Chicago’s Ultimate Beer Festival Guide


by Dustin Ford

Ever since Al Capone was smuggling Canadian malt into the Second City, Chicagoans have loved beer. They love it so much that there are constant beer festivals held each year. We have compiled a list of Chicago’s most noteworthy beer-related events for your viewing pleasure. Please drink responsibly!

 (This list is comprised of festivals expected in 2019)

Winter Brew (Jan 26)

Every Winter the Lincoln Square Ravenswood Chamber of Commerce holds this festival in the DANK Haus German American Cultural Center’s Ballroom and Skyline Lounge.

Chicago Ale Fest – Winter Edition (Feb 2)

This festival has a strong focus on winter seasons, live music, and Chicago food trucks.

Frost Fest Craft Beer Festival (Feb 24)

Held in Boystown, this festival has a nice selection of beers under heated tents that you can try with your complimentary tasting glass.

Darkside Beer Festival (Feb 24)

Combining dark beer, metal, and arcade games at this event at the Emporium Arcade bar.

The Chicago Beer Festival (Mar 9)

Over 70 breweries featuring their spring seasonal beers with music, food, and open exhibits. This was held at the Field Museum in 2019.

Wrigley Opening Day Beer & Brunch Party (Apr 8)

If you love the cubs then you’ll love sipping blue beer and brunch before the game at the HVAC pub.

Chicago Beer Fest – a River North Tasting (April 13)

There are several great River North Tastings this year; this one is held at the Old Crow Smokehouse.

Chicago Beer Classic (May 4)

Possibly the biggest beer festival in the city celebrated on Soldier Field.

Illinois Craft Beer Week (May 10-17)

All over Chicago you can find drink specials at breweries, bars, and restaurants

Beer Under Glass (May 10)

As the official start to Illinois Craft Beer Week this event will dispense beers at Garfield Park.

Craft Beer Week Cruise (May 17)

As the last day of Craft Beer Week, Shoreline Sightseeing at Navy Pier with these brew cruises.

Mayfest (May 17 -19)

Live music and ice-cold beer, rock out with a beer spout.

Mayfestiversary (May 25-26)

Held at Begyle Brewing, this two day festival has music and food from some of Chicago’s best food trucks.

Maifest (May 30 – Jun 2)

This Lincoln Square event is more about German food and Culture, but there will be plenty of beer available.

Chicago Ale Fest – Summer Edition (June 1)

Over 200 craft beers, food trucks, and live music will be at Butler Field for this blowout.

Hyde Park Brew Fest (Jun 1-2)

Nestled in the heart of downtown Hyde Park this event has tastings and free admission.

Craft Brews at the Zoo (Jun 14-15)

150 craft beers and a couple crafty bears makes this one of the most unique beer fests this year.

Beer Fest on the Beach (Jun 14)

Hang out at Shore Club on North Avenue Beach while enjoying 3 hours of beer tasting.

Sox Crawl (Jun 15)

One of two pregame bar crawls held at Guaranteed Rate Field. Sox vs Yankees.

Ravenswood on Tap (Jun 22-23)

Food, local beer, live music, and a selection of handmade art and crafts all on Malt Row.

Craft Beer Festival at the Morton Arboretum (Jun 22)

Plenty of beer to go around. Enjoy a beautiful day in the park with some buds and suds.

Tour de Fat (Jun TBA)

As a part of the Tour de Fat, the New Belgium Brewing Company will be setting up in Chicago.

Square Roots Craft Brew & Music Festival (July 12-14)

This Lincoln Square summer party is a music festival and a beer festival crammed together.

Horner Brew Fest (Jul 19)

As a part of Horner fest, this Brew Fest is a fundraiser to support sustainability of the park.

Chicago Craft Beer Festival (Jul 20-21)

Held on Lincoln Ave between Roscoe and Addision this festival has plenty of local brews to taste and take home.

South loop Beer & Cider Fest (Jul 27)

This event focuses more on Illinois beers and ciders, but still has some more foreign ones to sample.

Oak Park Microbrew Review (Aug 17)

Specialising in microbrews (obviously), this festival will host over 40 different breweries and their best micros.

Fulton Market Harvest Fest (Aug 24-25)

This fest is just as much about Chicago’s beer as it is about chicago’s local restaurants and chefs.

Chicago German-American Octoberfest (Sep 6-8)

Held on Lincoln Avenue, this event celebrates German food, culture, music, and (of course) beer.

Sox Crawl (Sep 8)

This is the second Sox crawl of the year. Drink beer at Gauranteed Rate Field before the game vs the LA Angels.

Rocktober Beerfest (Sep 20-22)

This Plainfield Event tries to end the season with a bang. Celebrate German heritage and rock on.

Oktoberfest Chicago (Sep 25-26)

In an attempt to bring Oktoberfest across the pond, Chicago is making their own festival to challenge the King of beer festivals.

Beerhoptacular (Sep 28)

Hosted at the Vertiport Chicago, this event has it’s own Homebrew competition along with 150+ craft beers.

312 Block Party (Sep TBA)

A block party held right outside of the 312 Fulton Street Brewery with the 3 essentials: music, food, and beer.

Chicago Bacon and Beer Classic (Oct TBA)

Plenty of pork and pints at Soldier Field; enough said.

Harvest Hopdown Beer Fest (Oct TBA)

Over 25 local Breweries will showing off their best at this Millennium Park event.

Oktoberfestiversary (Oct TBA)

Dovetail and Begyle join forces for this combo festival with music and food trucks.

Revolution Oktoberfest (Oct TBA)

Held at the Revolution Breweries, this event has all the classics and all of Revolution’s colorful and tasty brews.

Festival of Wood and Barrel-Aged Beers (Nov 8-9)

FOBAB 2019 will be at UIC Forum and have some of the rarest and most innovative wood and barrel-aged brews.

Brewlights at Lincoln Park Zoo (Dec TBA)

Another excellent night dedicated to beer and animals.

Christmas & Winter Beer Tasting (Dec 8)

A chill afternoon at Delilah’s where winter beers are always on tap.

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