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Chicago Craft Beer Weekend, April 11-13

A 1958 Schmidt Beer ad to get us into spring
Creative Commons

Friday, April 11

12:00 - 2:00 pm ♦ Vallejo IPA Release at Half Acre
Half Acre Beer Company Tap Room, 4257 N Lincoln Ave., Chicago (773) 248-4038
Vallejo IPA, our San Diego style crusher, comes at you on draft and in 22oz bottles. An uncontested brewery favorite, Vallejo is soaking wet with beach driven pine and citrus, finishing as bitter and persistent as the sand in your shorts. Regardless of how you choose to consume it, this beer's sole intent is to thrash its way into your good times.Should you want to burrow deeper, here are some pieces by the demigod himself: Boris Vallejo Gallery.

5:00 pm ♦ Kenwood Liquors Autism Support Night
Tazza Italian Ristorante, 14065 S. Bell Road, Homer Glen, IL
Come out to raise awareness & funds for autism! Full menu available available until 9:30 pm, Reservations recommended. Or just stop by the bar for a cocktail. Cash tips at the bar will go to the cause ~ Raffles and t-shirt sales as well. Kenwood is also supporting Austism Awareness at its store 12037 W. 159th St., Homer Glen. A portion of proceeds from select items will go to Autism Awareness. Kenwood is also holding raffles for assorted baskets of cheer, sports tickets, and autographed Blackhawks jerseys. Details here.

Saturday, April 12

11:00 am - 3:00 pm ♦ 4rd Annual Pastoral's Artisan Producer Fest
Chicago French Market, 131 N. Clinton St., Chicago 312-575-0306
Pastoral Artisan Cheese, Bread & Wine and the Chicago French Market present the 4th Annual Pastoral's Artisan Producer Festival. This a FREE tasting and meet-the-maker event featuring producers of artisan cheese, bread, beer, wine, charcuterie, confections, and other food stuffs.
We’re excited to be able to include cheese-makers from across the country, such as Capriole Goat Cheeses in Indiana, Alemar Cheese Company in Minnesota and Cypress Grove Chevre in California!
In addition to cheese-makers and mongers from around the world, there will also be producers of beer, wine, and accoutrements. You'll meet confectioners, beer and spirit makers from right here in Chicago and around the world. The event will also feature artisan producers featured at Pastoral’s neighboring Chicago French Market vendors.
Beer & Spirits purveyors: 5 Rabbit Cerveceria, Ale Syndicate, Artisanal Imports, CH Distillery, FEW Spirits, Half Acre Beer Company, Journeyman Distillery, Koval Distillery, Letherbee Distillery, Rhine Hall, Sixpoint Brewery, Virtue Cider

1:30 - 5:00 pm ♦ Blue Chip Brewfest
Stardust Event Center at Blue Chip Casino, 777 Blue Chip Dr., Michigan City, IN 219-879-7711
More than 200 brews from 50 specialty breweries will be available to taste at the ultimate beer sampling event, Blue Chip Brewfest, sponsored by Blue Chip Casino, Hotel & Spa.
Now in its fourth year, Blue Chip Brewfest will be held in the Stardust Event Center at Blue Chip and also in an adjacent climate-controlled event tent.
Three ticket packages are available, including the Brewmaster package, which includes a luncheon with a brewmaster and a separate VIP tasting from 1 to 3 pm, a VIP package, which includes the VIP tasting, and the $40 general admission package which includes the main tasting event from 1:30 to 5 pm.
Tickets are $99 for the Brewmaster Package, $75 for VIP admission, $40 for regular admission and $15 for designated drivers and are available at or at the Blue Chip Gift Box in the casino pavilion. Guests must be 21 or older.
Breweries Represented: Tenth and Blake, 18th Street, Three Floyds, Back Road, Barley Island, Coors Batch 19, Belakus, Bell’s, Blue Moon, Boulevard, Brooklyn, Bulldog, Burn ‘Em, Crispin Cider, Chapman’s, Crown, Dark Horse, Dogfish Head, Drewry’s, Evil Czech, Figure Eight, FLAT 12 Bierwerks, Miller Fortune, Fox Barrel, Goose Island, Great Lakes, Green Flash, Greenbush, Hunter’s, Iechyd Da!, Killian’s, Lagunitas, Leinenkugel, New Belgium, New Holland, North Coast, Oskar Blues, Pabst, Redd's, Rogue, Round Barn, The Saint Louis Brewery, Sam Adams, Shoreline, Sierra Nevada, Smith & Forge, Southern Tier, Sun King, Triton, Twisted K-8, Unibroue, Upland, Veteran, Victory, Virtue Cider, Woodchuck Cider.

3:00 pm - 8:00 pm ♦ Belleville Ale Fest
Scottish Rite Parking Lot, 1549 Frank Scott Pkwy W, Belleville, IL 618-233-2015
Belleville Ale Fest is back for the second year in a row! This year more than 20 breweries will be represented. Food will be available for purchase and The Jeremiah Johnson Band will be performing. VIP admission begins at 3 p.m. A VIP ticket is $45 and includes entry into the Ale Fest one hour before the public opening (exclusive samplings of five different beers), food vouchers and a souvenir sampling glass. General admission is from 4-8 p.m. and costs $25 and includes a sampling glass as well. A designated driver ticket is $10. There will be on premise parking. Also a free shuttle will run from the Memorial Metrolink Station to the event. Visit to purchase your tickets!

4:00 pm - 10:00 pm ♦ Tinley Park Brew and Vine Festival
Tinley Park Convention Center, 18501 S. Harlem Ave., Tinley Park, IL
The Tinley Park Chamber of Commerce announces the fifth annual Tinley Park Brew and Vine Festival. The event will showcase popular brewers and wineries with an extensive list of diverse wines and craft beers, and will be held at the Tinley Park Convention Center.
The Tinley Park Brew and Vine Festival is unique from other tasting events as it offers tastings for both fine wines and craft beers, as well as gourmet foods. Attendees can enjoy tastings from popular venues from the surrounding area, as well as dozens of other award winning statewide selections. This upscale event will provide guests a wonderful evening with great libations, culinary creations, live music and artisans from the areas best.
Admission to the festival includes wine, beer and food tastings, a commemorative wine or beer glass, and access to the event. Regular ticket price are $28.00, available through this link.
Confirmed beer vendors:
Flossmoor Station, One Trick Pony, Argus, Brickstone, Round Barn, Sam Adams, Rock Bottom Brewery, Blarney Stone, Vito & Nicks, Tenth and Blake, 350 Brewing, Granite City, Lagunitas, Hailstorm, Pad Thai Cuisine pouring Singha, Horse Thief Hollow, Central Beverage, Baderbrau

Ugly Mug Cafe, 1458 W. Chicago Ave., Chicago (312) 666-7707
Join us for a one-of-a-kind tasting experience with an amazing food menu designed by Red Butter and paired with complimentary tastings of locally brewed craft beers from Une Année Brewery. Coffees prepared by Half Wit Roasters and tasty treats from Tipsycake complete a deliciously fun evening. Mix and mingle with a mix of foodie producers from Bucktown to the West Loop in the heart of Noble Square. $50 plus fee at Brown Paper Tickets.

Sunday, April 13

Transient Artisan Ales Beer Dinner
Farmhouse Evanston, 703 Church St., Evanston, IL 847-492-9700
Farmhouse is hosting the first official beer dinner to feature Transient Artisan Ales. 5 beers and 4 food courses. Starting time yet to be finalized. Why? because beer and food are meant for one another, and we will prove it to you! Email for tickets and information!

2:00 - 6:00 pm ♦ Gigantic Brewing Sunday!
Northdown Cafe & Taproom, 3244 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago (773) 697-7578
Join us in welcoming Ben Love, Gigantic Brewing Company Co-Founder and Brewmaster for an afternoon of beer! The goal of Gigantic is simultaneously to create new interpretations of classic styles and to ignore those same style guidelines completely and brew whatever their creative natures produce! Each beer features unique label art done with different artists, 5 of their limited-edition labels will also be on display that day for your visual pleasure.
We're featuring on tap: Gigantic IPA, Too Much Coffee Man (black saison with cold pressed coffee), Firebird Smoked Hefeweizen, Pipewrench (gin barrel IPA), and Emergency (Ameri-Belgian Barrel Aged Blend)

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