User's Guide

Where to Spot a Beer Geek This Week

You're not allowed in here.
You’re not allowed in here. Photo: Jason E. Kaplan

The Craft Brewers Conference starts today, but alas, the event is all sold out. Yes, we know you really wanted to attend the “Mashing Parameters” class, but it’s just not to be. Luckily, you can still share a drink with some of these fine folk. Events are numerous, and just about every bar is hosting something. But we decided to put together a list of the four places you’re most likely to spot a famous beer snob eating this week.

The obvious choice here is the Publican, whose “pork, beer, and oysters” motto and convenient location to downtown, make it the ideal spot. Dinner will undoubtedly be packed, but they’ll also be hosting late night snack events from 10:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. for the rest of the week. Oh, if you happen to go tomorrow, please check out that squid and green garbanzo bean special for us.

Much like the Publican, Hopleaf’s Northern European-tinged menu ensures that just about everything they serve will pair with what’s on tap. Stop by on Friday at 6 p.m. for a free “meet and greet” with Fritz Maytag of Anchor Brewing, before you head back for an order of those mussels.

Goose Island’s Clybourn Brewpub is another natural choice. With new chef Andrew Hroza helming the relaxed and generally less expensive menu, it may be the perfect middle ground.

Our underdog pick is The Bluebird in Bucktown, whose Mediterranean menu and heavy beer list may fit those who want to sample some of Chicago’s fine fare without the lines. Look for beer flights tonight and tomorrow.

Of course, once eating is out of the way, we figure just about everyone is going to end up heading for the Map Room. The rain may keep things manageable, but considering the insane lines on any given Wednesday night, we seriously doubt it.

Where to Spot a Beer Geek This Week