In the midst of Oktoberfest, Chicago’s booming beer scene is celebrating with food truck festivals, live music aplenty, and the annual Beerhoptacular, complete with helicopter rides. All this and lots more boozy happenings to check out this month in Chicago.
Chicago Friday Night Flights
Will this Friday Night Flights 2019 season-ending event on Chicago’s scenic Riverwalk be a haunting evening full of superstition and horror, or a joyful beer tasting where attendees receive 10 3-oz pours from 25-plus Chicago area breweries, great food for purchase, and live music? Only those brave souls who dare attend shall know for sure.
Details: September 13, 6–9 p.m.; $20
Trucktoberfest at Beer on the Wall
The Oktoberfest formula is simple: good beer, good food, and good people. Beer on the Wall took that formula and added another element: trucks. Food trucks that is, and five to be exact: Hot Dog Fiend, My Funnel, The Happy Lobster-CHI, Fat Tomato Inc., and Lexington Betty Smoke House. The trucks will line Main Street in front of the craft beer mecca, and all kinds of German beers will pour merrily alongside them.
Details: September 14, 1–9 p.m.
They’re at it again at Pollyanna Lemont, and this year’s Oktoberfest will be in the Lemont Metra parking lot near the brewery. Look for live music from Bruce Korosa Orchestra Polka Band and Jimmy Nick, food from Weber Grill and Bien Trucha, and so many beers they need a Hop Tent to contain them all.
Details: September 14, noon–11 p.m.; $10
Solemn Oath Brewing’s annual Oktoberfest takes place in its spacious parking lot. Expect good tunes, German sausages, a magician, and balloon artists for the kids’ session, and—you guessed it—lots of beer! SOB has a tendency to get a little convoluted with its event ticket prices, but stay with me ’cause it actually sounds like a good game plan: $10 general admission for the family-friendly session, and kids 12 and under are free; $20 general admission for the 5-10 p.m. session (also includes admission to 11 a.m.-3 p.m. session but not vice versa); $30 general admission with wristband good for three beers (beers are $6.50 at event and wristbands are not sold day of); and $40 Tankard Style includes admission, wristband, and a commemorative mug.
Details: September 14, 11 a.m.–3 p.m. (family session) and 5–10 p.m. (21-plus only)
ChiSox Craft Beer Fest
No matter what you choose to call the White Sox ballpark, you are guaranteed to find a quality craft brew there at one of the Craft Kaves or in the Revolution Tap Room. Now the South Siders are playing host to a Craft Beer Fest featuring 40-plus local breweries pouring on the outfield concourse—plus, food, games, and live entertainment.
Details: September 14, 1–4 p.m.; $45
Lo Rez has been brewing Daemon, a deceivingly smooth and peppery Belgian-style golden strong ale at 8.5% ABV for a while now, and apparently it decided it was time this little rascal had its own day. So bring on the Daemon variant tappings, flash tattoos by Goodkind Tattoo, tacos by Forastero Restaurant, Daemon sweets by Naked Cupcake, and a lengthy music lineup, because it’s a party! A donation of $5 goes to the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (wait, is Daemon actually a good guy?).
Details: September 21, 7 p.m.–midnight; $5
Roaring Table’s 2-Year Anniversary Bash
Where will you be when Lake Zurich’s Roaring Table Brewery turns two? If it’s not enjoying an expertly brewed craft beer and out-of-this-world barbecue from Chicago Culinary Kitchen, then it may be time to evaluate your choices. This day will be full of beer releases, live music, and swag—just a few incentives to help guide your way.
Details: September 21, 2 p.m.–midnight
South Shore Beer Fest
This event on Lake Michigan will bring in more than 45 Indiana breweries and benefit the Brewers of Indiana Guild. Located at Whihala Beach, within striking distance of Chicago near Horseshoe Casino Hammond, expect to see well-established favorites like 3 Floyds, 18th Street, and Sun King, but also get excited for newer names like Sour Note, 450 North, and Windmill.
Details: September 21, 2–6 p.m.; $40 online or $50 at the gate
Rev’s Oktoberfest might be evolving into one of Chicago’s must-attend beer events along with greats like FoBAB and Beer Under Glass. In years past, it was just a smallish ticketed event at the Kedzie production facility, and now it’s a block-rockin’ street fest on Milwaukee Avenue outside the brewpub with all the suds-loving energy following along. This year’s eclectic musical acts—Bongripper and YOB on Metal Friday and Parquet Courts on Saturday (along with many others)—take this event well beyond average beer fest status.
Details: September 28 and 29; $5 donation encouraged
The outlandish ninth annual Beerhoptacular has evolved from the (admittedly large) Aragon Ballroom to a helicopter hangar on the city’s west side, clearly a reflection of Chicago’s continually booming craft beer scene. It’s got 100-plus craft beers, food trucks, DJs, helicopter rides, and photo booths—it’s a whole thing.
Details: September 28, 4–8 p.m.; $49 general admission or $59 with VIP early entry