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Lincoln Square, North Center, Irving Park

Winter Brew Festival In Lincoln Square Features 17 Local Breweries, 3 Cideries, 1 Distillery

Now in its eighth year, the Jan. 26 festival will showcase 17 breweries, three cideries and one distillery alongside food from Fountainhead.

A photo of 2018's Winter Brew event at DANK Haus German American Cultural Center.
Courtesy Lincoln Square Ravenswood Chamber of Commerce
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LINCOLN SQUARE — DANK Haus German American Cultural Center is hosting the 8th annual Winter Brew festival later this month.

The Jan. 26 festival — which showcases 17 breweries, three cideries and one distillery — will take over the fifth floor ballroom and sixth floor skyline lounge of DANK at 4740 N. Western Ave.

“This event gives people a great introduction to the many craft breweries in Chicago,” said Rudy Flores, executive director of the Lincoln Square Ravenswood Chamber of Commerce. “And we have Horse Thief Hollow Brewing and Open Outcry Brewing Company joining us this year, two breweries from the city’s South Side.”

The event will have two sessions, one in the afternoon that goes from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. and an evening session that goes from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Admission is $10 and will only be sold online in advance of the event. 

“Because of the size of the space we’ll be on two different floors,” Flores said. “When we started the event seven years ago we were just in the ballroom. But we’ve expanded to include the sixth floor because it became such a popular event.”

By spacing the event out over two floors and two sessions, it allows people to feel less cramped and rushed, he said. It also gives folks an opportunity to chat with the brewers.

With their ticket purchase, festival attendees will receive a branded beer glass at check-in. Food and drink tickets cost $1 each and are available for pre-purchase in quantities of 10 and 20.

“Fountainhead is going to be serving food in case people get hungry. They’ve been a partner with us since the beginning, being one of the first real craft beer bars in the area,” Flores said.

The festival’s food menu includes Doner sausage, a white veggie chili, a curried chickpea pita and potato chips served with a beer sauce that uses spiced cheddar cheese.

Breweries include Dovetail, Empirical, Half Acre, Old Irving Brewery Co., Twisted Hippo, Eris Brewery & Cider House and Right Bee Cider, among others. Koval Distillery will also be returning to this year’s festival.

“We’ve always have Koval involved, and this year we’re bringing in a cider component to have more options,” Flores said. “And many of the beers on tap will be limited releases you can’t find at a store. Those are only being offered at certain times and they’re first come first serve until they run out.”

Some of these limited releases include Pipeworks Brewing Co.’s barrel aged apple brandy Jones Dog, an English sweet milk stout; Horse Thief Hollow’s Cinnamon Girl, an imperial milk stout aged in Buffalo Trace whiskey barrels; Half Acre Beer Company’s barrel aged Big Hugs, an imperial coffee stout aged in bourbon barrels; and Temperance Beer Co.’s barrel-aged Birdsong, a saison aged in Koval gin barrels with fresh cucumbers added.

For a full list of participating breweries and cideries and to order tickets click here. People must be at least 21 years old to attend.

Proceeds will go towards the chamber’s beautification projects in the Lincoln Square and Ravenswood neighborhoods.

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