Chicago's Top Breweries on Tap for Windy City Brewhaha

By Casey Cora on February 27, 2013 6:29am 

CHICAGO — Looking to drink well this weekend?

Look to the South Side, where the inaugural Windy City Brewhaha kicks off Saturday at the Skyline Loft inside the Bridgeport Art Center, 1200 W. 35th St. The event will be split up into two sessions: 1-4 p.m. and 6-9 p.m.

The event is hosted by Merlin Media, which now runs three Chicago area radio stations — WKQX-FM (87.7), WLUP-FM (97.9) and WIQI-FM (101.1). A spokeswoman for the company said “craft beer is pretty big in Chicago and with our listener base.”

Instead of winging it on their first suds-centered outing, Merlin partnered with the pros with the Illinois Craft Brewers Guild. That means the brewers from the group’s member breweries — not, say, interns or beer beginners — will be on-hand to discuss flavors and styles.

Justin Maynard is the executive director of that group, which boasts a growing membership and throws a number of annual events for beer enthusiasts, including the Festival of Wood and Barrel Aged Beer, and Oak Park's Microbrew Review.

“Everyone’s a lot smarter these days about drinking craft beer. The public has questions and we’re more than happy to accommodate them,” he said.

Scheduled to be pouring suds are some of the Chicago area’s hottest and most popular breweries, including Half Acre, Revolution Brewing, Haymarket and Three Floyds.

All told, 29 breweries will be offering unlimited tastings. Live music will be provided by Jay Langston.

Tickets cost $45 and are available by visiting the event website. A limited number of tickets will be available at the door for $50. Food will be sold separately.

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