In case you needed an excuse to bundle up and brave the Chicago weather, the city’s beer scene has something for everyone (with a valid ID, of course). From Lunar New Year beers and an alfresco rooftop shindig centered on wintry strong ales to a multicourse Valentine’s beer dinner, these are the can’t-miss events to check out this season.
Deth Crawl 2020 at Beer on the Wall
With last Friday’s releases of Cuvée de Grace (a complicated blend of barrel-aged barley wines and stouts) and Ten Year Beer (a blend of barrel-aged English barley wines with cherries to celebrate the brewery’s 10th anniversary), Revolution has completed its 2019–2020 Deep Woods series. Beer on the Wall and its Park Ridge neighbor, Harp & Fiddle, will combine to tap all of this season’s Deep Woods beers. Check the website for details.
Details: January 30, 6–11 p.m.
Alphas Assemble at the Beer Temple
3 Floyds Brewing must be feeling nostalgic, because it has been brewing up some throwback beers from its Alpha series, and the Beer Temple will have ’em all on tap: Alpha Khan, an approachable Mongolian pale ale; Alpha Kong, a hefty Belgian strong golden ale or sextuple ale; Alpha Naught, a pungent triple IPA; and Alpha King, the flagship’s hopped-up American pale ale.
Details: January 31, 6–11 p.m.
Lunar New Year on Marz
In celebration of the Lunar New Year and the Chinatown parade, Marz Community Brewing will be releasing two new and refreshing lagers to pair with a special dumpling menu and dragon dancer performances throughout the day.
Details: February 2, noon–10 p.m.
ABV Chicago Podcast’s Sixth Anniversary
Ryan and Craig of the popular ABV Chicago podcast have sampled and reviewed many, many beers throughout the six years they’ve been on air. That requires them to have an intimate knowledge of Chicago’s beer stores, so it’s no surprise they would choose to hold their anniversary party at the exceptional Beermiscuous. There will be an outstanding tap lineup for the evening and several beer-related raffle items to benefit the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.
Details: February 8, 6–11 p.m.
Polar Beer Fest
Chicagoans know braving the winter can require liquid assistance. That’s why Rock Bottom’s midwinter gathering on its rooftop patio in River North is called the Strong Ale festival; it will feature more than 50 craft beers to warm the soul.
Details: February 8, noon–4 p.m.; $40
Casa Humilde Cervecervía Sip & Shop
Get excited for Valentine’s Day shopping at Casa Humilde’s first-ever Sip & Shop mercado, to be held at District Brew Yards. More than a dozen vendors will be in attendance to make finding the perfect gift a breeze while sipping on beers from the pour-your-own beer wall and noshing on some barbecue.
Details: February 9, noon–5 p.m.
Valentine’s Day Beer Dinner at Mikerphone
Mikerphone Brewing and ACE: A Culinary Experience are teaming up to offer an eclectic three-course Valentine’s Day meal with amuse-bouches paired with 30 ounces of Mikerphone beer. This meal will shoot an arrow right through the heart of the beer lover in your life.
Details: February 14, 5:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.; $65
Lake County Craft Beer Festival
Lake County’s Event Center in north suburban Grayslake doesn’t know what’s about to hit it: dozens of local and national craft breweries, distilleries, wineries, ax throwing, escape rooms, and food—more good-natured revelry than the place could ever comprehend.
Details: February 22, 5–9 p.m.; $50
Uppers & Downers 2020
Good Beer Hunting’s annual Uppers & Downers festival at Thalia Hall in Pilsen explores the intersection between beer and coffee, and allows the creators of each to experiment with different ways to combine the two. Expect dozens of coffee beers and coffee cocktails and rare espressos and inventive snacks from Chicago chefs; basically, if you’re not excited about this event now, you will be after attending.
Details: February 23 and 24, session one,11 a.m.–3 p.m. and session two, 4–8 p.m.; $65
Naperville Ale Fest
The Naperville Ale Fest Winter Edition pays special attention to those strong, dark, and roast-y brews that are always welcome in the cold months. Expect lots of stouts, barley wines, and double IPAs from the dozens of breweries that will be in attendance (almost everyone with a fermenter within a 20-mile radius of Naperville will be pouring their beer). This outdoor festival’s planners are merciful, so also look for firepits, hot hard cider, and food trucks to help thaw the frozen fun of the Chicago winter.
Details: February 29, noon–4 p.m.; $55