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Craft Beer Week: Event Highlights in Wicker Park, Bucktown

Animals vs People Chicago Craft Beer Week WhirlyBall Showdown
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WICKER PARK — Just a few of the many Chicago Craft Beer Week events happening Wicker Park and Bucktown Thursday through next week include a WhirlyBall showdown along with a four-course gourmet meal and beer pairing. In the non-drinking category, there's an in-depth discussion about marketing craft beer.

Coinciding with American Craft Beer Week, venues in the city and suburbs are hosting hundreds of events showcasing local and out-of-state brews for Chicago's fifth annual take on the week from Thursday until May 25.

But for those who'd rather not venture far out of the neighborhood, there's a full list online of what's happening each day Wicker Park and Bucktown along with West Town and Ukrainian Village,.

Here are a few highlights:

Widmer Brothers Beer & Dessert Pairing at Fatpour Tap Works, 2005 W. Division St., 5 p.m. on Thursday, May 15

Choose a pairing of Portland, Oregon-based Widmer Brothers beer and a dessert for $14, have two combinations for $25 or enjoy all three for $36 starting at Fatpour Tap Works.

Pairings: Bourbon Barrel Aged Gentlemen’s Club (a collaboration with Cigar City Brewery) paired with creme brulee with orange zest, Brrrbon Vanilla ‘13 paired with double layer carrot cake and Raspberry Russian Imperial Stout ‘13 paired with flourless chocolate cake.

Beer In Your Glass at Emporium Arcade Bar, 1366 N. Milwaukee Ave., 5 p.m.-2 a.m. starting Thursday, May 15

This event serves both as an opportunity to try quite a selection of Illinois beer as well as to celebrate the release of Goth Brew, a Solemn Oath beer exclusive to Emporium Arcade Bar and Bangers & Lace.

Brews for the evening: Selections from Solemn Oath, Half Acre, Revolution, Pipeworks, Off Color, Goose Island, Local Option, Penrose, Metropolitan, Temperance, BuckleDown, Brickstone, Ale Syndicate, 5 Rabbit, Une Annee, Haymarket and possibly more.

Unicornucopia: Deuce at Star Lounge Coffee Bar, 2521 W. Chicago Ave., 7-9 p.m. on Friday, May 16

Have a fancy four-course dinner and beer pairing at this Craft Beer Week event for $45 in advance or $55 day-of. For the VIP experience, only available in advance, you'll pay $69.99 for tickets.

Pairings: Pipeworks Brewing Co. will provide the beer while Co-op Sauce and Big Fork create the meals. A few examples include smoked trout bao with Pipeworks' Citra as well as a s'mores beer float for dessert, which includes Chocolate Dark Matter Coffee ice cream, Pipeworks' S'more Money, S'more Problems and marshmallow-graham cracker crunch.

Brooklyn Brewery Rager with Vamos at High Dive, 1938 W. Chicago Ave., 6-9 p.m. on Saturday, May 17

High Dive hosts a selection of Brooklyn Brewery products and a live performance from local rock 'n' roll band Vamos. 

Brews for the evening: Various Brooklyn Brewery draft beer and $4 cans of Summer Ale.

Off Color Patio Party at SmallBar Division, 2049 W. Division St., 2-11 p.m. on Sunday, May 18

Sit out on the patio with local Off Color Brewing founders John Laffler and Dave Bleitner and enjoy a selection of their creations on draft.

Brews for the afternoon and evening: Off Color's Berliner Weisse, Rats in the Ashes and Dawdle.

Local Craft Beer Night at Floyd's Pub, 1944 N. Oakley Ave., 5 p.m.-2 a.m. starting Monday, May 19

All 12 taps at Floyd's Pub will include brews from the Chicago area for $4, including selections from Solemn Oath, Three Floyd's, Revolution, Two Brothers and the city's new Lagunitas Brewery.

Creative Minds On Tap at Jerry's - Wicker Park, 1938 W. Division St., 7 p.m. on Monday, May 19

Learn more about the practical side of selling craft beer at this event, which includes a panel of local brewers, designers and writers in a discussion about branding and marketing in the craft beer world. A Q&A will follow the discussion.

Animals vs. People WhirlyBall Showdown with Team Goose Island & Team 3 Sheeps at WhirlyBall, 1880 W. Fullerton Ave., 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, May 21

Chicago's Goose Island Brewery and Wisconsin's 3 Sheeps Brewing will battle on the WhirlyBall court with each other and with fans starting at 7:30 p.m. For free, anyone can join "Team People" for a match against either brewery's team for a chance to win prizes. 

Brews for the evening: Goose Island's Madame Rose and The Ogden along with 3 Sheeps' series Nimble Lips, Noble Tongue.

'Reprehensible' Charity Arm Wrestling Tournament with Greenbush Brewing and BuckleDown Brewing at Dimo's Pizza, 1615 N. Damen Ave., 9-11 p.m. on Thursday, May 22

An arm wrestling tournament combines with the release of Reprehensible, an IPA collaboration between Michigan's Greenbush Brewing and Lyons, Illinois' BuckleDown Brewing. Test or prove your strength for $5 to buy-in and compete.

Brews for the evening: $5 pints of Reprehensible along with BuckleDown's Clencher Double IPA and Greenbush's Owls In The Roadhouse - Barrel Aged Raspberry Imperial Porter.

Boomtown 2 at Jerry's - Wicker Park, 1938 W. Division St., 6 p.m. on Friday, May 23.

Jerry's hosts a variety of drafts from relatively new local brewers, including Penrose, Forbidden Root, Une Annee, Transient, Buckledown, Temperance and Lagunitas.

Half Acre Beer Brunch at SmallBar Division, 2049 W. Division St., 10 a.m.-3 p.m. on Sunday, May 25

For $30, end the week with a “food flight” of four Half Acre beers are paired with four small plates. The bar encourages making a reservation online, though groups of five or more must call 773-772-2727 for reservations.

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