—Chicago-area breweries often represent well at the Great American Beer Fest — generally considered the most important beer competition in America — and 2016 is no different. Four local breweries scored gold medals on Saturday, the Tribune reports: Two Brothers’ Dumaine DuPage (Belgian and French-style ale), RAM/Big Horn Brewing of Warrenville (chocolate beer), Emmett’s Tavern and Brewing Co. of Palatine (Dortmunder or German-style Oktoberfest), and Temperance Beer Co. (English-style IPA). Congratulations to the winners, which also include Piece Brewery and Pizzeria’s silver in Belgian and French-style ale category.
—Old Style and Malort now has a competition and "passport" similar to Kentucky’s bourbon trail. If you drink a beer and a shot of those at five specific Chicago bars—and have them stamp your "passport"—you’ll complete the Chicago Handshake Challenge be the recipient of a limited-edition numbered coin for "completing the most sacred of tasks," Chicagoist reports. Click here for more details.
—Moving from strange "passports" to strange festivals, Chicago is getting a strange food festival on Nov. 6. The Strange Foods Chicago Festival brings 15 local restaurants together that specialize in less common global cuisines, including Serai (Malaysian) and HoneyDoe (Syrian). Discounted early bird tickets are on sale now for $40 by clicking here before rising to the full $55 price after Oct. 16.
—A monthly ramen popup series is gaining buzz on the North Shore, one that apparently will result in a brick-and-mortar restaurant. Torino Ramen, based out of Northfield, is planning to open its shop late this fall somewhere in Wilmette after reportedly routinely selling out of tickets within minutes.
—And finally, it turns out the the Saved By The Max Halloween party that will recreate The Attic nightclub from a "Saved By The Bell" episode will take place around the corner at Debonair Social Club on Oct. 28. Tickets are still available here for $20. Meanwhile, Saved By The Max will throw a "Bayside Homecoming" party on Oct. 28 and 29.