Roses are red, violets are blue, love tastes best with a cold brew. For Valentine’s Day, see how Chicago’s breweries pair the holiday with some of their fermented treats. But the festivities continue well after cupid has gone to bed, too. Check out some of February’s other beer events, like a vintage beer tasting and a rather caffeinated festival that’s unique to Chicago.
Mystic Night at Whiner Beer Co.
Whiner’s taproom at the Plant will be hosting an evening of spiritual discovery and relaxation. Indulge in tarot readings by Laura Gonzalez, incense, handmade soaps, alternative healing products, and plenty of Whiner’s mixed fermentation and wine barrel–aged beers. Inner peace may just be a sip away.
Details: February 13, 7–11 p.m.
Sips & Sweets at Begyle Brewing
Make it a date night, or just let your taste buds lead the way to your heart. Begyle’s head brewer, Liz French, will give a tasting presentation for five different beers, with sweet surprises from nearby Amy’s Candy Bar.
Details: February 13, 7–8:30 p.m.; $35
The Foolish Hearts Club
Chicago’s West Side is home to many breweries—and many foolish hearts. This Valentine’s Day, On Tour Brewing provides a venue where the lovesick can gather to play love songs, eat cheese from MozzArepas, and drink beer like On Tour’s Foolish Heart Pale Ale.
Details: February 14, 6–10 p.m.
Black Valentines & Pipeworks Specialty Tapping
Raise the devil horns to Valentine’s Day at Kuma’s Schaumburg with a Pipeworks tap takeover loaded with rich stouts and flavorful lagers, like its Schwartzbier. Kuma’s has even whipped up a decadent one-night-only burger named Bloodbath for the occasion. Plus, you’ll be entered into a raffle to win tickets to Bloodbath at the House of Blues when you order the titular burger or a Pipeworks beer!
Details: February 14, 11 a.m.–11:30 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. or 7:30 p.m.; $65
Vintage Beer Fest
On Saturday, veteran dive bar Delilah’s will host its 22nd annual Vintage Beer Festival. Beer is meant to be enjoyed fresh, but some beers can withstand aging and even benefit from a bit more time in the bottle. Delilah’s will be cracking strong ales, barrel-aged beers, and sours from some regional powerhouses, as well as superior breweries from around the world.
Details: February 15, noon–5 p.m.; $20 for 20 sample tickets available at the door
Marz Community Brewing is throwing a whole shindig in honor of a Polish pastry…well, actually, it’s in honor of its Paczki Milk Stout being released, as well as a pistachio version. Go for the beer on draft and in cans, and stay for the Mardi Gras theme, complete with Creole dishes and all-vinyl Creole soul from DJ Hunter Diamond.
Details: February 23, noon–8 p.m.
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 this old event center can comprehend.
Details: February 22, 5–9 p.m.; general tickets $50
Uppers & Downers 2020
Good Beer Hunting’s annual Uppers & Downers festival at Thalia Hall explores the intersection between beer and coffee, and allows the creators of each to experiment with inventive ways to combine the two. Expect dozens of coffee beers, coffee cocktails, rare espressos, and inventive snacks from Chicago chefs; basically, if you’re not excited about this event now, you will be after attending it.
Details: February 23, 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). 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 Chicago winter.
Details: February 29, noon–4 p.m.; $55