Category Archives: General CBS News

General Information or News from the Chicago Beer Society

2015 Spooky Brew Review

As been discussed on the listserve and our Facebook group, we regretfully will not be hosting the Spooky Brew Homebrew Review this year.  We have not been able to secure an organizer or a venue with sufficient time to guarantee the caliber of judging event for which we have been known.  If you might be interested in organizing a one of the oldest BJCP sanctioned homebrew competitions or feel that your space would be amazing for a homebrew competition, please feel free to Contact Us and let us know.  It takes 8+ months to prepare for a competition so don’t delay.


2015 Day of the Living Ales

February 28, 2015
1:00 pmto5:00 pm
6:00 pmto10:00 pm

SALES END 02-26-2015 AT 11:59PM CST

The Chicago Beer Society announces the Day of the Living Ales for 2015, featuring cask conditioned ales from Chicagoland, plus selected guests.  The home of the event since its inception, Goose Island-Wrigleyville, has closed, so join us on February 28th in Chicago’s new home for real ale: Bottom Lounge.  Located at 1375 West Lake Street, Bottom Lounge is located steps from the CTA Green and Pink Lines, several bus routes, a long walk or short cab ride to two Metra stations, plus the aforementioned cabs and street parking nearby.

At this new venue casks will still be handled by CBS’s experienced cellarmen, trained in the UK to care for and serve real ale. A properly served real ale is neither cloudy, flat, nor warm: rather  it is bright, with a gentle carbonation and served at cellar temperature. Food will be available for purchase. As always, public sessions are from 1-5 and 6-10 PM.  When finished, the lively Randolph corridor offers ample entertainment options.

Attendees will select the 2015 Champion Real Ales of Chicagoland!

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Two Spirited Sessions!

Afternoon, 1:00-5:00 PM (sold out) & Evening (tickets still available) 6:00-10:00 PM

Bottom Lounge, 1375 W Lake Street, Chicago, IL 60607

Chicago Beer Society members should have received ordering information in the mail.
DO NOT THROW THIS MAILER AWAY.  It will contain a unique password by which you can order your tickets.

The CBS Member-only ordering period has ended. General sale of tickets is underway.
You must purchase your tickets for the specific session you are attending. They are NOT transferable to the other session.

Afternoon session tickets can be purchased at:

Evening session tickets can be purchased at:

All attendees must be at least 21 years old. No refunds. Admission includes: tasting glass & beer samples. Food will be available for separate purchase from Bottom Lounge.

As usual, we recommend the use of public transit: Green or Pink Line ‘L’ to Ashland/Lake, and walk 3 blocks east along Lake Street.

Any questions regarding this event, membership status, or other queries should be directed to

Cask List

5 Rabbit Cerveceria, Bedford Park IL
1. 44-55 Scotch Ale 6.5% abv
2. Barrel Aged Vida y Muerte (“Muerzen” style ale) – With dulce de leche, cinnamon, tarragon. Aged in oak barrel. 5.2% abv

Crystal Lake Brewing Co, Crystal Lake IL
3. Lakesider (American Märzen) – Chewy malt with an underlying hint of pine/floral hops. 5.3% abv
4. Slalom King (American IPA with Rye) – Bold citrus aroma and flavor along with a firm maltiness, and a bit of dry rye spice. 7.5% abv

DESTIHL Brewery, Bloomington/Normal/Chanpaign IL
5. Tripel with Pomegranate, Blueberry, and Cranberry 11% abv

Emmett’s Brewing Co. West Dundee/Palatine/Downers Grove IL
6. English Brown (Northern English Brown Ale) 4.7% abv
7. English Old Ale 8.7% abv

Flossmoor Station Brewing Co. Flossmoor, IL
8. Anglo American Mild (English/American Mild Hybrid) – Higher ABV & American Hops; Medium malt flavor with hints of toasted oats, brown & crystal malts. Very low spicy & earthy hop profile 5.2% abv

Forbidden Root Brewing Co. Chicago IL
9. Sublime Ginger Radler – Wheat with ginger, key lime juice, honeybush and lemon soda. Dry-spiced with fresh ginger & lime peel 3.2% abv
10. Sublime Ginger with Peaches – Wheat ale with ginger, key lime juice, honeybush and peaches 3.8% abv

Goose Island – Clybourn
11. Cran-Bruin (Flemish-style brown ale) – With cranberries, aged in oak for 11 months 5.2% abv
12. Dark Mild (English style) 3.8% abv
13. Iron Sickle (Belgian-style table beer) – Mixed Sacc/Brett/Lacto fermentations 3.5% abv

Goose Island – Fulton
14. 6297 (Green Line with Experimental hop #6297) 5.4% abv
15. Azteca (Belgian/Mexican spiced beer) – Rich sweetness, and finishes with a dry tea character. Faint pepper rounds out a nuanced cocoa base. 7% abv
16. Earl (Green Line with Earl Grey tea) – Biscuit with faint notes of bergamot and citrus. 5.4% abv
17. Fleurkin (Saison with hisbiscus kombucha and hibiscus) – It’s been almost 4 years, with some modifications we present a lighter version of Fleur with a harder rose color and growing tart/acidic finish. 6.5% abv
18. My Shout (Sparkling Ale) – Easy drinking and soft with a dry smooth finish. 5.0% abv

Half Acre Beer Co, Chicago IL
19. Lead Feather Black Ale – Toasted coconut and vanilla bean 5.9% abv
20. Mango Habanero Space IPA 6.7% abv

Haymarket Pub & Brewery, Chicago IL
21. Winter Warmer – Old Ale meets Imperial IPA, dry hopped with Citra. 10% abv

Illuminated Brew Works, Chicago IL
22. Kallisti (Golden Ale) – Calypso hops and a razor-thin grist conspire to create a beer made only for the most beautiful. 7.4% abv

Imperial Oak Brewing, Willow Springs IL
23. Abbey Obscuro (Belgian Stout) – Dry-spiced with Cacao nibs, Chipotle peppers, Vanilla beans, Cinnamon 8.5% abv

Lakefront Brewery, Inc. Milwaukee WI
24. IPA with Belma Hops (American IPA) 7.0% abv
25. Saison with Hibiscus & Chamomile 5.2% abv

Metropolitan Brewing, Chicago IL
26. Habanero Krankshaft Kolsch – Delicate Cologne style beer. We added fresh habanero peppers because we aren’t German and don’t have to follow the Reinheitsgesundheitmeinfräulein. Hopefully they provide some extra gemütlichkeit. 5% abv
27. Heliostat Zwickel Lager (Dortmunder/Pils hybrid) – Zwickel style lager conditioned in a cask. Includes plenty of hausgeschmack for the Stammtisch. 5.7% abv

Mickey Finn’s
28. Pat’s Irish Red 4.5% abv
29. Yorkie Bitter 4.0% abv

Off Color Brewing, Chicago IL
30. Apple Blossoms – Gose w/apple blossoms and chrysanthemums 4.5% abv
31. Bare Bear – Sahti w/juniper berries and wine staves 7.0% abv

Revolution Brewing, Chicago IL
32. Brixton Bitter (English-style Ordinary Bitter) 3.7% abv
33. Winter Woman (Imperial Brown) – Big, hoppy, brown ale 9.0% abv

Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery – Chicago
34. Mouldy Toad Brown (Brown Ale with cacao nibs) 6.8% abv
35. Snow Cat (Belgian White IPA) 6.6% abv

Rock BottomLombard
36. Chilsner (Chili Beer) – Light, Spicy, Golden Beer, dry-chilied 5.5% abv

Rock Bottom –Orland Park
37. Erik the Red – Irish Red Ale (Malty Irish Red with subtle lemon pepper hops for balance) >6% abv
38. Victim of Illusion – Imperial Golden Stout (Dark gold / light copper colored Imperial stout with cacao nibs, coffee, oats, and smoked malt) <6% abv

Rock BottomWarrenville
39. Doppelbock 8.7% abv

Solemn Oath Brewery, Naperville IL
40. Billy No-Mates (Irish Stout) 5.0% abv
41. E-Ville (Dry-hopped American Brown Ale) 6.6% abv

Temperance Beer Co, Chicago IL
42. Dubbel Stubble (Belgian dubbel) 7.2% abv
43. Restless Years (pale ale with rye) 5.8% abv

Three Floyds Brewing Co, Munster IN
44. Cimmerian Sabertooth Berzerker (Double IPA) 10% abv
45. Yum Yum (American Pale Ale) 5.6% abv

Tighthead Brewing Co, Mundelein IL
46. Coffee Boxcar Porter – Cold steeped coffee concentrate in cask 5.6% abv
47. Irie IPA – Dry hopped in fermenter 7.8% abv

2015 Brewpub Shootout (Recap)

Chicago Beer Society’s Seventeenth Annual Brewpub & Microbrewery Shootout at Zhou B Art Center is in the books, but the memories of delicious dishes and astounding ales linger on…A huge thanks to the participants and everyone who attended (and didn’t have to battle snow, for a change!).

Here are the winners:

Favorite Beer – Revolution
Favorite Beer – Goose Island
Champion Beer – Off Color

Favorite Food – BrickStone
Favorite Food – Revolution
Champion Food – Three Floyds

Favorite Beer & Food Pairing – 5 Rabbit
Favorite Beer & Food Pairing – Three Floyds
Champion Beer & Food Pairing – Flossmoor Station

Here are participant and menu details:

5 Rabbit Cerveceria – Bedford Park IL
Brewers: John J, Hall (Brewmaster), Nate Chesser, Raul Heredia, Adam Stull, Mike Witkowski
Chefs: Team 5 Rabbit
Pairing Beer: 5 Grass Hoppy Ale with Juniper, Sage, White Sage, Rosemary and Tasmanian Pepperberry
Food Pairing: Tortas Ahogadas: “Drowned” sandwiches with slow- smoked pork shoulder in 5 Grass adobo seasoning on bolillo buns and salsa rojo, garnished with habañero-pickled onions and queso fresco.
Bonus Beers: 5 Vulture Oaxacan-Style Dark Ale with Fresh-Roasted Ancho and Mulato Chiles; Arroz Con Leche Imperial Rice Ale with Vanilla, Cinnamon, Cloves, Almonds and Sweetened Condensed Milk

BrickStone Restaurant & Brewery – Bourbonnais IL
Brewers: BrickStone brewers
Chef: Chef Dino G.
Pairing Beer: Dark Secret Russian Imperial Stout aged with Dark Matter Coffee
Food Pairing: Dark Secret Coffee Braised Short Ribs with Creamy Polenta
Bonus Beer: HopSkipNImDrunk Double APA; BrickStone APA

DryHop Brewers – Chicago IL
Brewer: Brant Dubovick
Chef: Joel Pillar
Pairing Beer: Feeling That Surrounds Belgian Stout – This year’s winter stout was brewed with our house Belgian yeast strain, candy sugar,and orange peel, which impart notes of bubblegum, orange, and raisin to meld with the classic stout flavors of espresso and chocolate.
Food Pairing: Banana Bread Pudding – Chocolate, Peanut Butter, Marshmallow Crème
Bonus Beers: Shark Meets Hipster Wheat IPA – Light bodied American Wheat Ale featuring truckloads of Galaxy hops. Expect strong notes of passion fruit.

Flossmoor Station Brewery & Restaurant – Flossmoor IL
Brewers: Tom Nelson & Ryan Czaja
Chef: Edwardo Camerana
Pairing Beer: Shadow of the Moon Imperial Stout
Food Pairing: Chocolate Silk Tart – chocolate crust, SotM Imp Stout silk filling, ancho pepper chocolate liquor ganache, whipped cream, crushed pretzel
Bonus Beer: Barrel Aged Pullman Reserve

Goose Island Brewpub – Chicago IL
Brewers: Jacob Sembrano, Jon Naghski
Chef: Brad Sewell
Pairing Beer: Bourbon Barrel Aged Quad
Food Pairing: Golden Raisin Baklava, Duck Confit, Blackberry Shallot Syrup, Pistachios
Bonus Beer: Lincoln Park Lager – American Amber Lager

Haymarket Pub & Brewery – Chicago IL
Brewers: Peter Crowley
Chefs: Christopher McCoy
Pairing Beer: Lucy’s Belgian Tripel with grapefruit
Food Pairing: Savory grits, braised pork belly, with fried pig ear and grapefruit slaw
Bonus Beers: Mathias Imperial IPA

Off Color Brewing / Northdown Café & Taproom – Chicago IL
Brewers: John Laffler, Dave Bleitner
Chefs: NDC’s finest!
Pairing Beer: Spots – Berliner-style weiss infused with tropical fruits & jaguar pelts
Food Pairing: Jerk Wings marinated and sauced with Pineapple-infused Off Color Fierce; Hellfire Hot Wings marinated and sauced with Off Color Coffee Dinos’mores; Beer battered and fried Off Color you Never Take Me Anywhere Nice fried pickles.
Bonus Beer: Tooth and Claw Pilsner

Revolution Brewing LLC – Chicago IL
Brewers: Wil Turner
Chef: Charlie Eure
Pairing Beer: Civil Disobedience IPA
Food Pairing: Lambwich – Aged beef and lamb pate, naan bread, kumquat tzatziki, beef fat fries, Calabrian pepper & tomato relish
Bonus Beers: Straight Jacket – Bourbon barrel aged barleywine

Rock Bottom Restaurants & Breweries – Chicago, Lombard, Orland Park, Warrenville IL
Brewers: Hayley Shine, Ray Gonzalez, Jason Cook, Todd Britt, Jim Wolfer, Iain Wilson
Chefs: Pawel Marszalek, Shawn Murphy, Scott Rainman
Pairing Beer: The Mutiny – A big hop forward beer with pineapple and citrus notes that refuses to take orders from anyone (RB-C)
Food Pairing: Chicken and Waffles – Beer braised chicken thigh wrapped in brown sugar pepper bacon and served on top of corn bread waffle with maple beer glaze
Bonus Beers: Double Down IPA (RB-L); Lumpy Dog Brown (RB-W); Blitzen Belgian Tripel (RB-OP)

Rude Hippo Brewing – Chicago IL
Brewers: Karl Rutherford, Marilee Rutherford, Ian Denson
Chef: Won Kim
Pairing Beer: Beeting Heart – Ale Brewed with Beets – Roasted beets mingle gently with a citrusy, fresh ale in this gorgeous pink beer. Normal? No. Awesome? Absolutely.
Food Pairing: “Stew of Hearts” – Beef heart stew, Parmesan crisp crumbles, quick pickled beets, micro kale.
Bonus Beers: The Bee’s Sleaze – Honey Steam Ale – A big dose of honey gives a little bit of sass to a standard steam ale. This is a beer that plays well with others. Balanced, refreshing and fun; Wooden Nickel – IPA Aged on Oak – Surprisingly refreshing, this easy-drinking IPA is just the thing for folks hankering for a belly-up at the bar. Aged on fresh oak, our Wooden Nickel IPA is sure to have you asking for another round.

Three Floyds Brewing Co – Munster IN
Brewers: Three Floyds Brewing Team
Chefs: Pat Niebling, Scout Hughes
Pairing Beer: Alpha King
Food Pairing: Smoked beef rib, blue cheese grits, Thai chili hot sauce, sauerkraut puree, beef jus
Bonus Beer: Permanent Funeral

Two Brothers Brewing Co & Roundhouse – Warrenville & Aurora IL
Brewers: Jeremy Bogan and Brenden McGrath
Chef: John Schiver
Pairing Beer: Wobble IPA
Food Pairing: Spiced donut holes with peach ginger dipping sauce

2014 CBS Bus Trip: Beyond the Cheddar Curtain and Back

July 12, 2014
9:00 amto8:00 pm

Chicago Beer Society presents:
The Next in a Series of Tasting Tours – “Beyond the Cheddar Curtain and Back”

On Saturday July 12, we will board a luxurious motor coach for a trip Beyond the Cheddar Curtain and Back. This journey will focus primarily on the Madison area with stops at landmarks like Great Dane Brewpub Eastside (for lunch) and Capital Brewery Beergarten, as well as the newish and exciting Karben4 Brewery. Once we are safely back on the Illinois side of the state line, we will also pay a visit to Pig Minds Brewing near Rockford. Of course our terminus destination will be one of our second homes, Goose Island Clybourn (the trip starts there, too, departing at 9 a.m.).  Yes, there will be cheese, and yes, we will make a quick stop at a Woodman’s or another off-premise retailer so that guests can pick up a six-pack or two of Wisconsin beer to bring home. We will also provide each guest with a can of beer on the bus, beer at each destination, plus lunch. 

A limited number of tickets are available via Brown Paper Tickets. The member price is $70 ($73.43 with service fee), nonmembers $75 ($78.62 with service fee). All current CBS members were sent an event flyer with a ticket purchase password. If you lost your copy and need to get the password, drop us a line via the Contact page to request yours. Tickets are Will Call only. You must be at least 21 y.o. to board. No smoking, no kegs or glass containers on the bus.

2014 Brewpub Shootout (SOLD OUT)

January 25, 2014
1:00 pmto5:00 pm

NOTE:  This event is SOLD OUT.  

Chicago Beer Society presents the 16th Annual Chicagoland Brewpub & Microbrewery Shootout, Saturday January 25, 2014, 1-5pm at Zhou B Art Center, 1029 W 35th St Chicago IL 60609.

Come on out and enjoy the best beers and the best food from Chicago-area brewpubs and microbreweries. Sample a bunch of beers as well as each brewpub’s food item and then vote for your favorites. Winners will be announced at the end of the event.

Come and support your favorite brewery or brewpub  or discover a new favorite. Either way, you get to taste the very best beer and food that Chicago has to offer.



Use the eight character, Case Sensitive code above your name on the envelope to purchase tickets.

Single members can order 1 ticket. Couple members can order 1 or 2 tickets. The code can only be used one time.

Ticket sales begin Saturday, December 14, 2013 at 9am 


Admission includes all beer samples and one food sample from each brewery/brewpub.

You must be 21 years or older to attend. No children. No refunds.

We recommend public transportation for all our events.

21st Annual Spooky Brew Review

Spooky Brew is back and better than ever!  This year we will be hosted at Revolution’s Kedzie Brewery on October 26, 9a to 5p.

As usual, Spooky Brew Review will feature judging in all categories of the BJCP Style Guidelines. But a highlight is always the judging of the special Spooky (scariest) and Smashed Pumpkin (Worst of Show) categories, which definitely should not be missed. We are also including Witches’ Brew, which is an open category for beer, mead, and cider brewed only by women.

NOTE: All entries for the Spooky and Smashed Pumpkin categories must be drinkable. Anything deemed otherwise by the Competition Committee will be DISQUALIFIED, and that’s very hard to do.

Event Details

Please see for up to date details.  Please note that the actual competition is closed to the public and competitors.  Only judges, stewards, and event staff will be allowed at the actual competition. This helps ensure the judges can focus and do what they do best.

Entry Registration

Entries will be accepted can be dropped off starting October 1st.  To register and enter, please go to  All entries must be registered and dropped off by Saturday, October 12, 2013 at 5:30 PM CDT.  For more details please see  BJCP entries are $8.  Spooky, Smashed Pumpkin, and Witches Brew are $2.  Please note the special instructions regarding payment if you are entering both BJCP and Spooky categories.


Judges and Stewards – we need you! If you are interesting in serving as a judge or steward on October 26, please contact competition organizer Peter Sloan (peter @ All general questions can also be directed to him.  You can also sign up via

Special instructions regarding payment

PLEASE NOTE UPDATED INSTRUCTIONS. This year, in order to streamline operations, we are only accepting payments via paypal.  You do not have to have a paypal account and it will accept most major forms of credit cards.  Please note, due to the limitations in the software, if you want to enter a Spooky, Smashed Pumpkin, or Witches Brew and receive the discounted rate, you must register and pay the full $8 per entry.  Upon receiving payment, your entries will be reviewed and if you have one or more Spooky, Smashed Pumpkin, or Witches Brew entries ($2), the difference in price will be refunded to you ($6/entry). We have already processed quite a few transactions this way and it is working quite smoothly.  Unfortunately, the discount code was not working as intended and thus had to be disabled.

37th Annual Fall Tasting

November 2, 2013
6:30 pmto11:00 pm

37th Annual Fall Tasting

The Chicago Beer Society is pleased to announce that its 37th annual Fall Tasting & Dinner will be held from 6:30 to 11:00 pm at Reza’s Restaurant, 432 W Ontario, Chicago, on Saturday, November 2, 2012. The Fall Tasting is probably the country’s oldest beer event that allows the public to participate in a blind tasting of craft beers and then vote for their favorites. This will be a blind tasting to allow you to judge the specially procured beers strictly on their own merit. When the formal tasting ends, all the beers will be available for your enjoyment.

Ticket Information

$45 Members / $55 Non-Members
Ticket sales thru only.
Sales begin soon. [Date Pending: 9/30/13, 10am]

Everyone must be 21 years old to attend. No children, please. NO REFUNDS.


The Chicago Beer Society emphasizes responsible consumption and recommends using a designated driver or taking public transportation. The closest CTA train stations are at Chicago (Brown Line), Grand and Halsted (Blue Line), and Grand and State (Red Line). Taxis and buses are also easily available in the area.



Grilled Mushrooms
Baba Ghannouj
Herbed Roasted Feta Cheese


Filet Mignon Shish Kabob
Broiled Salmon
Lamb Shank (Seasoned Baby Spring Lamb Shank Simmered in Homemade Tomato Sauce)
Chicken Fessenjan (Boneless Chicken Breast Simmered in S&S Pomegranate Sauce with Crushed Walnuts)
Fresh Baked Bread
White Rice & Dill Rice


Baklava and Bamieh (Deep Fried Dough Covered with Honey)

Goose Island Collaboration Brew with Chicago Beer Society

On April 2nd, 2013, Goose Island and Chicago Beer Society teamed up to brew a collaboration beer to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Goose Island.  The beer will be released May 2nd and samples will be available during our monthly First Thursday homebrewers meeting.  Nick Barron, head brewer for the Goose Island brewpubs, will talk about the beer and the process.  The beer is not yet named but we will update here as soon as it is decided.

The Brewing Team

Chicago Beer Society and Goose Island

Chicago Beer Society and Goose Island

Front Row (from left to right)
Kevin Segna, Nick Barron (GI Head Brewer), Peter Sloan, Chris Schwigen, Dave Philips, Tom Gustafson, Steve Mastny, and Jacob Sembrano (GI Brewer)

Back Row (from left to right)
Tim Norris, John Hall (GI Founder)

The beer at a glance

  • Style: American Black Ale
  • Starting Gravity: 1.068
  • Targeted Final Gravity: 1.016
  • Targeted IBUs: 33
  • Grist: 80% Canada Pale, 13% Aromatic Malt, 6% Midnight Wheat
  • Hop Schedule: Chinook @ 60, Cascade @ 30, Cascade @ 5, Centennial @ 0
  • Dry Hopping: To be determined…


First Thursday Hop Growing

Special Thanks to John Beystehner from Brew & Grow
For coming in to First Thursday and teaching us about hop growing.

Go to your local Brew & Grow to get everything you need to start growing hops today!

HERE are the notes from John on hop growing.

The best hop varieties he currently has here in the Chicago area and suggest growing are:

Brewers Gold

Eddie C. Campbell Benefit

The Chicago Beer Society is saddened to hear that Eddie C. Campbell, Chicago resident and blues musician, has suffered a heart attack and stroke that left him paralyzed on his right side while on tour in Germany.  Eddie has performed on our Blues & Brews Cruises in the past.

In order to help his family get Eddie back to the States for treatment, Rosa’s Lounge has donated their venue to host a blues benefit concert this Sunday, February 17, 2013.  Rosa’s Lounge is located at 3420 W. Armitage Ave. Phone number is (773) 342-0452. Doors open at 5:00 p.m. Cost is $25.00. Show time is 6:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.  The lineup includes Eddie ‘The Chief’ Clearwater, Sugar Blue, Eddie Shaw, Lurrie Bell, Billy Boy Arnold, Jimmy Johnson, Sharon Lewis, Mathew Skoller, Deitra Farr, Bob Stroger, Zora Young, Rico McFarland and Scott Dirks. More information regarding this benefit event can be found here.

If you are unable to make the benefit event but would like to help him and his family out through this hard time, you can make a donation to his assistance fund ran by his wife and manager, Barbara Mayson Campbell, via paypal:

Eddie C. Campbell Assistance Fund