By Dan Morgridge
Tipplers, sots, souses, and dipsomaniacs of the city: your time has come. The teetotalers are packing their bags for auntie’s place. M.A.D.D. is still pretty mad (as they should be! Drink responsibly!) and attractive and impressionable progeny of both genders are being locked up by their parents. These signs tell us that either you live next to Wrigley and a Cubs game is starting, or that it’s Craft Beer Week. Thankfully, it is the latter! And since Chicagoans always like to play a little fast and loose with numbers, our “week” begins May 17th and continues through the 24th. What, pray tell, happens during this week? We thought you’d never ask.
The CCBW website has info on their lanyards, but here’s the rub: participating bars will be handing out lanyards with little maps, and every time you get a beer from a participating bar, you’ll get a sticker. The stickers will get those with access to some events a little something extra – Revolution’s Brewery opening (see below) will give a VIP upgrade to anyone with two of the stickers. Otherwise, you get a fun little beer map full of memories (and maybe a couple drops of Bourbon County Stout if you got sloppy).
WHERE TO GO
There’s a bevy of events happening around the city, We could list them all, but it’s all right here. We could also list our favorite events, but here’s why we we’ll say this first: find your own fun. Do you know what’s great? Really good beer, especially when a restaurant/bar pairs it with some awesome food. Do you know what’s terrible? When 500 sweaty and irritable beer nerds are inside both of your armpits. And when they’re talking loudly about how delicious this rare beer is, but not quite as good as X beer from Y brewery that’s only made once a year, and how they spammed the reservation website, committed identity theft, and mugged a cripple to get 20 bottles of it. There are some great beer fans, but there are also some TERRIBLE BEER NERDS. And if you go with the mob, you’ll be inundated with them.
The solution? look up your local bars on the site. Look up bars doing specials all week. Browse the excellent beermenus.com and try something that sounds good, even if it’s not hyped to hell and made only in a sarcophagus with mummy juice and dry-hopped with a mummy. But probably go try that one too, because, wow … mummy juice!
BUT REALLY WHERE TO GO
Oh fine. Check these out:
Mash Tun Festival
May 19th, 1pm-4:30pm
Maria’s Packaged Goods & Community Bar
960 W 31st St
Maria’s is hosting some rare beers in their collection, much like every other Chicago bar with a hint of beer swag to itself. But Maria’s is also showing off their classy publishing ties, with the debut of their Lumpen-approved beer journal The Mash Tun. Fine reading, a bevy of one-off brews, and … what’s this? The party stops at 4:30 so that the Bridgeport Street Eats food truck party can begin? Commence to noshing.
Nip and a Pint – Pint and a ‘Tail
May 17th, 4pm-11:45pm
1970 Montrose Ave.
Fountainhead heard you liked classy, so they’re putting classy in your classy. Or at least, a cocktail/shot next to your beer. Using the advanced flavor knowledge they each gained after their 100th Malort shot, their mixologists will be perfectly pairing fancy brews like Goose Island’s blood-orange-tastic En Passant with an Old Fashioned, or Boulevard’s Rye on Rye with … Templeton Rye. Meta.
Macho Man, 3 Floyds, and Jolly Pumpkin
May 20th 12pm-May 21st 2am
228 W. Chicago Ave.
One could hardly ask for a better tribute in this life than what Farmhouse has prepared for an old friend. Sure, Mario Poffo probably had bigger and better tributes when his death was first announced. But one year to the day, the staff of Farmhouse want to celebrate the life of one of their favorite people with a shared meal and video tribute to their friend Mario. Drinks will include sixteen 3 Floyd’s Drafts and ten Jolly Pumpkin drafts. The meal will consist of a single Slim Jim, the “snapping into” of which should provide the impetus to one hell of a memorial for the man better known as Macho Man Randy Savage.
Dan Morgridge, CBS Chicago