From a panel discussion on IPAs and a Mexican-accented Oktoberfest to a behind-the-scenes look at Whiner Beer’s brewing facility and a boozy Halloween contest, these are some of the best beer events to check out this month in Chicago.
Curious about hazy IPAs and what makes them different? The Beer Temple will host a panel of guests chock-full of passion, knowledge, and opinions about hops and brewing techniques. Eric Padilla of More Brew Co., Jude La Rose of Hop Butcher, and Eric Young of Half Acre will all be discussing the modern perception of IPAs and what this whole haze craze is about.
Details: October 17, 7–9 p.m.; $25
Das Bueno Oktoberfest
Cruz Blanca on Randolph Street is coming in hot with (possibly) the closeout Oktoberfest of the season. German immigrants had a big influence on Mexican beer making, so this celebration will highlight the blending of the two cultures, best understood through German-influenced lager beers, tortas stuffed with bratwurst, music from Mr. Blotto and, yeah, a stein-holding competition.
Details: October 19, noon–5 p.m.; $20
Morton Arboretum Cider and Ale Fest
Nothing beats the scenic delight of witnessing the leaves change color in the fall, unless a cold copper ale can be added to the equation. This fest brings in 50 local breweries and cideries to the Morton Arboretum grounds at the time of year when the trees shine. VIPs enjoy one-hour early entry, access to a VIP pavilion, and first access to firkin-conditioned beers and ciders.
Details: October 19, 1–5 p.m.; $45 general admission for members, $55 for nonmembers, $65 for VIP members, $75 for VIP nonmembers
Whiner Beer Company Open House
Whiner Beer Company and the Plant, the sustainable net-zero energy food-business incubator that houses the brewery, are opening the doors to the public for the weekend. Explore all the businesses that make the operations go, and stop in to Whiner’s taproom for something wild. The DonerMen food truck will be in attendance as well.
Details: October 19 and 20
Lincoln Avenue Beer Stroll
Chicago’s Lincoln Avenue has long been a hot spot for retailers and businesses of all kinds, and in today’s craft beer boom, a number of beer retailers call the thoroughfare home. For this stroll, 20-plus businesses will offer tastings of more than 30 beers. Two routes are available: Route A runs from Belmont to Addison, with check-in at Bitter Pops Beer Shoppe, and route B spans Diversey to Belmont, with check-in at Beermiscuous.
Details: October 20, 3–6 p.m.; $35 in advance, $45 at the event
Beer Culture Summit
The Chicago Brewseum may still be in its developmental stage, but it’s actively promoting Chicago beer culture and history with a four-day summit at multiple locations across the city. Opening night kicks off at the Goose Island Barrel House, while Friday includes a number of panel discussions at the Field Museum. On Saturday, the education continues at the Chicago History Museum, and several bars and breweries will also be holding events.
Details: October 24–27
Oktoberfest at Marshall’s Landing
This chic venue at the Merchandise Mart hosts an Oktoberfest featuring some of Chicago’s favorite craft breweries. Enjoy beer and bar snacks before you’re released upon River North’s Friday night bar scene.
Details: October 25, 5–7 p.m.; $15 in advance, $20 at the door
Lil’ Homebrew Festival of Horrors
Home brewers are the roots that grew Chicago’s craft beer scene. Nearly all of our breweries can be traced back to a home-brewing enthusiast—now you can come out and sample the fruits of these wild creators’ labor. Empirical Brewery plays host to an event best described as part home-brew competition and part Halloween costume contest, but thanks to the power of beer, all can walk away feeling like a winner.
Details: October 26, 1–5 p.m.; $30