The 2018 Chicago Ale Fest – Winter Edition will take place on Saturday, January 20 in the Aon Grand Ballroom at Navy Pier. Coming off of last year’s massive success, this giant festival will feature more than 150 American Craft Beers – with a strong focus on beers only available in the winter. Since most beer fests happen during the summer months, it’s rare to get a chance to try this many stouts, porters, barrel aged beers, winter warmers, and giant double IPAs all in one place. Add to that our “Secret Bombers” booth featuring mystery bottles from each brewery’s personal cellar and guests will get an opportunity to try a ton of impossible-to-get beers.
150+ Beers (Including Impossible-to-Get Rarities)
Expect a lot of craft beer. We’ve pulled together over 150 of the best beers this country has to offer, with a focus on the types of beers you don’t typically get at a beer festival during the summer months — stouts, porters, barrel aged beers, winter warmers, and giant double IPAs.
The Secret Bombers Booth
Each brewery has been asked to bring a bottle of something special from their personal cellars, which we’ll open at random for guests. You’ll have the chance to try incredibly rare beers, experiments that never made it to the light of day, or bottles that haven’t been to a beer fest before.
Four beers poured through infusion machines called Randalls filled with fresh fruit, chocolate, coffee and more to create one-time-only beers. The beers will be holiday dessert themed and include, Sound Growler, Tangled Roots, Boston Beer, and Two Brothers.
Originally created by the craft beer innovators at Dogfish Head Brewery, a Randall is an organoleptic hop transducer module… which is a fancy way of saying it’s a device that infuses flavor into beer. The beer flows through the Randall on its way from the keg to the tap, pulling flavors out of the ingredients in its path. Randalls run beer through fresh hops, coffee, cinnamon, vanilla beans – anything really, making it a fantastic way to participate in one of our favorite parts of craft beer: the experimentation. It’s a way to take something great, and make it even better.
A “Paletas-Style” beer cart will roam the fest grounds delivering full cans of beer to thirsty guests.
Six of Chicago’s best food trucks will be in attendance, including Yum Dum, Beaver’s Donuts, Roaming Hog, Slide Ride.
A Giant Party In Chicago’s Coolest Venue
There’s a tendency for Chicagoans to think of Navy Pier as a bit of a tourist trap… but when the summer ends and the visitors go back home, Navy Pier is ours again. We want to remind Chicagoans of how impressive Navy Pier is by throwing a party that’s uniquely Chicagoan in one of the most Chicago spaces in the city: the Aon Grand Ballroom. Plus, we’ll have a live DJ playing top 40’s hits to keep the dance party going.
More Than Just Beer: Craft Cocktails & Hot Hard Cider
As if 150 beers weren’t enough, we’ll also be featuring two specialty cocktails from Chicago’s own CH Distilling, and some hot hard cider to keep you warm and toasty.
2018 Chicago Ale Fest – Winter Edition
Saturday, January 20th, 2018
Aon Grand Ballroom @ Navy Pier
Early Entry: 11am to 3pm
General Admission 12pm to 3pm
Early Entry: 5 to 9pm
General Admission: 6 to 9pm
Tickets on sale now!