Did you think the summer beer fest season was over and the good times were behind us? Well, I have some fantastic news for you: Oktoberfests happen in September! Don’t ask why. Just know that Chicago loves to participate in this German tradition, and we spread the love all across the region. Check out all the lederhosen action and beyond at these upcoming beer events.
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
Lucky Dorr 2nd Anniversary Beer & BBQ Bash
Wrigleyville seriously upped its craft beer game when Lucky Dorr opened next to the ballpark. The craft beer bar and patio has featured an impressive lineup of collaboration brews with Chicago’s breweries for the past two years, and now it’s time to celebrate. It will tap brews from more than 20 of its beer-making buddies to pair with the day’s barbecue and music.
Details: September 6, 6–10 p.m.; $60
Elmhurst Craft Beer Fest
This fifth annual event features 100-plus beers from loads of Chicagoland breweries including Forbidden Root, Afterthought, Maplewood, and More (More Brewing, that is, but there will also be many more breweries). Expect beers from national breweries like Allagash and Firestone Walker, as well, plus live music performances from Moonshine Brothers and Petty Cash and food from Barbeque Jim’s Catering.
Details: September 14, 1–6 p.m.; tickets are $40 before September 7 or $50 after, and $20 for designated drivers
ChiSox Craft Beer Fest
No matter what you choose to call the White Sox ballpark, you’re 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 more than 40 local breweries pouring on the outfield concourse—plus food, games, and live entertainment.
Details: September 14, 1–4 p.m.; $45
Oktoberfest at Beermiscuous Highwood
Beermiscuous Highwood, the craft beer store and bar with an enticing selection, has been open for a year now, so its Oktoberfest serves as its anniversary party as well. That means on September 14, it will be tapping an array of German beers for $5 and a variety of favorite brews that have made this spot so special. If you come hungry, there will also be a German-inspired dinner in the evening.
Details: September 14
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. This year’s Oktoberfest will be in the Lemont Metra parking lot near the brewery. It’s got 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 a balloon artist 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 because 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 the 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-friendly session) and 5–10 p.m. (21-plus only)
Half Acre x Vienna Beef Patio Party
No need to pinch yourself, it’s actually happening. Half Acre and Vienna Beef are joining their Chicago-born powers to form the ultimate taste bud–satisfying experience: a patio party at the Balmoral beer garden with limited-edition merchandise, hot dogs, and beer. To complete the triumvirate, Pretty Cool Ice Cream has a special treat planned for the day.
Details: September 14, 11 a.m.–3 p.m.
312 Block Party
Mark your calendar for Goose Island’s blowout 312 Block Party—it’s the brewery’s annual outdoor beer and band festival outside 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