Drink Your Way Through Chicago’s Upcoming Beer Festivals and Parties

Photo by Jeremy Farmer/Courtesy of Off Color Brewing

Beer festival season is ramping up with parties, anniversary celebrations and annual events all throughout Chicagoland. From Scorched Earth Day Festival and a Cindo de Mayo street party to the Backyard Brewfest, here are some of the best beer events to put on your radar this season.

Photo by Eric Kleinberg/Courtesy of Bangers & Lace

District Brew Yards Grand Opening Party
They’ve been open for a couple weeks now, but District Brew Yards is making it official with a big ol’ grand opening party, and they’ll be putting on their best beer lineup for this one, so don’t miss it. An actual ribbon-cutting happens at 6 p.m., and door prizes, games and giveaways go on throughout the night. Their house-smoked meats and unique sides are available all night and DJ K.Sity turns things up at 9 p.m.
Details: April 26, 6-11:59 p.m.

Scorched Earth Day Festival
This Algonquin brewery launches into festival season with a two-day shindig of music (Friday: Jim and Justin; Saturday: Hello Weekend), food trucks (BBQ King Smokehouse, Toasty Cheese Mobile Eatery and Your Sister’s Tomato) and lots of delicious beers. Plus, for the ultimate pairing to a beer drinking event, there will be an axe-throwing trailer on-site at some point from Mobile Escape Room.
Details: April 26 and 27, 3-10 p.m.; $15 at the door, $10 in advance, $50 VIP tickets include access to indoor VIP space and exclusive beer release

Beer Temple 6th Anniversary Celebration
The Beer Temple is a consistent source for rare and sought-after craft beer in Chicago. So when they have an anniversary party, they naturally stock up on the rarest and most sought-after craft beers often not available to Chicago consumers. Expect to see beers pouring from out-of-market stars like Southern Grist, The Rare Barrel, Scratch, Great Notion, Ology, Omnipollo and Narrow Gauge, but all their local buddies will be well represented as well.
Details: May 4

Off Color Brewing Six-Year Anniversary at The Mouse Trap
I knew craft beer was making big leaps around six years ago, but who knew two of Chicago’s craft beer meccas swung open their doors at the same time? Off Color is turning six and releasing two new beers to mark the occasion: Polar S’moretex, a high gravity version of Dino S’mores that was brewed on a day we’d all like to drink away from memory; and Chicxulub, a Mexican hot chocolate-inspired Russian Imperial Stout. Drop in to catch these beers, and many more Off Color gems, on draft or in a limited amount to-go.
Details: May 4

Cinco de Mayo Street Party at Bangers & Lace
Bangers & Lace and Solemn Oath are teaming up for a grand fiesta in Wicker Park. There will be loads of SOB brews like End All, White Van, Punk Rock For Rich Kids, Lü, Questionable Couch and more. Plus, B&L will have special drink concoctions for the day, including a “Lü-garita” with SOB’s Kolsch beer. Look out for The Cream City skate ramp that will be on-site all day (no, seriously, look out! I don’t want you to get hurt.) This event is free to attend, and kid-friendly.
Details: May 5, 12-8 p.m.

Photo courtesy of Solemn Oath Brewery

Ballpark Brew Fest at Schaumburg Boomers Stadium
Bigby’s Pour House has teamed up with the Schaumburg Boomers for the 7th Annual Ballpark Brew Fest. With over 100 beers from more than 50 breweries, don’t ask which of your favorite local craft brewers will be there, it’s more like who’s not gonna be there. Half Acre, Pipeworks, Maplewood, Pollyanna, 350, Lake Zurich, Wolfden, Crystal Lake, Tighthead, Revolution, Alarmist, Marz, Whiner, Hubbard’s Cave… I mean, come on, it just keeps going.
Details: May 11, 2-6 p.m.; $45-75

Backyard Brewfest at Church Street Brewing
First time around worked, so Church Street is doing it again. Their off-the-beaten-path location gives way to an outdoor brewfest that manages to still feel like a local secret, even with a live band and food trucks. Tickets include 20 tastings in a complimentary 5-oz. glass. Look for standouts from Miskatonic, Skeleton Key, Middlebrow and Pollyanna, among others. Proceeds from the event benefit a local charity.
Details: May 18, 12-5 p.m.; $40-50

Solemn Oath Day
Tickets are still available to this 7th annual event celebrating Solemn Oath and all its beery adventures, but act quickly before it sells out. It’s an anniversary party centered around enjoying all the fruits of Solemn Oath’s labors. Ticket options include: $20 general admission, $35 general admission with beer (wristband good for three beers), $50 SOB Style (includes limited edition glass and bottomless pours of Lu Kolsch beer) or $100 Ultimate SOB Level (includes limited edition goblet and free pours on all SOB beers.)
Details: June 1, 4-10 p.m.