01.25.2012
By Terry Flanagan

This Week In Beer Tastings

Sometimes, you just want to be shown the way, and with this Markets Media Lifestyle guide to this coming week’s brew tastings (starting with tonight’s must-tries), finding the way to beer nirvana in New York, Chicago, and Philadelphia has just become a whole lot easier.

WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 25

New York

1. Beer & Bourbon Tasting Featuring Empire Brewing Co. Like peanut butter and jelly, these two go down together like a treat. Learn how to pair craft brews with new oak-aged whiskeys at Idle Hands Bar in the Lower East Side. 25 Avenue B, downstairs. 7:00 p.m., $10 per person.

2. Barrier Brewing Company at Sunswick 35/35. Astoria, Queens isn’t just about its beer garden. Local craft beer bar Sunswick 35/35 hosts Barrier Brewing Company as it presents five of its beers, including a Belgian pale ale. 35-02 35th Street, Astoria. 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. Call 718-752-0620 for more information.

3. Point Brewing Company Night at Taproom 307. Point Brewing Company brings nine of its ales to this Gramercy beer bar, including its pale ale, a black ale, and its winter brew. 307 Third Avenue at 23rd Street. 7:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. Call 212-725-4766 for more information.

Chicago

1. Founders’ Brewing Night at The Map Room. Pair three different beers from Founders Brewing with Spanish tapas from local restaurant Tapas Las Ramblas. Where’s the deal? You buy the beer, and the paired tapas comes with it. 1949 North Hoyne. Scheduled all evening.

2. Whole Brews and Cheese Course at Whole Foods. Learn all about the wonder of pairing an aged cheese with a live craft brew at Whole Foods’ Lakeview location. 3300 North Ashland Avenue. 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Register online here.

3. Bell’s Beer Dinner at Branch 27. $50 gets you five courses and four brews to go with it–an absurdly awesome deal for the value…plus you get to learn why certain flavors are better together. Oh, and did we mention four glasses of beers and five plates of food? 1371 West Chicago Avenue. 7:30 p.m. $50 per person.
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THURSDAY, JANUARY 26

Philadelphia

1. Harpoon Beer Tasting Night at Barcade. Boston’s Harpoon Brewing Company brings fifteen of its beers to Philly, including three IPAs, a Hefeweisen, and something they like to call Winter Warmer. 1114 Frankford Ave., 4:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. Call 215-634-4400 for more information.

Chicago

1. Summit Beer School at Sheffield’s. Starting at 7 p.m., get schooled in the finer points of beer brewing, such as the meaning of cask-conditioned, and the taste differences between a porter and a stout. 3258 North Sheffield. 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Call 773-281-4989 for more information.

2. “Slum It” Beer Event at Villains. Craft brew pub Villains Bar & Grill will be hosting  Slumbrew as it shows off its Porter Square Porter, Happy Sol, and Flagraiser IPA. 649 S. Clark Ave. From 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Call 312-356-9992 for more information.

New York

1. Flying Dog Brewery Night at City Swiggers. The Upper East Side, east of Lexington Avenue, is crammed full of beer-loving young professionals. It’s about time they had their own craft brew shop, and brand-new City Swiggers is it. Check out Flying Dog Brewery’s Kujo beer, a coffee stout, amongst their other offerings, at one of City Swiggers’ frequent tastings. 320 East 86th Street, between Second and Third Avenues. 6:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.; call 212-570-2000 for more information.

2. Victory Brewing Company at Bierkraft. Having just been at this Park Slope, Brooklyn staple last week, we can assure you that Bierkraft is all about its brews, its sandwiches, and its laid-back atmosphere. Curating hundreds of varieties of beer, with several available in growlers (which break down to about $3.50 per glass, for 5 glasses or so), this place will also make you killer, market-fresh sandwiches to go with that beer. And tomorrow night, with Victory Brewing Company taking over for the night, you’ll be able to pair it all up like a pro. 191 Fifth Avenue, Brooklyn.

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FRIDAY, JANUARY 27

New York

1. Free Empire Brewing Company Tasting at Whole Foods.Known to source craft beers the world over, Whole Foods occasionally hosts these free tastings…and picking up a six-pack or two afterward is as easy as pie. Speaking of pies…where’s the pie section? 95 East Houston Street. 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., free tasting.

Philadelphia

1. Ballast Point Beers at Philadelphia Bar & Restaurant. Bourbon Oatmeal Stout is the word here…and we wish we were in the City of Brotherly Love to have a few pints of this. Have a few for us at Markets Media and be sure to check out Ballast Point’s seven other options at this tasting. 120 Market Street. From 5:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. Call 215-925-7691 for more information.

2. Victory Brewing Company at Bell’s Beverage. Located in nearby Downingtown, PA (this writer remembers racing in high school track meets at ol’ Downingtown), Victory Brewing brings its unique beers to this brew-centric spot in Philadelphia. 2809 South Front Street. From 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Call 215-468-6891 for more information.

Chicago

1. Chicago Slugger Frank Thomas’s “Big Hurt” Beer at Public House Chicago. After slugging for the White Sox from  1990 to 2005, the man called The Big Hurt puts his resources to good use, producing a signature lager named, of course, after himself. Meet the man, get a signature, and slug back a brew or two for the hometown hero. 400 North State Street. From 8:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. Call 312-265-1240 for more information.

Photo by Jill Damatac, Markets Media 2012. All rights reserved.

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