Before Goose Island was even a brewery, Quenchers Saloon was doing the “beer thing,” offering Chicagoans an impressive variety of fermented refreshments. Started in 1979, the bar is now throwing a massive thirtieth-anniversary celebration, from August 16-23. The week-long event will provide attendees with a lot of beer, and a lot of music. “We have three events that we’re focusing on,” says Steve Segel, the bar’s manager. Besides a slew of giveaways and prizes, and a possible vertical beer-tasting to be announced, there’s a bluegrass jam session Saturday afternoon and a rock show on Saturday night. The rock show will include The Lovers, The Amino Acids, The Runnies and The Livers. “The Livers do a great audio video setup behind them,” says Segel. “I’ve seen a lot of shows but this really blew my mind.”
We know, we hadn’t heard of it either. But when we did, we thought, brilliant! Then we thought, vodka.
Thanks to the folks at Luxbar for bringing this to our attention. You’ll find us there come August 20. (But if others are doing similar promotions, let us know and we’ll add them to the list.)
LUXBAR CELEBRATES NATIONAL LEMONADE DAY: $5 Signature Lemonhead Martinis
In celebration of National Lemonade Day, Luxbar is going grown-up by offering their signature Lemonhead Martini for only $5 (normally $11.50). The cocktail features Veev Açai Liqueur, Three Olives Vodka, Chambord, and of course, freshly squeezed Lemon Juice. Thursday, August 20
18 E Bellevue Place, 312.642.3400
CITIZEN BAR CELEBRATES LEMONADE DAY
Chicagoans can soak up the sun and take advantage of Citizen Bar’s huge outdoor patio while enjoying Citizen’s signature Blue Raspberry Lemonade in honor of National Lemonade Day on August 20th. For the entire month Citizen will offer this special cocktail for $7 a glass or $22 for a pitcher.
364 W. Erie St.
The weather is finally starting to turn, and to celebrate the arrival of the spring season, TheChiGuide.com is hosting its first annual Spring Beer Olympics Tournament on April 23 at Joe’s Bar. The event will feature team beer-pong matches as well as team and individual flip-cup competitions. All participants will be vying for a purse of at least $1,300. And if all that weren’t enough, the night is being emceed and Todd Scholtz, stage manager for “The Jerry Springer Show.” “This is for the younger demographic in Chicago that has grown up with Jerry Springer. So we thought it would be great to incorporate the brand and the people behind the show into the event itself,” says Alexander Laurie, founder and CEO of TheChiGuide.com. According to Laurie, a Northwestern grad, the event is specifically designed to bring students together from all of the colleges and universities across Chicago, something that, in his opinion, doesn’t happen enough.
The Cover Your Bases Wrigleyville Bar Tour will help kick off baseball season this Saturday with a twist on the typical bar crawl. Participants will get a t-shirt with a baseball field design and will receive a sticker—representing each position on a baseball team—at each bar stop. Once attendees fill up their shirt, they can enter a drawing to win Cubs tickets, restaurant gift certificates or t-shirts. Festa Events, which runs the 12 Bars of Christmas pub crawl, created the event. “We’ve done TBOX for thirteen years and entertained the idea of branching out,” says manager Kelly Tribout. Their first foray, a Mardi Gras-themed pub crawl, was successful, so they wanted to try their luck with Cubbie fever. They are considering starting up a few events later this year as well. “It’s tough in Chicago with all of the events in the summer,” Tribout says. “But hopefully we’ll have some other pub crawls this fall.” Tickets for the Cover Your Bases crawl are $12 in advance (at festaparties.com) and $15 on the day of the event.
Of all the celebrities who endorse a premium line of liquor, Dan Aykroyd isn’t usually the first that comes to mind. Yet that doesn’t keep a few hundred of his fans from zigzagging through the wine section at the South Loop Binny’s. The SNL alum is promoting his new premium vodka Crystal Head, which comes in a skull-shaped bottle.
“There he is!” someone at the end of the line shouts as the crowd bursts into applause. Aykroyd smiles and waves at nobody in particular as he is escorted through the crowd.
While one fan dresses like Aykroyd’s iconic Elwood character from “The Blues Brothers,” other fans best remember him from his “Ghostbusters” days. Bridget Barnett is so enamored by Aykroyd that she kisses his hand when she gets to the front of the line. He returns the favor while he autographs a photo from the film. Read the rest of this entry »
Magic Hat Brewing Company and HeadCount, a voter-registration organization, have partnered to promote political discussion, education and voter registry where democracy was born, in America’s restaurants and pubs. Printers Row Wine Shop is to participate October 2 at 6pm, and will offer a tasting of Magic Hat Brewery’s new Participation Variety twelve-pack. “People forget that the Constitution and Bill of Rights were conceived in local taverns,” says Magic Hat Director Alan Newman. “The goal behind this is to try and get people to engage with one another in local bars, to bring more people into an experiential democracy,” adds Dave Obenour of Magic Hat Brewing. Magic Hat Brewery and HeadCount partnered in both the 2004 and 2008 elections and have hosted more than fifty events nationwide in 2008. Since its inception in 2004, HeadCount has registered over 100,000 voters.
The question arises. “Why Musky Fest?” Then Kevin Kruse, Will’s Northwoods Inn manager and event organizer, straightforwardly responds, “Why not?”
Will’s Northwoods Inn owner Jon Bunge opened his North Side tavern as a unique replica of the familiar bars and taverns found near his birthplace in northern Wisconsin. Its seventeenth annual Musky Fest is the reproduction of the ongoing, 59-year-old Hayward, Wisconsin tradition “celebrating Wisconsin’s Northwoods and its great fishing tradition.” Following in Hayward fashion, the event rocks a block-party-esque set-up with a large stage entertaining live music, give-aways (including a Leinenkugel-sponsored canoe) and the infamous crowning of the Musky Queen.
“The Musky Queen represents the bar, good times and must-have outdoor and Wisconsin experience,” Kruse says. Once candidates are chosen, the queen must guest-bartend throughout the event and is selected by the complicated electoral process of “one drink, one vote.” The dame with the most votes marches away with a tiara, sash, stuffed Musky, keg party and a choice of cash or a week at Aunt Hannah’s cottage in Wisconsin (which lacks outdoor plumbing and heat—a Musky Queen fantasy).
Though Chicago-raised seven-time fest-goer Frank Vanbezanbe has “never lasted long enough” to catch the crowning, he and fellow-Chicagoan Kyle Speer agree that the best part of the festival is “listening to the Musky Queens’ sales spiels,” he says, as they sip beer out of plastic cups. “We like Wisconsin.” (Andrea Giampoli)
Obscenities are being belched out of the wall-sized front windows of West Town’s Five Star Tavern. Excited men and women don expired boy-scout uniforms clashed by furry imitation mustaches. They have one hand for a pint of Pabst and the other to beat into the humid air. “We’re taking it back to the beginning, to our youths,” shouts Rudiger Strohecker, as he and the crowd ironically erupt into more verbal vulgarities as their six-ounce pinewood racecars cruise twenty-four feet to their fates.
In conjunction with the Lakewood Manor Players’ Improv Comedy group, Five Star is hosting its first annual “Death Race” Pinewood Derby. “We wanted to do something fun that everyone would enjoy. At first we thought of turtle races, but didn’t like the idea of having to put them in the basement to die afterward,” says bar owner Lyle Aker.
It is a sixty-four-car, single elimination battle to claim the rights to a personalized winner’s cup trophy to be displayed in Five Star Tavern forever. Not only do they compete for fastest, but also for slowest, funniest, most rock ‘n’ roll and most x-rated.
“We want to dirty up the clean pinewood derby image. So we are dunking it in bourbon and beer,” admits organizer and founder of the Lakewood Manor Players, Alec Pinkston. And that is just what’s happening. As festivities flow in and out between the bar and the outdoor seating area and out onto the street, where Jim Beam reps sport fake mullets and offer free laps in an Indy 500 racecar (to play up the theme), alcohol flows as quickly as the mini roadsters and their overgrown proprietors. And when Ryan Walsh, creator of the prize-winning car, Dixie, is asked his secret, he confidently announces: “Beer.” (Andrea Giampoli)
In the Tavern Tap in the Congress Hotel, Santa sits at the bar drinking scotch on the rocks. He swirls the ice cubes around in his glass, sighs and looks behind him out the window, where Santa is also standing drinking a Heineken, with two other Santas. Even more Santas file in until 3pm when they all head out together. Welcome to “SantaCon Chicago,” a free, open invitation to dress up like Santa and stumble from bar to bar.
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