Category Archives: chicago

Beer Hoptacular!

Purchase a ticket to any one (or all three!) of the tasting events scheduled for June 4, 5 and 6 at Chicago’s Aragon Ballroom and you’ll be rubbing elbows with the country’s finest craft brewers.   It’s pretty straightforward – entry into the event gets you a souvenir glass and unlimited tastings from any of the breweries in attendance.  And wow, the list of breweries is impressive – Dogfish Head, New Belgium, Sierra Nevada, Great Lakes, Brooklyn, Magic Hat, Summit, Bells and many more.  Of course, local breweries Goose Island, Half Acre, Two Brothers, Flossmoor and Roundhouse will be sharing their suds.  Complete list here. The big downside is going though Ticketmaster for tickets.


Earth Day 2010 – Where’s Your Beer Brewed?

Goose Island and the Green Line Project

In 2009, Goose Island and the City of Chicago worked with the Chicago Manufacturing Center to uncover the carbon footprint of one keg of beer from their brewery.  The report (full report here) broke down the carbon footprint to production of malted barley (44%), energy used during the brewing process (42%), delivery and refrigeration costs (12%) and waste from hop production (2%).

Goose Island took what it learned from the study to develop initiatives in their brewing processes and changes in their brewery culture to lessen their carbon footprint and impact on the environment.

One of the Green Line Project initiatives was the production of a new beer to raise awareness.  The Green Line Pale Ale (5% abv) is a honey colored American pale ale with a subtle hop aroma with a lightly toasted malt and citrus flavor.  It’s available only on draft in Chicago to reduce packaging waste and the impact from transportation and refrigeration over long distances.  If you haven’t noticed the light-colored wood taps (made from wood reclaimed from ash trees killed by the emerald ash borer in Wilmette, IL) at your favorite Chicago bar,  here’s a list of bars that are currently pouring Green Line.

So, with today being Earth Day, we ask you  – where is your beer brewed?


Chicago Craft Beer Week

The Illinois Craft Brewers Guild announced the 1st annual Chicago Craft Beer Week (May 17-23, 2010) which coincides with American Craft Beer Week. The week-long celebration of all things craft beer will showcase our local breweries, tastings at bars/restaurants, beer dinners, pub crawls and special limited edition beers created especially for the various events.

For more information and a soon to be published calendar of events, check in with Chicago Craft Beer Week and start planning your Chicago craft beer adventures!

DogFloydAPalooza II

The Bottom Lounge (1375 W. Lake) is hosting what’s bound to be a stellar beer event tonight (April 6) to kick off the Craft Brewer’s Conference in Chicago.  Dogfish Head and Three Floyds will be on tap – five different beers from each brewery.  Beer Gods Sam Calagione (Dogfish Head) and Nick Floyd (Three Floyds) will be in attendance this evening.

The beer will be accompanied by music from Andre Williams with The Goldstars and Jon Langford and The Cashed Johnnies.

Grab your tickets here.

Lagunitas Chicago-Style Fusion Ale

While you’re in Chicago for the Craft Brewers Conference, make sure you try the Chicago-Style Fusion Ale from Lagunitas – available at dozens of Chicago bars during the conference. The folks at Lagunitas collaborated with Chicago area bar owners to create a limited edition beer unique to Chicago to celebrate the conference.

Available at your favorite Chicago bars starting at 4:20pm on April 7th.

via the Chicago Tribune

2010 Craft Brewers Conference

Chicago hosts this year’s Brewers Association conference for breweries and brewpubs.  The event will be held at the River North Sheraton Chicago April 7-10.

The conference is a meeting place for craft beer professionals to exchange tips and techniques to improve their own breweries and brewpubs. With scheduled speakers from a variety of North American brewers, as well as classes on brewing, storage, packaging, media relations and much more, the conference will undoubtedly develop ideas to fuel and grow the craft beer movement.

Excited?  Let’s hope you have already confirmed your registration since this year’s event registration has been closed to due to extraordinary demand.

The biennial World Beer Cup also takes place during the conference.  The winners will be announced on the last day of the conference at the World Beer Cup Gala Awards Dinner.

The World Beer Cup was capped at 3,500 entries this year – roughly three times as many entries from 2002.

Craft Brewers Conference

Brewers Association

World Beer Cup

It’s going to be a great beer week in Chicago, my friends.  Cheers!


Half Acre Brewery Tour

With all the buzz around the great craft beer coming out of Half Acre, a trip to check out the facilities was long overdue.  We emailed the info address from their site and none other than Gabriel Magliaro (owner/founder) replied to confirm our spot on the tour.

Gabriel passionately led the Saturday afternoon tour in front of dozens of eager beer lovers (which on this day included his parents).

They kept the beer flowing throughout the tour.  We enjoyed sipping the brews they had on tap – Daisy Cutter, Over Ale and Gossamer.  Unfortunately, I spoke too soon before the tour because the Ginger Twin was not quite ready.

Gabriel walked us through the brewing process as we wandered through the brewery tasting the barley and smelling the hops.  Undoubtedly, this gave us all a new appreciation for the intricacies of brewing delicious craft beer.  It’s incredible they’re able to brew, bottle and prepare beer for distribution all from their relatively small urban facility. In addition to 12oz bottles, 22oz bottles, growlers and kegs – look for Half Acre 16oz cans coming soon!

A few more shots from the brewery…

The Half Acre tour is free and highly recommended.  For more information, head over to