AVONDALE — Looking for a reason to take off a half day from work on a Friday afternoon and drink beer?
DNAinfo Chicago's next In Real life adventure is going to help you do just that, thanks to Chicago Brews Cruise.
Offering a behind-the-scenes look into working breweries, tour guide Rick Julien hesitates to use the word "educational" but is quick to clarify, "We're not a party bus."
The Brews Cruise bus, which can accommodate up to 12 readers is scheduled to depart from The Beer Temple, 3185 N. Elston Ave. at 12:40 p.m. May 30.
The Friday tour will take explorers inside the Goose Island Production facility on Fulton, normally not open to the public, Haymarket Brewery, 737 W. Randolph St. and Lake Effect Brewing Company, 4727 W. Montrose Ave.
To keep the tour from becoming repetitive — the brewing process can only be explained so many times — Julien plans to emphasize specific aspects of the craft at each location.
"Usually the first stop will be 'Beer 101,' how beer is made, from grain to glass," he said.
At the second brewery, he'll cover style, schooling attendees on the distinguishing features of so many lagers and ales — porters, stouts, IPAs, lambics, bocks, saisons and more — diversity being the hallmark of craft brewing and a huge part of its appeal.
In addition to samplings of beer at each location, the approximately 3½-hour tour also will give participants an opportunity to talk with brewers.
Tickets are $51 ($54.80 with service fee) and can be bought here.
The bus departs at 12:40 p.m., though attendees are encouraged to arrive 30 minutes early to enjoy complimentary tastings at The Beer Temple. DNAinfo.com Chicago reporter Patty Wetli will join the readers on the bus.
Drinking is not permitted on the Brews Cruise bus. Do not wear open toed shoes.
This tour requires a minimum of 12 people. Full refunds will be issued if the outing does not meet its minimum number of attendees. Buy tickets here.