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Mash Tun Festival to Highlight 'New Wave' of Chicago Craft Beer

By Casey Cora | May 2, 2014 7:43am
 The Mash Tun Fest will be held Saturday at the Bridgeport Art Center.
The Mash Tun Fest will be held Saturday at the Bridgeport Art Center.
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Flickr/ Charlie Vinz

BRIDGEPORT — Now in its fifth edition, Mash Tun Journal magazine is an artfully curated love letter to craft beer filled with stories, photography, recipes and reviews.

With the release of each new issue, publisher and Bridgeport entrepreneur Ed Marszewski invites interesting brewers and their adoring fans to the South Side for a beer soiree.

This year, the magazine and the accompanying festival highlight what Marszewski calls "new wave" breweries, the smaller operations that have arrived in the Chicago area on the heels of popular breweries like Revolution Brewing and Half Acre.

"So we've just decided we’d focus on the breweries that have opened in the past few years and sample their stuff in one place," said Marszewski, co-owner of Maria's Community Bar and publisher of Public Media Institute, which produces Mash Tun Journal and other national publications.

The Mash Tun Festival New Wave Brewers Bash takes place from 3-7 p.m. Saturday at the Co-Prosperity Sphere, 3129 S. Morgan St.

Casey Cora says that Chicago is at the center of the Craft Beer craze.

Pouring at Saturday's event are 18th Street Brewery from Gary, Ind.; Lansing's One Trick Pony; Lakeview's Dryhop Brewers; Logan Square's Off Color Brewing; Little Village's Slap Shot Brewing; Lincoln Park's Atlas Brewing and Lake Effect Brewing; Lyons' BuckleDown Brewing;  West Town's Une AnnéeBeverly's Horse Thief Hollow; Geneva's Penrose Brewing Company and Zion's Middle Brow Beer Co.

Several of the participating breweries — Cahoots Brewing, Ale Syndicate and Forbidden Root — don't have permanent facilities yet, but will be serving up samples of their suds.

Saturday will also mark the debut for new beers by Marz Brewing, a nanobrewery effort spurned from bartenders and patrons of Maria's.

Marz will be rolling out new beers brewed in collaboration with DryHop, including an IPA brewed with tea dubbed "Arnold Palmer meets The Dragon Lady." They also partnered with Lake Effect on a "wild white IPA" called "Albino Bezerke."

"Plus some other small-batch weirdo sh-- that we're still tweaking," Marszewski said.

Admission is $35 and tickets are available online or by visiting Maria's, 960 W. 31st St. A special discount is available to members of the Mash Tun Society, a club "established for people who enjoy the pleasures and aesthetics of craft beer and how it intersects with food, culture and society."

Hard copies of Mash Tun Journal are available at Quimby's book store in Wicker Park, Maria's in Bridgeport and select breweries across Chicago. Subscriptions and back orders are available here.