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Your Guide To The Biggest Chicago Craft Beer Week Yet

By Anthony Todd in Food on May 19, 2016 2:49PM

Every year, Chicago Craft Beer Week (CCBW) gets bigger and bigger. It's become a beer-lovers restaurant week—a 10-day stretch with hundreds of events at bars and venues all over the city that range from all-out beer festivals to happy hour specials. Lots of these events are ticketed, some sold out weeks ago, and some are just simple drop-ins. It's kind of overwhelming.

That's why we've parsed through the massive schedule to bring you a curated list of our favorite CCBW events, one per day. Make sure to review the entire schedule (and even download the app!) but if you're in the mood for some TL;DR, here you go. Just so you know, the volume of awesome events falls off sharply during Memorial Day weekend, so even though the "week" runs ten days, the first week is really where you want to focus.

Thursday, May 19

Half Acre CCBW Kick Off Party at Farmhouse Evanston. Get your CCBW off to a good start with discounts on popular Half Acre brews and a total tap takeover. They'll be pouring hard-to-find Half Acre brews, doing some giveaways and drawings, and generally having a great time.

Friday, May 20

Goose Island Wine Barrel Aged Beer at Village Tap. If you're into rare, complicated beers, the Goose Island ladies (like Juliet, Lolita, Gillian and Halia) are definitely worth trying. It can be difficult to find these on draft, as they're generally sold in expensive, large-format bottles. During this event, all four will be on draft, so come grab a taste of each.

Saturday, May 21

$1 Bourbon County Stout at The Ogden. Bourbon County Stout is one of the rarer beers produced in Chicago, and it can be expensive and hard to find. For one night, you can get 6 ounce pours of the 2015 vintage for just $1. They'll run out fast, but go early and get a taste.


Sunday, May 22

Brunch & Beer at Davanti Enoteca. After all that drinking, you'll need some food. Combined with more beer, of course. On Sunday, anyone who orders a brunch entree at Davanti Enoteca gets a free flight of Lagunitas beer.

Monday, May 23

Bike in to Uncommon Ground. If you haven't gotten a taste of Greenstar beer, the in-house brewing company of Uncommon Ground in Lakeview, this is a great chance. Bring you bike helmet and drafts are only $4.

Tuesday, May 24

A Pint and a Pie at Sketchbook. Sketchbook Brewing is teaming up with Hoosier Mama pie company for this event. $12 gets you a slice of awesome savory pie and a draft beer from Sketchbook. A good dinner for a low-key Tuesday.

Wednesday, May 25

A Celebration of Asturias, Spain at The Northman. The Northman will be bringing in an expert on Spanish cuisine for this special menu of Spanish seafood, cider, cheeses, and more. No tickets required, just a special menu for the night, so if you've been looking for an excuse to visit this new cider bar, now's the time.

Thursday, May 26

Barrel-Aged Beer Night at Empircal Brewery. One of the most fun ways to get to know a particular brewery is to taste a whole lineup of their signature beers at the same time. Empirical is tapping five different barrel aged brews on one night, including a Bourbon Barrel-Aged Porter w/mocha chai tea and a Bourbon Barrel-Aged Porter w/smoked paprika and fresh and dried chiles.

Friday, May 27

Ultra Fresh Brews. A new package shop, Bitter Pops, is hosting this event, which aims to bring drinkers beers bottled within days of consumption for an extra-fresh experience. A bunch of different local breweries are participating, and drafts are $5.