Chicagoans are a diverse group, but no matter if they are from the northside, the southside or the westside there are two things that all Chicagoans can agree on: beer and the Chicago Bears. And that is where the Chicago Beer Classic comes in: the Chicago Beer Classic is the city’s largest beer festival celebrating great beer on the grass of Soldier Field. That’s right, the attendees of the Beer Classic can sample beer from over 100 different breweries on the same grass that the Monsters of the Midway play.
The big draw of this fest was Soldier Field itself. The fest offered behind the scenes tours of Soldier Field which included getting a chance to go inside the visitor’s locker room. There were also local food trucks, lawn games and merchandise from local vendors.
But more so than that, just getting to be on the field were the Bears pass, tackle, score touchdowns and (mostly) punt was a really neat experience for everyone there. The field was still painted as if it were game day so it felt even more authentic. To be on the field was one thing, but to be to the field AND drink so many great beers…it doesn’t get any better than that.
As a dedicated journalist, I did my best to try as many of the beers as I could. In my humble opinion, the best brew I tasted was Stone Brewing’s (out of Escondido, California) Coffee Milk Stout. This dark beer was a delicious combination of roasted coffee and creamy milk, sugary stout all in one. Almost tasted more like a milkshake than a beer. It was a delicious offering that I had to sample more than once.
Since I am at venerable Soldier Field, I also have to give a shout out to a local brewer, Finch’s Beer Company from right here in Chicago, Illinois. The beer that made an impression on me was called Sungasm, which is a Belgian Pale Ale. It was nicely hoppy, with hints of citrus. It leaves you refreshed, so it would be a perfect ale for the summertime.
While I have many hours of drinking beer under my belt, I am hardly qualified as a beer connoisseur. Here’s the great thing about a beer fest like The Chicago Beer Classic, if you disagree with my beer choice than you can just move on to the next stand and try a different beer!
The Chicago Beer Classic is definitely something you should put on the calendar for next year. The variety of the beers involved plus the cool venue of Soldier Field is a perfect way to try out a bunch of new beers and have a great time doing it.
For more information on The Chicago Beer Classic check out their website.
Photos by K. Joseph Fotos.