In the midst of Oktoberfest, Chicago’s booming beer scene is celebrating with festivals (including a Seinfeld-inspired version), stein-holding competitions, and pumpkin beer aplenty. All this and lots more boozy happenings to check out this month.
Delilah’s Oktoberfest & Pumpkin Beer Fest
It’s the ominous 13th annual Oktoberfest tasting event at Lincoln Park’s long-standing beer and whiskey bar. Delilah’s hosts several beer-tasting events throughout the year to celebrate beer’s disparate styles, and this Thursday you can look to sample more than 80 examples of seasonal Oktoberfest and pumpkin beers, including a five-year vertical of Ayinger Oktoberfest.
Details: October 3, 5–8 p.m.; $20
St. Benedict’s Oktoberfest
Part carnival, part beer-drinking Oktoberfest, and full-time family fun, this North Center Parish School’s annual Oktoberfest acts as a fundraiser by providing live music, ticketed rides, and German fare from Himmel’s European Bistro, plus plenty of merrymaking beer, like Burnt City’s delightful Oktoberfest Lager.
Details: October 4–6
Naper Settlement’s Oktoberfest
Located on the grounds of Naperville’s historic museum, this Oktoberfest offers a variety of family-friendly activities, such as arcade and lawn games, a live professional pumpkin carver, daylong musical performances, a stein-holding competition, and a pretzel-eating competition.
Details: October 4 and 5; $15 for adults, $10 for kids 4–12, free for kids 3 and under
It should come as no surprise that Eris Brewery & Cider House features apple-centric activities like caramel apple decorating and apple-on-a-string games for its autumnal season celebration. Plus, look out for the pumpkin spice chai cider (the perfect marriage of fall flavors) and a barrel-aged stout.
Details: October 5, 3–7 p.m.; $20 (kids are free)
A Seinfeld Oktoberfest
Now this is an original twist on the Oktoberfest theme: a Seinfeld-themed party in celebration of the show’s 30th anniversary at the Open Bottle, a craft beer slashie in suburban Tinley Park. Go dressed as a Seinfeld character or in lederhosen, but go expecting to enjoy hammerschlagen (German nail game); a stein-holding competition; Seinfeld trivia; and a top-notch Oktoberfest draft lineup with beers from Phase Three, Cigar City, Werk Force, and more.
Details: October 5, 3–10 p.m.
Chicago Rare and Wild Beer Fest
This Saturday, the Field Museum will open its doors to the rare and wild world of beer. Attendees receive 50 tasting vouchers, as well as access throughout the museum. Come ready to explore, because participating breweries like 3 Floyds, Triptych, and Whiner can come up with some pretty ferocious beers.
Details: October 5, 7–11 p.m.; $50 for general admission and $65 for VIP
Buffalo Creek Brewing Oktoberfest
Experience historic Long Grove and take part in this free-to-attend Oktoberfest celebration by Buffalo Creek Brewing, featuring nail driving, stein holding, music from the Hirsch German Band, and lots of beer, like the brewery’s Big Ludwigski Marzen.
Details: October 5, noon–10 p.m.
The Shop Year 10: Garage Hang
Man, Half Acre is getting old. Better come and enjoy this 10-year celebration of the Lincoln Avenue shop before it starts getting cranky and just shakes its fist at you as you pass on the street. It’ll be a chill Sunday hang at the shop and adjoining garage—just sipping some of the delightful beers, shoveling in crunchy snacks, and chattin’ about the mystical days gone by.
Details: October 6, noon–5 p.m.
2019 Bacon and Beer Classic
It’s 100-plus craft beers from local breweries, unlimited bacon dishes from local restaurants—and it takes place at Soldier Field. I’m not sure what else I need to tell you. It’s paradise! Also, there will be live music, games, and a bacon-eating contest, but there is no way you’re still reading this.
Details: October 12, 1–5 p.m.; $59 for general admission and $99 for VIP