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Here Are 10 Events To Get You Stoked For Chicago Craft Beer Week

By Chuck Sudo in Food on May 12, 2014 6:00PM

Chuck Sudo/Chicagoist

We’re reaching the midway point of the month which means once again it’s time for Chicago Craft Beer Week. The 11-day festival, now in its fifth year, has grown at an explosive pace that parallels the explosion of the city’s craft beer community in that span.

This year over 300 venues are taking part in CCBW in the city, suburbs and even in far-reaching areas such as Rockford. The number of participating bars and restaurants has doubled the past two years, a sign the growth of Chicago’s craft beer scene is nowhere near complete. And the events are overwhelmingly centered on beers brewed in Chicago and the Midwest so anyone interested in local beer can visit a bar and taste for themselves if the hype is justified.

Since there are too many events happening over the next 11 days and some of the major marquee events like the opening night Beer Under Glass event May 15 are already sold out (some VIP tickets remain), we’ve listed some events for you to consider. You can also visit the Chicago Craft Beer Week website, search for events and create your own agenda.

May 14: Class of ’88 Reunion Costume Party
Fischman’s Liquors, one of the city’s most underrated beer bars, dives into the 80s the night before CCBW kicks off with an 80s-themed costume party featuring breweries that were founded in the decade. Goose Island, Deschutes Brewing, North Coast and Great Lakes Brewing will be pouring beers, There will also be an 80's costume contest, live 80's band, 80's DJ, 80's movies and Woody T. Barrel will be pouring Damn Tasty Beer all night. First 88 people will receive an 80's gift bag! Purchase tickets here. (4776-4780 N. Milwaukee Ave.)

May 15: Vintage Goose Island Night At Fire Side Restaurant
Enjoy vintage bottle offerings of Goose Island Bourbon County Brand Stout, Goose Island Bourbon County Brand Barley Wine, and Goose Island Drafts such as Goose Island Kisetsu and Lolita! (5739 N. Ravenswood Ave.)

May 16: ”There’s More Than Corn in Indiana” At Maple Tree Inn
Hoosier State breweries including Three Floyds, Upland and 18th Street Brewery will take over the taps at the venerable Blue Island Cajun restaurant with some fine rare offerings. 18th Street’s Drew Fox will be on hand, as well. ( 13301 S. Olde Western Ave., Blue Island)

May 17: Sour Night at The Beer Bistro
If you like your beers sour, head to the popular West side tavern where they’ll be offering several selections from Upland and New Belgium, as well as other beers to rinse the tart from your palate. (1061 W. Madison St.)

May 18: Lagunitas Beer Circus
Lagunitas continues celebrating the launch of its new Douglas Park production facility with two days of food trucks, carnival acts, music and plenty of beer. This will also serve as the public’s first look at Lagunitas’ brewhouse and its upcoming tap room. May 17 is sold out but there are still tickets for May 18 as of post time; purchase them here. (1843 S. Washtenaw Ave.)

May 19: Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood Trolley Pub Crawl
The Dawson, Lone Wolf and Sportsman’s Club, three of Chicago’s hottest new bars, host a trolley tour with Greenbush Brewing and Templeton Rye. Purchase tickets here.

May 20: The Third Annual South of 80: A Celebration of Downstate Beers at The Green Lady
Our friends at Guys Drinking Beer are back with another round of beers from downstate breweries including Triptych, Little Egypt, Rolling Meadows, DESTIHL and St. Louis-based 4 Hands and Urban Chestnut, showing the craft beer boom in the Land of Lincoln isn’t completely relegated to the Second City. (3328 N. Lincoln Ave.)

May 21: Ciderhouse Pop Up At Farmhouse
Farmhouse is giving people a sign of what to expect when their all-cider bar Nordcider opens later this year. Expect offerings from Vander Mill, Virtue, Uncle John's, Blackstar Farms, J.K. Scrumpy's, Aspall and more, as well as special tastes of Nordcider. (228 W. Chicago Ave.)

May 22: Wiseacre Tap Takeover at Haymarket Pub & Brewery
Davin Bartosh returns to Chicago with a samplings of the beer he’s brewing in Memphis. (737 W. Randolph St.)

May 24: West Loop Craft Beer Fest
This is the unofficial finale of the festival and the last large event. Enjoy beers from over 60 breweries while noshing on some local food truck favorites, or head inside the Chicago French Market to get some sustenance for a second wind. (131 N. Clinton St.; tickets available here.)