Next week's Craft Brewer's Conference and Expo at the Sheraton Chicago is already sold out, but aspiring beer geeks need not despair. Though the official conference is full, you can teach yourself a thing or two just by checking out all of the craft brew-related events happening at restaurants, bars and microbreweries around Chicago all week long. You're sure to meet other beer aficionados and probably even bump into many of the brewmasters themselves, and that's worth raising a pint to.
Lincolnwood-based Louis Glunz Beer, Inc., a nationally-recognized distributor of micro, specialty and import beers, has been a Chicago fixture for 122 years. As one of the sponsors of the Craft Brewer's Conference, Glunz Beer will host exclusive events throughout the week.
Dogfloydapalooza is a chance to enjoy the handiwork of two great breweries: Dogfish Head Brewery in Milton, Delaware and Three Floyds Brewing Company in Munster, Indiana. Brew warlords Sam Calagione of Dogfish Head and Nick Floyd of Three Floyds will be on hand to showcase five craft beers from each brewery. The event will take place at the Bottom Lounge, 1375 W. Lake Street , on April 6th from 9:00 pm to 2:00 am. Tickets are $20, which includes the first pint of beer. Order tickets in advance here.
Dogfish Head founder Sam Calagione will be at the Bottom Lounge on April 6
Fritz Maytag, grandfather of microbrewing, will host a tasting and discussion at the Whole Foods Market, 1550 N. Kingsbury St. The event will showcase Anchor Brewing and Distilling Company products including Anchor Beers, Junipero Gin and York Creek Wines. Anchor products will be paired with samples of legendary Maytag Blue Cheese. Maytag will also discuss his experience in microbrewing and the growing artisanal distilling movement. The event will take place on April 8th from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm at the mega store on Kingsbury. No reservations are required and the event is free. (If you miss Maytag at this event, he will visit the Hopleaf Bar in Andersonville on April 9th at 6 PM. The Hopleaf Bar is located at 5148 N. Clark Street). Be sure to check back here next week for an interview with the microbrew legend himself.
Chef Paul Kahan, a member of the Glunz Beer Culinary Council, will host a six-course Beer Dinner at the Publican featuring brews from Michigan's New Holland Brewing Company and Colorado's New Belgium Brewing Company. The dinner will include a "blending" course that combines beers from both breweries. The dinner takes place on April 9th at the Publican, 837 W. Fulton Market and the cost is $75 per person, excluding tax and gratuity. For reservations, call (312) 733-9555.
Blackbird's Beer Dinner on April 8th will feature Ron Jeffries of Jolly Pumpkin Brewery in Michigan, Greg Koch of Stone Brewing Company in San Diego and Kjetil & Scott of Nogne-O in Norway. Chef Sheerin will prepare a multi-course dinner to pair perfectly with beers from the three breweries. A reception will begin at 6:30 pm to be followed by dinner at 7:00 pm. The cost is $125 per person excluding tax and gratuity, and reservations are limited. Call (312) 715-0708 to reserve a space.
Wicker Park's Smoke Daddy will complement their signature barbeque with craft beer specials and a tasting event next week in honor of the Craft Brewers Conference. During the week of the CBC, April 5th to 10th, Smoke Daddy will offer $5 craft beers on draft. On April 6th, Smoke Daddy will team up with Two Brothers Brewing Company in Warrenville to introduce Resistance India Pale Ale, a custom beer made just for Smoke Daddy. The tasting notes describe Resistance IPA as featuring "complex aromas of oak, honeyed malt sweetness and piney citrus hops that lead to a full, hoppy middle and a finish that's crisp, oaky and pleasantly lingering." The tasting will be held from 7:00 to 9:00 pm and there is no cost. Smoke Daddy is located at 1804 W. Division Street. Call (773) 772-6656 for more information.