Did you miss the winter edition? Mark your calendars: the summer edition will take place on June 1, 2019.
Chicago Ale Fest is a bi-annual event that takes place every winter and summer. This year the winter one took place on Saturday, February 2 at Lacuna Artist Lofts.
Like many other beer festivals, there were more vendors than you could visit in one afternoon. Majority of them were local craft breweries, but there were a good number of out-of-state options to try as well. Sours were trending this year (not my thing but my son loves them).
There are two entry times to choose from: 12:00-3:00 pm (with a 1 hour early entry option) and 6:00-9:00 pm (also with a 1 hour early entry option). We chose the earlier session (with the extra hour). The cost for 4 hours was around $70 but you know your girl found this on Groupon and only paid $44 (with a 20% promo code). I love a deal!
With the entry fee you get a signature tasting glass and they also gave you a lanyard with a punch card attached. The vendors were supposed to mark off a beer every time you received a pour. As you can see from my pic below, no one was particularly diligent in marking your card (‘cause you know I did not just have one). It was way too busy for that.
Quite a few vendors also had “treasures” available. We collected logo stickers, coasters, koozies, and bottle openers. The most interesting one was the Grapefruit IPA chapstick. Well, that, and the bottle opener with the roach clip.
The location changes each time and the 2019 Winter Edition was held at the Lacuna Artist Lofts in the Pilsen neighborhood. Once the world’s largest macaroni factory, the Loft is now home to some offices and retail spaces for painters, photographers, sculptors, clothing designers, and other creative minds. This was a really cool space and below is a picture of one of the rooms (there were 3 or 4 rooms total):
The Summer Edition will be taking place on June 1 at Butler Field in Grant Park. This event is already available on Groupon. The Winter Edition was available on Goldstar so I am assuming you will find the Summer Edition on there eventually.