Craft Brewers Conference Kicks Off in Chicago Tomorrow

April 6th, 2010 · 5 Comments · Beer Travels, Events

The Map Room in Chicago

My kind of town, Chicago is….

Many of you know that I moved out to Seattle from Chicago about five years ago now. When I lived in Chicago I drank plenty of good beer, but it wasn’t until I moved out to Seattle that the world of beer really opened up to me. I’ll admit that I didn’t seek things out when I lived in Chicago as much as I could have. But, the city didn’t have nearly as much to offer, either. Well, it seems as though things have changed in the short time I have been gone, and it just continues to get better from what I have heard. I look forward to seeing some of the improvements for myself this week.

I’m out here in Chicago visiting family and friends before heading to the 2010 Craft Brewers Conference (CBC). The conference will kick off tomorrow when Senator Peter DeFazio (D-Oregon) & Senator Richard Neal (D-Massachusetts) deliver the keynote address in front of 2,600+ brewers and brewing industry members at the opening ceremony of the CBC in Chicago.

What is the CBC?
For professional brewers, the Craft Brewers Conference is the number one environment in North America for concentrated, affordable brewing education and idea sharing to improve brewery quality and performance. The conference is also a great social event with over 2,600 brewing industry professionals enjoying craft brews together. BrewExpo America® allows exhibitors and buyers to develop profitable business relationships and helps brewing and brewery restaurant professionals encounter the latest and the best that industry vendors have to offer.

I’ve already visited Three Floyd’s Brewing Company (in my hometown of Munster, IN), I’ve got a half-finished six-pack of Bell’s Two Hearted in the fridge, and I’ve gotten my fill of Italian Beef (for now). We’ll see what the rest of the week has in store. I’ll be attending multiple presentations during the conference, visiting the exhibition floor, and heading to some new Chicago beer spots, as well as some of my old favorites. I’ll hopefully come up with some interesting material to post along the way.

If you haven’t seen it, below is the “I Am A Craft Brewer” video that was introduced at the beginning of the 2009 CBC in Boston. If you can get past the cheesiness of it, you just may get some goosebumps.

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5 Comments so far ↓

  • Quispy

    I had a friend who just went to Chicago for business. She asked me where she could get good beer DOWNTOWN – walkable or close to the downtown core. I sent her to Clark St Ale House. She walked in and asked what IPA’s they had on tap. They had NO IPA’S on tap. So please enlighten us on surviving in downtown Chicago (I don’t mean an expensive or time-consuming commute up north) when you need a good IPA. But how I love the Italian Beef! A revelation at Mr. Beef downtown Chicago. That is all.

  • Heather

    I had a similar experience as Quispy’s friend. I’ve been searching for a good draught line up since I arrived. I hear Kasey’s Tavern by Millenium Park is a good one, but have not yet made the journey. This evening I went to Timothy O’Tooles and was pleasantly surprised to find 3 Goose Island offerings, Floyd’s Pale, Bell’s, Magic Hat, and a few others. Hoorah! Best yet. Would also be interested in hearing other location options!

  • blackhook

    Heather, you might try Shaw’s Crab House, which is a few blocks north of the river on Hubbard, just east of State St – easy walk from The Loop. Besides great fresh seafood, Shaw’s has a cool back bar with about 10 taps…not sure what’s pouring now, but typically they’ll have Bell’s, Goose Island & maybe Sprecher from Milwaukee.

    A bonus is that next door is Andy’s Jazz Club, which has live jazz every night starting around 5 pm. Not sure what they currently have but they do have some good beer. Andy’s has been around forever & is a local institution.

  • Quispy

    So they have the Bell’s distribution situation worked out now? It’s back in Chicago? Anyone know more on the back story?

  • Kaiser

    Quispy – Yeah, Bell’s has been back in Chicago for a while. They first pulled out of the market in 2006, but then returned in 2007 with three “new” beers branded just for the IL market which got them around some legal loop holes:
    http://www.chicagobusiness.com/cgi-bin/news.pl?id=27171

    The full Bell’s line returned in 2008:
    http://chicagoist.com/2008/07/31/its_morning_in_chicago_bells_is_bac.php

    Heather – I sadly don’t know too many downtown bars with good beer. Back when I used to live here, I rarely ventured down from the northside to hang out downtown. It sounds like Rock Bottom will be the place to be during the conference, though, with a bunch of special beers from all over.

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