Chicago Craft Beer Week Kicked Off With Beer Under Glass

Last night Chicago Craft Beer Week kicked off with one of the best events of the week, or rather 10 days. The event was Beer Under Glass at the Garfield Park Conservatory. I love beer events when they are in locations that you aren’t typically allowed to drink. Its what makes the opening ceremony of the Craft Brewers Conference great every year and its another thing that makes Chicago Craft Beer Week so much fun.

This years event was even bigger and more spread out than last years. Which made it less crowded feeling but harder to get around to all the beers. Although it did cut down on lines, it took awhile to walk from one end to the other. The entire night I was only able to walk around the place twice. But no complaints here about that because the Conservatory is a beautiful place to wander around, especially when you have a beer in your hand.

With around 50 breweries pouring beer, you never had an empty glass, or if you did it was your own fault.

As you walked around from one area to the next it became hard not to run into someone you knew; either a brewer, a blogger or a craft beer enthusiast. Every area you wandered into, you were greeted with a new set of breweries that were pouring two or three different beers. If you looked to one side you’d find something delicious to eat that likely paired wonderfully with one of the beers.

One of the most serendipitous moments of the night was right outside where Perennial was pouring their beers. They were pouring their Black Walnut Dunkel and growing right by them was a Black Walnut tree. Not sure if that was planned or not but either way, pretty awesome.

Once again, Beer Under Glass was a fun night and I hope they continue to put it on as Chicago Craft Beer Week continues to grow every year.

HopCast Episode 207

Episode 207: ChurchKey

In episode 207 of the Hop Cast, Ken Hunnemeder and Brad Chmielewski are in Washington D.C. for the Craft Brewers Conference. Washington D.C. is a great beer town. One of the spots everyone recommends going to is ChurchKey. So, of course you have to listen to the locals… and it was fantastic! The team even found themselves there a couple nights in a row.

One of those times, Ken and Brad were able to meet up with Greg Engert to chat about what their doing at ChurchKey, not just during the Craft Brewers Conference but also year round.

If you are visiting Washington D.C., ChurchKey should definitely be a stop on your beer adventure. They are doing some great things and have some fantastic food.

Having issues watching this video? Try the Quicktime (343.6 MB).

Goose 25 Years

Congratulations On 25 Years!

Last night Goose Island celebrated 25 years with a great event at the Goose Island Clybourn Brewpub. The event featured over 60 beers that had been brewed on and off since 1988. The event cost $75 and gave you access to all those beers as well as some amazing food. You also had the chance to chat with people like John & Greg Hall if you wanted.

It’s hard to believe that Goose has been around for 25 years and it’s exciting to see everything they have done in really such a short time. Some of those have been more liked than others but still it’s amazing to think about the impact Goose Island had on the American craft beer scene. Such as barrel aging beers and cultivating wild yeast. There was a number of breweries that started around that same time like Great Lakes, North Coast and Deschutes and we’re seeing them all release special beers to celebrate this, as well as putting on some great events. Of course, since I’m from Chicago and Summertime was the beer that introduced me to the craft beer world, Goose Island means a great deal to me. By seeing the amount of people at the event you realize how much Goose Island also meant to them. This wasn’t a beer fest, although you could drink as much as you wanted, everyone was there to give their well wishes to John Hall and Goose Island.

With Chicago Craft Beer Week starting later this week, the Goose Island party was sort of like the pre-party to the whole week. Rather than getting lost in all the other events of the 10 days, they were able to position it a few days before everything gets started and remind people how much influence Goose Island has had on the Chicago beer community and the American beer community.

HopCast Episode 206

Episode 206: Meridian Pint

In episode 206 of the Hop Cast, Brad Chmielewski and Ken Hunnemeder are in Washington D.C. for the Craft Brewers Conference. The city was hopping every night with some awesome events. One place that was busy every night with a number of events was Meridian Pint. Brad and Ken were able to meet up with Tim Prendergast to chat about what their doing at Meridian Pint, not just during the Craft Brewers Conference but also year round.

If you’re in Washington D.C., Meridian Pint should definitely be a stop on your beer adventure. They are doing some great things and have an amazing cellar of beers downstairs to check out.

Thanks for watching The Hop Cast!

Having issues watching this video? Try the Quicktime (364 MB).