beer-festival

Goose Island Sunday Funday

Chris and I had the esteemed pleasure of attending Goose Island’s Sunday Funday at their new barrel warehouse. This was Goose Island’s party so the barrel-aged brews took center stage. They had their full line of standard beers available all-day and scheduled specialty beer tappings at pre-determined times.

That nice big curving queue on the left is at about one third of the line length for Goose Island specialty pours. You can see it stretching past the bleachers in the far corner, past all the other local breweries.

The brewery dodgeball tournament made for excellent spectating. After Cheap Trick’s Rick Nielsen kicked things off with a soaring solo guitar version of the Star-Spangled Banner, Revolution Brewing went on to take home a huge re-purposed keg trophy for the second year in a row.

All of the breweries in attendance brought delicious brews with them and we chose to sample as many as we could rather than waiting in line for the majority of our day. Both of us found our favorite beers of the afternoon right off the bat, with Buckley and Ardent from Transient Artisan Ales (pictured at top). The former is a boozy, rich and roasty Breakfast Stout and the latter a sour, dry Saison.

This was definitely a fittingly robust kick-off to our Chicago Craft Beer week schedule and I’m looking forward to attending again next year. It has all the trappings of a larger beer fest amid the homespun vibe of a neighborhood street party, which made for an ideal imbibing experience. Our entry passes included 25 drink tickets and, while most drinks cost 3 tickets each, few people were bothering collect them towards the end of the event. Thank goodness for Intelligentsia offering tall glasses of iced tea and coffee.

It all added up to two very happy beer geeks.

Uncle Beer Needs YOU!: Why Volunteering at FoBAB Rocks

My experiences at FoBAB were a little different from the other members of Layman’s since I got in by volunteering to work a shift, and I am so glad that I did. I’ll get to the standout beers at the end, but I want to start by encouraging you to consider volunteering at a beer fest.

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