin; Three Floyds Gumballhead with Capriole's Juliana from Indiana; I Beam Altbeer from Metropolitan Brewing paired with Dunbarton Blue from Wisconsin and Goose Island's Matilda paired with Willi's Bandaged Cheddar from Wisconsin. Attendees will be entered in the raffle for bottles of the highly coveted Heartwood Symposium Ale.

Goose Island Brewmasters Dinner at Longman & Eagle (2657 N. Kedzie)

Chef Jared Wentworth has put together a a five course meal including fried Ipswich clam bellies, celery root remoulade, grilled foie gras, pickled rhubarb, mâche, brioche, blackberry gastrique and confit of Slagel Family Farm whole hog crépinette, Anson Mills grits, morel mushrooms, sugo, paired with beers from Goose Island brewmaster Greg Hall. Tickets are $78, which includes tax and gratuity.

Tuesday, May 18

Brewers Open House at Rock Bottom Chicago (1 W. Grand)

Come meet the new Rock Bottom Chicago brewing team of Chris Rafferty and Jim Wolfer, have a brewery tour and enjoy beer samples!

Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. Event at The Rocking Horse (2535 N. Milwaukee)

This Logan Square bar and grill will be offering Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, Sierra Nevada Torpedo Extra IPA, and limited special brewery release draught offerings of Blonde Ale, Best Bitter and Brown Ale.

Wednesday, May 19

Two Brothers Rare Beer Night at Mrs. Murphy & Sons Irish Bistro (3905 N. Lincoln Ave.)

Come try three rare offerings from Two Brothers and meet members of the Two Brothers Brewing Co. family. The beers will be tapped and ready as soon as the doors are open.

Rare Chicago Beer Night at SmallBar Fullerton (1415 W. Fullerton)

Presented by Beer Mapping and the Hop Cast. All the local breweries: Goose Island, Three Floyds, Half Acre, Metropolitan, Two Brothers, and others will serve rare or unusual beers on cask or tap.

Chicago Beer Society Authors Night at the Map Room

Join Ray Daniels, author of Designing Great Beers (and founder of the Cicerone Certification program); Steve Hamburg, writer of many articles on real ale and British beer; Randy Mosher, author of Tasting Beer; and Jeff Sparrow, author of Wild Brews, on the traditional CBS Third Wednesday social for a night featuring the beers they know best. Each writer will select a special beer to be on tap and speak on its relevance. Daniels, Hamburg, Mosher and Sparrow will be available throughout the evening to discuss beer, the universe, and everything in between. They'll also have books and periodicals on hand for those looking to complete their libraries.

Metropolitan Brewing Tasting at Fizz Bar and Grill (3220 N. Lincoln)

Metropolitan's Doug and Tracy Hurst will be on hand to talk about their beers. Metropolitan's bottles will be on special for $4 and they'll be tapping a special India Pale Lager, brewed with a ton of Hallertau hops.

Half Acre Beer Dinner at Hopleaf (5148 N. Clark)

Chef Ben Sheagren will craft a five course dinner starting at 7:30 p.m. with beers paired by Half Acre's Gabriel Magliaro. $50 per person. Seating is limited! Tickets available at Brown Paper Tickets

Thursday, May 20

Amber Rye Tapping Party at Rock Bottom Chicago

New Rock Bottom Chicago brewmaster Chris Rafferty unveils his first beer, "My Oh My Amber Rye," at 6 pm.

Crown Valley Brewer Tasting at Binny's South Loop (1132 W. Jefferson)

Come meet Bryan Siddle, owner, operator, brewer of Crown Valley Brewing out of Ste. Genevieve, MO, from 6-8 p.m. Siddle will discuss his beers, including a couple of specialty beers that are not yet available in Illinois.

Historic Bars of Chicago book signing at John Barleycorn (658 W. Belden)

Sean Parnell of the Chicago Beer Project (and former Chicagoist interview subject) will be on hand to sign copies of his newly-released book, Historic Bars of Chicago (Lake Claremont Press). The book includes reviews of the Top 100 most historic bars, taverns, nightclubs, lounges, dives, and bierstubes in Chicago.

Metropolitan taps a firkin of Ginger Alt at Fountainhead (1958-60 W. Montrose)

The Hursts will be tapping a firkin of I-beam, an Alt-style beer infused with ginger to make Ginger Alt, per the directions of Fountainhead's Phil Kuhl. The tapping commences at 8p.m.

Big Sky Brewmaster and Special Beers at Quenchers (2401 N. Western)

Meet Big Sky Brewery brewmaster Matt Long while enjoying Big Sky beer specials all night, including specialty beers not currently available in Illinois.

Saturday, May 22

The Drinking & Writing Brewery Presents The 4th Annual Beerfly Alleyfight at Rock Bottom Chicago

The Drinking & Writing Brewery holds its Fourth Annual Beerfly Alleyfight — a “pairing” of homebrewed beer, home-cooked food, and homegrown art — from noon to 4:00 p.m. The Beerfly Alleyfight competition goes one step further than other pairings by adding an artist to the mix. Tickets to the Beerfly Alleyfight are $30.00 online at Brown Paper Tickets or $35.00 at the door if available.

CCBW Closing Event w/ICBG @ Half Acre

Tickets will be sold to this event at Half Acre Brewery, with many brewers from the Illinois Craft Brewers Guild present, pouring their beers.