The seventh-annual Chicago Craft Beer Week kicks off today, celebrating the city's passion for creating and consuming quality brews. There's a enough events scattered across the city to make any hophead spin. Here's a guide to 10 notable events taking place over the next 11 days. Beer fans of all persuasions, from stout to ale to sour, will find some fun.
Ongoing: 3rd Annual Battle For Lake Michigan Keg Race, Links Taproom. Links, one of the best beer bars in the city, is organizing for Alzheimer's research. The event will pit beers from three regions against each other: Illinois, Michigan and the unified team from Wisconsin, Indiana and Minnesota. Each team gets 10 CO2 kegs and a firkin. The winner is the one whose customers drains the most beer. The winners also get $500 in their names donated to charity. Check out the breweries here.
Thursday: Beer Under Glass, Garfield Conservatory, 300 N. Central Park Ave. For $60, CCBW's kickoff event gives guests access to beer from 103 breweries. Restaurants like Porkchop, The Radler and Wishbone will serve small plates. Get general admission tickets here.
Saturday: Ladies In Liquid, Bucktown Pub, 1658 W. Cortland St. No, silly brewer, beer is for all adults. This event gives props to women in the industry, and food will be available from Local Foods. Half Acre, Aquanaut, Around the Bend and Ska are throwing the party. There's also a variety show and a hula hoop contest.
Saturday: $1 Goose Island Bourbon County Brand Stout, The Ogden. Many bars and stores jack up the price for Goose Island's prized barrel-aged beer. But The Ogden is offering a gimmick to get people through the door. They're offering each guest one, 6-ounce pour of the 2015 vintage for a buck. Considering the United Center was charging fans $14 for a 5-ounce pour, this is a deal. Or the UC had a steal?
Sunday: A Bridgeport Pop-Up (At a Wicker Park bar) with Marz Brewing, Kimski and Lumpen Radio. Emporium Arcade Bar, 1366 N. Milwaukee Ave. The folks from Maria's Community Bar are bringing those Polish/Korean flavors from Kimski to the North Side. The newly-opened Bridgeport restaurant is throwing a pop-up over at Emporium Arcade Bar in Wicker Park.
Sunday: 3rd Annual Sunday Funday at Goose Island Barrel House, 603 N. Sacramento Blvd. The popular event features the Battle of The Breweries Dodgeball Tournament, where 27 breweries will compete for the championship. All the proceeds from the $25 tickets benefit the Special Olympics. Try the experimental pilot raspberry varietal of Goose Island Bourbon County Brand Stout. These food trucks will be on hand: Fat Shallot, Jerk Grill, Dönerman, Yum Dum, Tamale Spaceship, Bruges Brothers and Da Lobsta.
Sunday: Sunday Service at St. Lou's Assembly, 660 W. Lake St. There's a rumor going around that St. Lou's/Moneygun has a patio or something. They're putting the recently-opened space to good use, joining with Illuminated Brew Works, who will pour a complimentary serving of their Orange Sunshine citrus saison if guests RSVP.
Tuesday: A Taste of Belgium, Beermiscuous, 2812 N. Lincoln Ave. The weather is ripe for the crisp taste of a Belgium beer, and Beermiscuous, Lakeview's craft beer cafe, is hosting an event featuring five breweries. They'll offer $4 pints of Controversiale from Short's Brewing Co. The Michigan company recently began distributing in Chicago.
Wednesday: Firestone Walker Tap Takeover, Haymarket Pub & Brewery, 737 W. Randolph St. Beer nerds have enjoyed the precise methods employed by Firestone Walker for years, and now they're invading Haymarket, the popular West Loop brewpub. Several vintage pours from Firestone Walker will be available.
Sunday, May 28: Welles Park Craft Beer Fest, Lincoln and Montrose avenues. Say sayonara to CCBW at this closing event up at Lincoln Square. Plow through beers from 88 breweries. VIP ($80) and GA ($60) tickets are available.