Tap Into Chicago Craft Beer Week

Can you smell the hops yet? It’s just about that time of year; the time when Chicagoans celebrate all things craft beer as part of a week-long celebration. The 6th Annual Chicago Craft Beer Week takes place May 14 through May 24, a showcase of the city’s craft beer scene, which continues to balloon at a rapid rate. Hosted by the Illinois Craft Brewers Guild, the festivities get bigger, better, and sudsier each year, what with Chicago’s beer scene experiencing colossal numbers over the years and months.

Chicago Craft Beer Week

If you're wondering how such a craft beer event works, take heed. Chicago Craft Beer Week is actually more of a disparate spree of beer events scattered throughout the city, which allows participants and beer-lovers to experience the full spectrum of Chicago's beer scene in various locales. Over the span of said "week," CCBW hosts a series of events at breweries old and new, along with other events such as special beer release parties, tap takeovers, and chef-brewer collaborations.

One great destination for CCBW merriment is DryHop Brewers, the Lakeview brewery and restaurant at the nexus of all things craft beer right now. Some event highlights via DryHop include a collaboration beer release party with Illumination Brew Works May 15, the 2nd annual Beer & Art event May 19 with illustrator and printmaker Dan Grzeca and the release of the Women of DryHop Brewers Beer, and a double collaboration release night with 18th St. and Pipeworks on May 20. 

Other not-to-miss events include Goose Island's Sunday Funday event May 17 — which includes a Battle of the Breweries dodgeball tournament! — and the Welles Park Craft Beer Fest May 23. 

Another fun new-ish facet to CCBW is a sleek mobile app, featuring the entire schedule of CCBW events, data, and other nifty info for interested parties. Look for convenient and interactive enhancements such as the ability to build a personalized schedule, an “I’m Thirsty” button, and searchable events and venues.

CCBW kicks off with Beer Under Glass on May 14, an evening of craft beer and small plates hosted at the Garfield Park Conservatory. For more information and to see a list of events, visit CCBW

- Matt Kirouac