As you all know, this blog is dedicated to eating and drinking in Chicago, possibly the greatest city in America to experience either. The month of May has brought us some much-needed warmer weather, patios opening, but perhaps most important, it brings us the annual Chicago Craft Beer Week!
Officially kicking off on May 16th and lasting through May 26th (11 days sure is a long week, but we aren’t complaining!), CCBW will boast some awesome breweries, from Chicago to San Diego to Maine, serving up their best craft beer at some really cool locations in and around the city.
To learn more about the event, we hiked up to Avondale and paid a visit to Revolution Brewing’s Tap Room on Kinzie, where we threw back a few craft beers, ate some rockin’ tacos, drank more beer, talked shop with some local brewers, drank one last beer, and learned some cool stuff.
A bit about Chicago Craft Beer Week:
The general idea of CCBW is to expose as much of Chicago to as much craft beer as possible in the coolest venues. Your favorite bar is likely participating, and could be offering ½ off Chicago craft brews, special reserve barrel tappings, tap takeovers, beer dinners, new beer releases, new brewery meet-and-greets, anniversary parties, and so on.
If you’re feeling lost, overwhelmed, overstimulated, or just don’t know where to start, download the CCBW app or check out the schedule online. The app is quite cool – you can view the schedule of events, tag events that sound interesting, form your own personal schedule, and earn points by checking in to events to win prizes at the end of CCBW.
Download the app and check it out.
Some of the great beer we had:
Chicago powerhouse Goose Island Brewery has a huge presence at CCBW. They were serving up a delicious new brew called Sofie Paradisi.
According to Beer Advocate, it is already getting rave reviews. Basically, Paradisi takes a summery twist on Sofie, brewing it with grapefruit zest and juice instead of oranges, giving it a delightful tartness. We are told that this will not get bottled, so hit up your local beer garden on a warm day and throw down a few of these while you can!
GI is celebrating 25 yrs with an anniversary party, which we most certainly will be attending. We had the privilege of trying Silver Jubilee, their outstanding 25th anniversary double IPA, which will be served at the party. Great things going on at Goose Island, as always.
A small brewery called Excel was there too, from Southern Illinois. They recently made the transition from soda to craft beer, which in our opinion was a phenomenal choice. To help them with this, they brought over Rod Burguiere from Stone Brewing. Power move, friends. They served up their Citra Blonde Ale at the event, which had a nice citra flavor with a lot of orange and citrus, with a very light body. We could definitely enjoy a few of these on a hot day! Look for them making appearances around CCBW as well.
Emmett’s Brewing Co., a small but long standing brewery in Downer’s Grove, is worth noting, too. They had a nice roasty American Stout on tap, which was a real delight. If you’re in the mood for something lighter, as we are, then be on the lookout for their other delicious hand-crafted brews during CCBW.
Check out their delicious and flavorful tacos (I enjoyed the al pastor myself), their guacamole, and hot sauces. Gotta love the food truck scene.
We appreciated and enjoyed offerings from several other local Chicago breweries, including Pipeworks’ Unicorn’s Revenge, Half Acre’s Space IPA, Haymarket’s Mathias imperial IPA, Revolution’s Rosa, and Solemn Oath’s Snaggletooth Bandana IPA. (We like IPAs…)
All in all, we are excited to kick off CCBW soon, and if you haven’t checked out Revolution’s Tap Room in Avondale, go see it. Now. It’s really cool. Shuffleboard, anyone?