Chicago Craft Beer Examiner notes that Friday’s Chicago Craft Beer Week schedule will ease a bit, and I guess it would have to considering that there were something like 40 events on Wednesday and Thursday. 

I attended the Chicago Beer Authors event at the Map Room on Wednesday, which coincided with the regular third Wednesday social gather of the Chicago Beer Society, which is the one regular I try not to miss. It was great to see Ray Daniels, Steve Hamburg, Randy Mosher and Jeff Sparrow talking to other beer folks about their writings. Beer was fantastic too. The 322 from Goose was a very drinkable sort of wild Saison. I was ready for something hoppy too, so Hop Stoopid hit the spot.

Four of Chicago's beer authors shared beers and thoughts at the Map Room Wednesday.

On Thursday I drove to southern extrmes for the Beer and Cheese Pairing event presented by Limestone Brewing Co., Plainfield and Wine & Cheese by TCC, a Plainfield specialty shop. This was a nice introductory cheese and beer event featuring eight cheeses and six beers. TCC chef Jason Glen walked about 30 folks through pairings that included an intentional diner to illustrate what doesn’t work as a pairing. A pungent, aged Provolone overwhelmed the low-gravity Wheatlander Hefeweizen and left it tasting like astringent lighter fluid.

Most of the pairings, however, worked rather nicely. Limestone head Brewer Ken McMullen talked about what kinds of ingredients go into beers like Indian Boundary Ale, and Ukrainium Krusher, and about what flavors come out. I enjoyed the 110 IBU Flying Pig. Went very well with the St. Pete’s Blue from Fairbault Dairy in Minnesota, as did that huge oaky/roasty Krusher.  Spoke with Ken afterward about the 2.5% small stout that he sometimes makes from the second runnings of his Imperial Stout. Limestone puts it on tap for $2.50, because aside from Ken’s time, it’s all gravy. Next time that goes on I’ll point the hood ornament down I-55 again. Limestone, which opened just this year, is a welcome addition to the local beer community.  Can’t wait to hear how last night’s Goose Clybourn beer cocktail party went.

If you live near Plainfield you might just leave the car in the garage again tonight. Finnegan’s Irish Pub & Restaurant, on the same downtown street as the cheese shop, is turning over its taps (I believe) to the Floyds. Finnegan’s will feature six beers from Three Floyds Brewing, including Dread Naught, Black Heart, and Topless Wych. I think they will be on tap, and a flight will cost you $20. Kicks off at 6 pm Friday.

There are a good number of other tasting events tonight, and on Saturday there’s a 5-k run, a canoe and kayak pub crawl. The Lights Out Party takes place Saturday evening at Half Acre.  Tonight I’ll be at a High School recital tonight, taking a breather.

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