Chicago Beer Classic 2017: Event Recap

Another spring day in Chicago means another fabulous beer festival.  We were lucky enough to be able to pour at the Chicago Beer Classic at Soldier Field for Anthem Cider.  If you don’t know about Anthem Cider, they are great cider company out of Salem, Oregon. They us all Oregon and Washington apple blends in their ciders as the dry base in which all else in created. Like other great cidermakers, they use only fresh-pressed juice without added sweeteners or sugar; In fact, their ciders are only back sweetened with fresh pressed juices to get the particular flavor profiles.  We had the chance to pour both their pear and cherry offerings, both very clean and delicious options that were a popular choice at the event.

The event was at Soldier Field. You know, just the place where the Chicago Bears, an NFL team, play. The event featured about 100 breweries & cideries in two sessions, each having around 6,000 people per session, by our estimation.  There was cider, beer, hard liquor shots, pretzel-making sessions, outdoor games, and more.  This made for an action-packed day full of activities and drinking.  The usual Chicago cider suspects were there including Right Bee Cider, Anthem, Seattle Cider, B Nektar, and Ferro Farm.

Seattle Cider brought out some of their more interesting ciders for the crowds to taste including their basil mint and gin botanical.  I have had both but the gin botanical is very interesting. They describe it as a cider “fermented with spent gin botanicals from Batch 206 Distillery, our Gin Botanical is a semi-dry cider showcasing lemon, orange rind, juniper, cucumber, and verbena. Like the spirit that inspired it, this cider is complex, clean, aromatic and refreshing.” There is certainly a cucumber and juniper flavor that makes it taste like a gin and tonic, a refreshing option for what turned out to be a beautiful day.

As we generally see, this event was beer heavy.  We did have the opportunity to get to know breweries under the same distribution as Anthem, and really had a great time pouring. This event offered some great porters and stouts and organic beers. When it came to cider, we had our usual suspects pouring their product lines that Chicagoans can get their hands on.  No matter your taste buds, there was something to taste and the unique opportunity to roam on the same grass that many football legends have played on.

Towards the end of session two, we met a lifestyle blogger, Allison Beacham, who is gluten intolerant.  She talked with us for a while about her gluten-free lifestyle and showed us an awesome phone app called Find Me Gluten Free.  This is an app dedicated to finding gluten-free options for those who are intolerant of gluten (we will be writing an article about this app soon).  If you want to get to know her better, and see what gluten free goodies she is finding, follow Allison’s gluten-free blog.

All in all, We loved Soldier Field and this great event in the Windy City. We hope you enjoyed your time and will see you next time!

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