Well, they just keep coming. Chicago adds yet another brewery to the list, but this one comes with a unique concept. Plus, beer fests keep pouring through the warm weather season.
Pilot Project Brewing
Chicago’s newest brewery and taproom is an attractive destination for drinkers and brewers alike. Pilot Project Brewing is located in artsy, bustling Logan Square ,but on a particularly sleepy part of Milwaukee Avenue across from the work-in-progess Congress Theater; which is ironic, because they also fill a void in our hyper-active craft brewing scene by acting as an incubator for aspiring brewers. They have a limited food menu designed for beer pairing, coffee, and pastries every morning, and 24 taps rotating with the brewhouse. Currently pouring is hard kombucha from Luna Bay Booch, wine-inspired beer from Tethered Vines, and beer from a brewery opening later this year in Humboldt Park named Orkenoy.
Brew Canoe! – Brewseum
Row, row, row for your beer. Kayak Chicago guides you gently down the Chicago River to two of the best places to grab a pint: Metropolitan and Off Color. Enjoy a scenic canoe ride, a pint at both stops, and a history lesson from your guide along the way.
Details: August 22, 6-9 p.m.; $75
Lagunitas Beer Circus: Chicago
Through all its evolution and growth, Lagunitas has remained pretty dang weird—or at least, eccentric. This annual touring circus held in Chicago at Douglas Park appears to be its celebration of eccentricities in all shapes and sizes. Lots of Lagunitas brews will be flowing, as well as some yet-to-be-announced local guest taps. Entertainment? Music, burlesque, aerialists, side-shows… basically, everything that an acid trip would deem to be overkill.
Details: August 24, 12-5 p.m.; $40
Zoobrew at Brookfield Zoo
You’ll likely see a lot of dads at this event, masquerading family time as a way to catch up on local craft brews. That’s okay, as this “crossover event” is done right, with the ticket including zoo admission and parking. They offer tasting stations throughout the zoo from 30-plus breweries and the option to get a half-day ticket from 12-2 p.m. or a full day from 3:30-7:30 p.m.
Details: August 24, 12-7:30 p.m.; $25-90
Dog Days of Summer at Alter Brewing
Bring Fido to Alter Brewing for one day only to benefit PAWS Chicago. They’re setting up outdoor seating and offering raffle prizes and food from Dark Horse Pastries. Grab a refreshing Hopular Kid Pale Ale and try to see how many wagging tails you can pet at this relaxing event.
Details: August 25, 12-6 p.m.
Chicago German-American Oktoberfest
As we all remember (or probably not if you were actually there) from Maifest, Lincoln Square is Chicago’s destination for German celebrations. Oktoberfest starts the party back up again in those giant tents with family-friendly activities, music, and all that delicious German food and beer. Don’t miss the parade at 2 p.m. Saturday.
Details: September 6-8
Kveik Fest at District Brew Yards
Kveik yeast has been the buzz of the brewing industry of late for its ability to ferment a variety of beer styles at higher temperature ranges in less time. Brewers love to quickly turn over their fermenter space and utilize this versatile yeast strain that recently became available in the States but has a centuries-old history in Norway as a farmhouse strain passed down by generations of brewers. Omega Yeast is a prominent Chicago-based company producing pitch-ready yeast strains for U.S. brewers and are fellow organizers of Kveik Fest with Burnt City. Sample beers from over 30 breweries from around the nation and learn about the wonders of Kveik from Lars Marius Garshol, who helped introduce Kveik to the U.S. through his blog: Larsblog.
Details: September 7, 1-5 p.m.; $75
312 Block Party
Mark your calendar for Goose Island’s blowout 312 Block Party—it’s their annual outdoor beer and band festival outside of the Fulton Street taproom. The stellar music lineup—including Jenny Lewis, Kurt Vile, Priests, and many more—will draw out the crowds, so get in early before this event reaches capacity. Especially considering that 20-plus different Goose Island beers will pour for only $3 each!
Details: September 20-21, 5-10 p.m.; $10 suggested donation to charity of choice