These Are the Merriest Beer Events in Chicago This Month

Photo by Todd Rosenberg Photography/Courtesy of Lincoln Park Zoo

From a Krampus-themed beer release party and a winter bazaar set in a cidery to Lincoln Park Zoo’s annual BrewLights, these are the merriest (and booziest) beer events in town this holiday season.

Photo courtesy of Marz Community Brewing

Krampusnacht Party
Krampus, the half-goat, half-demon Christmas punisher, is celebrated at Marz’s festive release of Lord Krampbiscus, a wild ale with cranberries and raspberries. Toast the hairy devil while drinking out of ox horns or from a special Lord Krampiscus silver tulip glass while rocking out to Mr. 666, the Environmental Encroachment Krampus Marching Band, and others.
Details: December 6, 7 p.m.–midnight

Eris First Annual Winter Bazaar
Eris is making shopping less of a chore by hosting a local small-business holiday market on its mezzanine (when you have the space, why not?) during normal business hours this Sunday. Have your brunch and cider, and then on your way out, pick up a unique gift.
Details: December 7, 11 a.m.–5 p.m.

Delilah’s Christmas & Winter Beer Festival
Holiday beer fans unite at Delilah’s 21st annual winter beer fest, which is touted as the most comprehensive seasonal beer tasting in the world—if the beer has holiday, Santa, spiced, elf, or Christmas in its name, chances are you’ll find it here. Ticket holders get 20 samples of these sweetly spiced boozy brews, often accompanied by varying notes of red fruits, caramel, raisins, cinnamon, and chocolate.
Details: December 7, noon–5 p.m.; $20

Big Hugs at Half Acre Balmoral
Experience all the joy of Half Acre’s warm embrace at the release party for this year’s Big Hugs, its Imperial coffee stout. Packaged sales will be available, including Vanilla Big Hugs, Bourbon Barrel Aged, and Bourbon Barrel Aged Vanilla; or online presales are available through the link, and then just pick up at the Lincoln Taproom. The Balmoral release party will include tunes, the Big Star taco truck, guest beers, and Dark Matter Coffee (an ingredient source for Big Hugs.)
Details: December 7, 11 a.m.–5 p.m.

Photo by Nicholas James/Courtesy of Eris Brewery & Cider House

Pastry Boyz Battle Royale
This second annual event at the Beer Temple takes the mostly comedic notion of concocting instant pastry stouts in French presses and turns it into a competition. This year, competitors from Maplewood, Marz, Mikerphone, and Transient breweries will battle for the title of Pastry King of Chicago. Attendees sample the brews, and a panel of judges will vote on the winner.
Details: December 8, 11 a.m.–5 p.m.

3rd Annual Lo Rez Chili Cook-Off
This crowdsourced food competition will warm bellies for the day, whether you compete in the chili cook-off or just enjoy sampling/voting. Winner takes home Lo Rez swag, including a four-pack of its finest.
Details: December 8, 2–6 p.m.

Sips & Sweets Beer & Holiday Treat Pairing
Make it a date night at neighborhood-y favorite Begyle—its annual sweet treats and beer pairing event is teaming up with Amy’s Candy Bar again this year. Tickets include four 5-ounce Begyle beers, sampling of truffles and other candy, a tasting presentation from Begyle’s head brewer, and a 20 percent discount on to-go beers and Begyle merchandise.
Details: December 11, 7–9 p.m.; $35

BrewLights at Lincoln Park Zoo
While the Lincoln Park ZooLights will be on display for the entire holiday season, BrewLights is for one evening only. It combines the light displays with beer tastings (more than a dozen breweries expected) throughout the zoo. This annual festive beer-drinking event presents plenty of photo ops, so come prepared with your touch-screen gloves.
Details: December 12, 5:30–9:30 p.m.; $49

Photo courtesy of 18th Street Brewery/Facebook

18th Street Brewery’s Six-Year Celebration
18th Street in Hammond, Indiana, is already turning six! To mark the occasion, it is throwing a party with an outstanding guest draft lineup, three live bands, delicious food, and—included with the admission ticket—a four-pack of its new barrel-aged coffee Russian Imperial Stout, a commemorative glass, and two 6-ounce draft pours.
Details: December 14, 3–10 p.m.; $40