— It may seem hard to believe considering the seemingly nonstop snow that just hit Chicago this past weekend, but spring and its al fresco dining and drinking is not too far away. And this spring may see Chicago’s first cider pub — North Center’s The Northman — open an al fresco location on the Chicago Riverwalk, as ownership has entered into a concession license agreement with the city. Establishments focusing on boozy cider continue to gain momentum as the city’s first cider taproom (Eris Brewery and Cider House) recently opened as well, but downtown tourists and workers could also partake in fermented apple beverages outside when the weather warms. Ownership doesn’t want to comment until the city grants permits, so stay tuned for more details.
— The Old Style Chicago Pizza Summit, which packed in crowds at Chop Shop the previous two years, will be back for a third in April in a new, larger location. Heading to Thalia Hall in Pilsen on April 22, Pizza Summit 3.0 will have the capacity for twice as many pizza eaters, two sessions, a larger lineup of pizza vendors, a “surprise hometown musical guest,” the reveal of a new Old Style beer, and more. Tickets cost $45 and go on sale on Friday, February 16 at 12 p.m.; stay tuned for the full lineup.
— Illinois turned 200 years old, so the state naturally released a bicentennial beer to celebrate. The 1818 Prairie State Farmhouse Ale, which was ceremonially tapped by Governor Bruce Rauner last week, is brewed by Hand of Fate Brewing Company in Petersburg and now available throughout the state.
— Chicago Black Restaurant Week, which celebrates African American-owned restaurants throughout the city, is back for a third year. Running until February 18, more than 20 restaurants are taking part and offering deals in 2018. Head over to its website for the full list of restaurants, dishes, and prices.
— And finally, on the heels of Marz Community Brewing announcing its paczki-inspired beer last week, Bohemian House in River North will offer a pairing of a 12-ounce pour of the beer with a choice of four of its house-made paczki for $15 on paczki day — aka Fat Tuesday — aka tomorrow. And Marz released the full list of where to find the beer, which you can read right here.