Malt Row Hoppy Hour

Malt Row Hoppy Hour is an intimate tasting and learning series hosted by some of your favorite Chicago breweries and distilleries.

The Ravenswood Industrial Corridor and surrounding area is home to a vibrant craft beverage producing community. Known to some as Malt Row, our neighborhood has earned a reputation as “Chicago’s most diverse beer destination.” At our Hoppy Hour series, you have a chance to taste locally crafted beers and spirits while learning about them from the folks who create them.

If you want to know more about how what you consume is made, or you just like chatting about beer, this series is for you. Malt Row Hoppy Hours are casual, inclusive events open to enthusiasts of all knowledge levels.

Next Hoppy Hour

8/14/24, Easy Drinkers at Begyle Brewing

Join us at Begyle Brewing for a guided tasting and conversation about Easy Drinkers- beers that go down easy! You’ll get to try a variety of approachable, sessionable beers that are perfect for the summer. This is an excellent chance to sample several brews Begyle brews while learning more about what you’re drinking.

Tickets are $24 and include admission, four 5oz tasting pours, and a 10% discount off of full pours and beer to-go. 6:30-8:00 PM, 1800 W Cuyler Ave

Malt Row Hoppy Hours are presented by the Greater Ravenswood Chamber of Commerce and SSA #31.

Past Hoppy Hours

We created the original Malt Row Hoppy Hour in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and related shutdown. Launched as a biweekly guided virtual beer tasting series, Hoppy Hour offered a chance for fans of local breweries to show their support. They also gave neighbors a regular place to come together and share a pint online while sheltering in place. Co-hosted by Gene Wagendorf III (Greater Ravenswood Chamber of Commerce) and Shana Solarte (Advanced Cicerone), the series educated viewers on a variety of beer styles and brewing methods while showcasing some amazing local small businesses.

Since 2024, Malt Row Hoppy Hours have been held in person at the host Malt Row brewery. The Hoppy Hours are hosted by brewers and owners of the breweries and include an intimate tasting and learning experience.

Hoppy Hour #8 – Beer Service Traditions, 5/15/24

We packed the house at Dovetail for a guided tasting and conversation about classic beer service traditions. Guests learned about how various European beer styles are traditionally served, and how glassware, ritual, environment, and other factors can alter and enhance your drinking experience.

Hoppy Hour #7 – Lagers vs Ales, 3/28/24

In 2024, GRCC revived Malt Row Hoppy Hour as an in-person guided tasting experience that rotates locations and topics. Folks joined us in Spiteful’s taproom for a guided tasting and conversation focused on two common beer styles: ales and lagers. We covered the ingredients and methods used in producing both styles, the differences in process and flavors, and how those factors impact the beer you’re enjoying.

Hoppy Hour #6 – Patio Beers, 7/23/20

“Patio Beers” may not be an official beer style, but they’re one of the highlights of Chicago summers. For our final Hoppy Hour of 2020, co-hosts Shana and Gene talked with local brewers about their favorite beers to crush on sunny patio. Panelists included brewers from Begyle, Dovetail, Empirical, and Spiteful.

Hoppy Hour #5 – Smoked Beers, 7/9/20

At our 5th Hoppy Hour, co-hosts Gene and Shana were joined by Hagen Dost and Bill Wesselink of Dovetail Brewery and Averie Swanson of Keeping Together. The group led a packed Zoom on a deep dive on smoked beer, with a focus on beer history, German beer styles, ingredients and processes, and more.

Hoppy Hour #4 – Beer Cocktails, 6/25/20

Hoppy Hour #4 saw KOVAL Distillery join the group! Co-hosts Shana and Gene were joined by KOVAL’s house mixologist, as well as brewers from Empirical and Urban Bew Labs. The group discussed beer as a cocktail ingredient and used local brews and KOVAL spirits to craft two unique hybrid beverages.

Hoppy Hour #3 – Wild & Spontaneous Beers, 6/11/20

At Hoppy Hour #3, Shana and Gene were joined by head brewers from Half Acre, Keeping Together, Dovetail, and Empirical. The crew discussed the ingredients and processes used to brew wild and spontaneously fermented beer. Highlighted by an appearance from industry dynamo Averie Swanson and featuring a guided tasting of four locally-brewed wild/spon beers.

Hoppy Hour #2 – IPAs, 5/21/20

During our 2nd Hoppy Hour, Shana and Gene led a panel discussion about maybe the most popular style in craft beer in 2020, the IPA. This installment featured brewers from Spiteful, Smylie Bros., and LaGrow Organic Beer. The trio guided viewers through a tasting of three locally-brewed India Pale Ales, with a discussion focused on ingredients, hop varieties, and beer history.

Malt Row Logo

Hoppy Hour #1 – Ales vs Lagers, 5/7/20

At our first virtual beer tasting, co-hosts Gene and Shana were joined for a lengthy discussion by brewers from Begyle Brewing, Dovetail Brewery, Empirical Brewery, and Urban Brew Labs. The conversation focused on two popular and classic beer styles: lagers and ales.

Explore Malt Row: Chicago's Craft Beer Destination

Known to Chicagoans as “Malt Row”, the Ravenswood Industrial Corridor and surrounding area has earned its reputation as “Chicago’s most diverse beer destination.” Whether you’re looking for a German-style lager, barrel-aged Barleywine, or a spontaneously fermented saison, you’ll find it on Malt Row. Not a hop head? The corridor is also home to KOVAL, Chicago’s first (legal) post-prohibition distillery, and VIN312 Winery.

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