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Brew Dude: May 4, 2019

May 4, 2019

This year rings in the 10th anniversary of one of the best beer fests in Chicago and the kickoff of this year’s Illinois Craft Beer Week thrown by Illinois Craft Brewers Guild.

The 10th annual Beer Under Glass takes place from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Friday at the Garfield Park Conservatory, 300 N. Central Park Ave., Chicago. VIP entry starts at 5:30 p.m. Tickets are sold out.

This will be my third time going to Beer Under Glass, one of my favorite events of the year. Every year, I end up talking with people I haven’t seen during the past calendar year and wanting to get to more beer than I usually do.

It is my constant complaint every year. I hope to rectify this, but while I am working on a plan, I thought I would get some quotes from some of my favorite industry people about their Beer Under Glass experiences.

The conservatory had been destroyed by a storm the year prior and was largely still closed down meaning nearly every brewery was out on the lawns.

The terrible weather that week made for a completely water-logged event which definitely made it memorable, though not the best experience. The following year was everything I’d heard it could be as I finally got to enjoy the setting as much as the beer.

“The camaraderie in the local community never ceases to amaze.” said Tom White, co-founder of The Hop Review.

“Beer Under Glass is a really cool event because it’s not just great local breweries, it’s a very different kind of craft beer festival. Usually, you’ve got everyone packed in tents or in a convention hall. It’s cool to walk around the Conservatory and get to explore while you try some really great beer. And the weather’s usually still sketchy this time of year, so I always appreciate the Under Glass part,” said Jim Cibak, brewmaster at Revolution Brewing.

“My favorite and first memory of Beer Under Glass was CCBW 2013 a month before DryHop was set to open,” said Brant Dubovick, director of brewing operations at Corridor Brewery/DryHop Brewers. “We did not serve beer that day, as we had not gotten official licensing (that would come about a week after). The sense of community was unreal. Everyone was cheering for us to open and wishing us well. We got to sample 18th Street Brewery for the first time ... hung out with Tim, Paul and John at the Solemn Oath booth and sampled Snaggletooth Bandanna for the first time. ... Overall just got to hang out and look to the future with our friends.”

“If ever there was an example of how location impacts a beer fest, it’s Beer Under Glass,” said Jeremy Christy, graphic designer and brewery representative for DESTIHL Brewing. “The first time I poured at BUG, I was immediately blown away by the serene beauty of the Garfield Park Conservatory. The experience of being surrounded by so many exotic plants and art installations was truly breathtaking.”

“You’ll hear nothing but positive, complimentary vibes about Beer Under Glass from the Hop Butcher crew, year in and year out,” said Jeremiah Zimmer, co-founder of Hop Butcher for the World. “Genuinely, it’s one of our favorite beer fests to attend and participate in all year. And not for any single reason, but many, from how well organized it is to the beautiful venue to the palpable vibe of the fest-goers ready to get their Illinois Craft Beer Week started.”

“Beer Under Glass is one of my favorite fests, and it does so much to help the Garfield Park Conservatory, which is truly an irreplaceable jewel for our city,” said Janna Mestan, general manager-beer goddess of Haymarket Pub and Brewery. “We’ve been through torrential rains, high temps and low, and yet this is an event that remains a favorite of our entire team.”

“My favorite memory is that I started the event to help the conservatory rebuild after a catastrophic hailstorm smashing all the glass and ruining plants and our event did just that,” said Peter Crowley, owner and brewmaster of Haymarket Pub and Brewery. “It took a few years, but they rebuilt largely in part [because of] our collaboration on this event.”

“It’s hard to say a specific favorite memory. BUG is like a big family reunion,” said Brandon “Brando” Wright, owner of Werk Force Brewing. “Every year, I count down the days to hang with my friends at one of the most beautiful venues a beer fest could ever be held at. I wouldn’t miss it for the world.”

“Beer Under Glass 2018 is the one I cherish most.” said Katie Long, associate director of Illinois Craft Brewers Guild. “My parents, Aunt Susan and in-laws attended, and I was able to take a good hour-long break to walk around the whole event. It had been several years since I was able to walk around, talk to the brewers, sample the craft beer, take in the beauty of the conservatory and just enjoy the experience.”

“Ironically enough, my first experience at Beer Under Glass was as the executive director of the Illinois Craft Brewers Guild. Even when I was lobbying on behalf of the Guild prior to coming on board full time, I was always in Springfield during the event,” said Danielle D’Alessandro, executive director, Illinois Craft Brewers Guild. “Not only was 2017 my first experience, but it was also the first summer we kicked-off Chicago Friday Night Flights, which we announced at Beer Under Glass with Choose Chicago and Mayor [Rahm] Emanuel. That was a definitely a highlight, considering I was less than a year into my role.”

Volo from Half Acre Beer Company

ABV: 4.8 percent

IBUs: N/A

Style: Wheat Beer — Other

Notes: Pilsner malt with wheat for lightly sweet, soft taste beneath florals and herb.

Where to Buy: Paul’s Place in Kankakee in 16-ounce cans for $5 and The Open Bottle in Tinley Park in 16-ounce, four-pack cans for $9.99.