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David Lissner
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Six Chicago beer blasts to brighten your winter


    Brighten your dull winter evenings at these upcoming winter brew-hahas.

  1. Smoke Daddy Weekly Beer Tastings, Wicker Park, 7–9 p.m. Tuesdays, no cover.

    The weekly tastings showcase new, rare and small-production brews with specials on pints of featured beers ($6) and beer flights ($10). Upcoming events: Jan. 26, Samuel Adams Imperial Series; Feb. 2, Two Brothers Brewing Company’s The Bitter End Pale Ale; Feb. 9, Big Hugs, a new brew from Half Acre Beer Co.; Feb. 16, Louisiana Brewery Abita for a Fat Tuesday Celebration with a Cajun/Zydeco band; Feb. 23, Dogfish Head Ale House; March 2, New Belgium Brewing; March 9, Peak Organic Brewing Co. Tuesdays at Smoke Daddy also feature $6 pulled-meat nachos and live music at 9 p.m.

  2. Dunlays on the Square Peak Organic Beer Dinner, Logan Square, 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 28, $50.

    Chef David Payne’s four-course menu will be paired with different beers from the Portland, Maine-based organic brewing company: Crab and goat cheese panzanella salad with Peak Amber Ale; cioppino with Peak King Crimson Imperial Red Ale; crispy braised pork belly with roasted root vegetables with Peak Maple Oat Ale; tiramisu made and served with Peak Espresso Amber Ale.

  3. Sheffield’s Pint Night, Lakeview, 7 p.m.–2 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 28, no cover.

    $4 Lagunitas pints, with a selection of six varieties on draft.

  4. Brasserie Jo Pint Night, River North, 5–10 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 2, no cover.

    $4 Lagunitas IPA plus free Lagunitas glasses feature at this kickoff for a monthly series highlighting Bar Jo’s wide selection of hard-to-find domestic craft and European beers. Karen Hamilton of Lagunitas will be on hand to discuss the brews.

  5. Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery Tapping Party, River North, 6–7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 28, no cover if you join the free “Mug Club.”

    Pete Crowley, brewmaster at the recently remodeled Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery, taps into their new Drunken Angel Abbey Dubbel, a bronze medallist at the 2009 Great American Beer Festival. The Trappist-style brew is fermented with raisins and molasses.

  6. Chicago Beer Club Kickoff Tasting, The Red Canary, River West, 6–9 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 18, $30 advance, $40 at the door (cash only).

    The new Chicago Beer Club launches with three hours of unlimited tasting of more than 10 beers, as well as wines and light appetizers. Club membership is free.