“Summertime Chi, ah! Now throw your hands up in the sky!” – The Good Life, K. West
Summertime in the windy city is as elusive as it is sweet. If you don’t soak in every drop, you’ll find yourself high and dry come October, suddenly facing another winter run. Here are five beer, wine, and otherwise drank festivals, from June to October, that are sure to make the warmer days last just a bit longer.
Chicago Ale Fest, June 19-20 (Buckingham Fountain)
Friday, June 19 6 p.m. – 10 p.m.; Saturday, June 20 2 p.m. – 6 p.m.
Another great festival by the lake. Over 200 American craft brews are available for sampling under live music and food served from local restaurants. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the Grant Park Conservancy.
Chicago Craft Beer Festival, July 18-19 (Lincoln Park, Sheffield Ave between Webster and Fullerton)
Saturday, July 18 and Sunday, July 19 from Noon – 10 p.m.
Chicago loves its craft beer and the Chicago Craft Beer Festival, now in its fourth year, is the perfect opportunity for newbies to familiarize themselves with premier microbrews. Sample more than 80 curated varieties from all over the Midwest. Of course, there will be live music!
Chicago Margarita Festival, July 25 (Northerly Island)
Saturday, July 25 Noon – 9 p.m.
Killer margaritas? Check! Live music? Check! Food trucks? Check! Fireworks? Checkity check! The first ever Margarita Fest will boast every spring breaker’s drink of choice served on a beautiful island that’s somehow surrounded by America’s most picturesque skyline.
Windy City Wine Festival, September 11-12 (Buckingham Fountain)
Friday, September 11 4:30 p.m. – 10 p.m.; Saturday, September 12 2:30 p.m. – 8 p.m.
For those who take their wine seriously, sample from more than 300 varieties while local chefs and restaurants conduct seminars and cooking demonstrations aside the soothing sounds of Buckingham Fountain. Just steps away awaits the waves of Lake Michigan. It’s first date heaven.
Logan Square Beer Festival, September 12 (Logan Square, 2539 N Kedzie)
Saturday, September 12 1 p.m. – 4 p.m. and 5 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Grab your complementary Logan Square Beer Fest mug at the door and sample from over 50 beers created by 20 different breweries. Live bands and raffle giveaways provide entertainment in between sips.
Shock Top Oyster Fest, September 11-12 (Roscoe Village, Damen & Roscoe)
Friday, September 11 – Saturday, September 12 11 am-10 pm
This isn’t as much a beer festival as it is an oyster festival hosted by an amazing beer. The Belgian White citrus brew, Shock Top, will host a festival like no other in Roscoe Village. Tents will feature fresh seafood, local restaurants, and an eclectic music lineup.
Lake Zurich Craft Beer Festival, October 2-4 (Henry J. Paulus Park, 200 S. Rand Rd, Lake Zurich, IL)
Friday, 5-9 p.m., Saturday and Sunday, 2-6 p.m.
The beautiful Chicago suburb of Lake Zurich is hosting a craft beer festival with Bavarian flair, craft vendors, and live music. It’s probably the only family friendly fest on this list!
Which festival are you most looking forward to attending?