Chicago Craft Beer Week Events, May 19-27

Chicago Craft Beer Week is the annual exhibition of the City’s craft beer community. Below is a list of some of the City’s beer-focused venues that will hold events that certainly celebrate the suds from May 19-27.

The line-up includes happenings at Rock Bottom Brewery River North, Blokes & Birds, Timothy O’Toole’s Pub, Franklin Tap and Cactus Bar & Grill.

Monday, May 23 at 6 p.m.

“Pig Out Under the Stars”
 Chef and Brewer’s Dinner on Rock Bottom’s Rooftop

Rock Bottom Brewery, located in the heart of River North at State and Grand, will host a Chef and Brewer’s dinner on Monday, May 23 during Chicago Craft Beer week. Starting at 6:00pm, a reception will be held on the rooftop, followed by a six course dinner by Executive Chef Christopher McCoy. The “Pig Out Under the Stars” meal will be paired with both Rock Bottom brews and area craft beers selected by Brewmaster Christopher Rafferty. Please call Rock Bottom at 312.755.1677 for reservations or visit A $50 fee includes tax and gratuity. The beer dinner will move indoors if there is inclement weather on May 23.

Rock Bottom Brewery: Open House Beer and Cheese Event

Saturday, May 21 from 1 p.m – 5 p.m.

On Saturday, May 21, Rock Bottom Chicago will welcome Pastoral for an artisan cheese tasting from 1pm-5pm. The afternoon will welcome guests for brewing facility tours, beer, wine, bread and cheese tastings. The event is $7 to attend and includes a keepsake pint glass (call Dieter for reservations, 312-755-1677). The pairings planned for that day are: Prairie Fruits Farm Chevre, Champaign, IL paired with Kolsch;
Crater Lake Blue/Rogue Creamery, Oregon paired with India Pale Ale;
Green Fields rine washed, Saxon Creamery, WI paired with red wine;
Challerhocker Swiss paired with Heller-bock;
Frisian Farms Gouda, Frisian Farms, IA paired with Rock-Brau Rauch Bier (smoked lager);
Widmer’s 8 Year Cheddar, Widmers, WI paired with Oatmeal Stout.

Monday, May 23 at 5 p.m.
Metropolitan Brewing and Two Brothers Brewing at Blokes & Birds

Blokes & Birds, an establishment known for stellar beer offerings, will welcome a joint-brewer event with local breweries Metropolitan and Two Brothers (free to attend, visit 

Tracy and Doug Hurst of Metropolitan Brewing will provide a firkin of an orange curacao and coriander-infused Krankshaft brew. The tapping and tasting at Blokes & Birds will be the debut of this special beer.

On that same night, Jim and Jason Able of Two Brothers Brewing will offer guests the opportunity to try two rare beers – Askew and Pahoehoe. Askew is part of the Two Brothers Project Opus collection of aged, sour beers. Three years in the making, Askew will continue to evolve in the bottle as it ages, or, may be enjoyed without delay. Pahoehoe was brewed with coconut water, milk sugar and toasted organic coconut (instead of dry-hopping, they dry-coconuted the beer).

Blokes & Birds invites craft beer fans to mix and mingle with the brewers, sip some unique beers and nibble on expertly paired plates throughout the evening. Pints will be available for purchase ($6).

A Week’s Worth of Beer Events at Timothy O’Toole’s Pub
CCBW Passport Pub Holds Beer-Themed Events

Timothy O’Toole’s Pub in Streeterville will certainly be a suds-worthy stop on the Chicago Craft Beer Week passport. With featured beers, beer-based trivia night, sampling events, “placemat” tastings, giveaways and collectible bottle caps, beer fans will have plenty of brew-based events to attend.

The featured beer for Craft Beer Week is Samuel Adams. O’Toole’s Pub will have eight taps by Sam Adams: Boston Lager, Summer, Cherry Wheat, O’Toole’s Amber Ale (Boston Ale), East West Kolsch, Imperial White, Oak Aged Porter and Cherry Chocolate Bock. Sam Adams flights will be offered – five pours for $25. Sam Adams “jumbos” will be offered for $6.50 all week long.

May 16-22
American Craft Beer Week
Timothy O’Toole’s Pub will offer $4 pints and $6 “jumbos” of Lagunitas. On May 18, guests drinking Lagunitas will receive a complimentary keepsake glass.

May 19-27
Craft Beer Place Mat
The new craft beer list will be printed on a special place mat. Guests may choose five of these pours for $25.
Burger Month – The unique “burger month” menu for May, as well as the Big Timmy challenge burger, will be available throughout the day and into the late night. Free Pool – Free Pool is offered Monday-Thursday from 4:30pm-6pm.

Friday, May 20 at 8pm
Sampling Event with Samuel Adams
Sam Adams representatives will be at the venue discussing and sampling all eight of the above mentioned brews.  There will be numerous giveaways (beer-related gifts and merchandise) throughout the evening.

Saturday, May 21, Post Time 5:19pm
136th Preakness Stakes
The Preakness will be shown on over 70 screens with sound. There will be a race pool, contests and prizes.

Monday, May 23 at 8 p.m.
Beer-Themed Trivia Night
Hosted by Joe Kilgallon of “Comedians You Should Know.” Prizes awarded every round. The top place winner will receive a “big bottle,” gift card and home brewer’s kit!

Tuesday, May 24 at 10:30pm
After a few stops on the Chicago Beer Week Passport, finish the night off with a few songs.

Wednesday, May 25 at 8pm
“Comedians You Should Know” Show
Sip a craft brew or two and laugh. Live stand-up at 9pm, doors open at 8pm.


New Belgium “Lips to Faith” Tasting Event at Cactus Bar and Grill
Tuesday, May 24 from 5 p.m. – 7 p.m.

Cactus Bar and Grill will host a New Belgium Brewing event during Chicago Craft Beer Week. While the beachy-themed bar is certainly famous for margaritas, Cactus has quite the the craft beer program. On Tuesday, May 24, guests are invited for a free two-hour tasting party (5pm-7pm) that delves into the beers of New Belgium Brewery, hailing from Fort Collins, Colorado.

The complimentary tasting will explore Fat Tire, Mothership Wit and two of the “Lips of Faith” series brews. Any guest that purchases one of the 22-ounce Lips of Faith “bombers” will receive a keepsake goblet (offer valid 11am-Midnight). Table reservations are available, visit

Craft Beer Week at Franklin Tap

Tuesday, May 24 from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Sam Adams Imperial White
On Tuesday, May 24, a Samuel Adams Imperial White sampling party will be held from 5pm-6pm. Imperial White represents a new perspective on the classic witbier style. This is a new recipe that is more of a wine substitute than just another refreshing witbier. The beer is designed to be sipped and savored. As the beer warms and opens up, many new flavors will be discovered. This event will be led by a Samuel Adams representative. Table reservations are available for the tasting.

Wednesday, May 25 from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Kevin Hack of Great Lakes Brewing Leads Educational Tasting Event

Later this month, Kevin Hack of Great Lakes Brewing Co. (based in Cleveland, Ohio) will lead an educational beer tasting event. On Tuesday, May 24 at 5:30pm, the history of the Midwestern craft brews will be discussed and an in-depth tasting of five beers will follow. Each of the beers will be paired with bites by Chef Tim Dowling – menu outlined below. The fee to attend is $20 in advance online, or $30 at the door the day of the event. Visit

“Great Lakes Brewing 101” Beers and Bites Menu

Dortmunder Gold Lager
shrimp cocktail

Elliot Ness Amber Lager
pretzel bites

Burning River Pale Ale
burger sliders with smoked gouda

Commodore Perry IPA
buffalo chicken tenders

Edmund Fitzgerald Porter
chocolate brownie bites

Thursday, May 26 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Batch 19 Pre-Prohibition Tasting Event

On Thursday, May 26, Franklin Tap will explore Batch 19, a brew inspired by an authentic pre-prohibition recipe. From 5pm-6pm, guests are invited to sample the beer rarely found in bars around the country. Taste testers will enjoy a bold, hoppy and balanced lager, deriving its taste by using a combination of hops, including Hersbrucker (herbal notes) and Strisslespalt (black currant notes). Table reservations are available for the Batch 19 sampling.

Guests that purchase Batch 19 growlers ($24) will receive a keepsake glass growler. In addition, growler giveaways will be awarded throughout the day (11am-Midnight).

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