Resolutions to eat healthier and dial down the alcohol consumption in 2018 will be sorely tested right out of the gate in the New Year.
Chicago’s festival calendar is front-loaded with not one, but two, massive craft beer events in January, plus the sugariest buzz in town, the fifth annual Donut Fest.
First up is Chicago Ale Fest, which promises samplings of more than 150 craft beers, on Jan. 20 at Navy Pier. Choose between sessions at noon and 6 p.m. Tickets range from $19 for a “designated driver” admission, which includes complimentary soda and water, all the way up to $75 for early entry and a bonus yoga class, presumably to help limber up for all of that elbow-bending.
Food trucks will be on hand with munchies and guests will also enjoy live music. Ticket information is available at chicagoalefest.com.
Drink local at Lincoln Square’s Winter Brew, which brings together more than a dozen of Chicago’s craft brewers under a single roof on Jan. 27 at DANK Haus German American Cultural Center, 4740 N. Western Ave. Sample ales, porters, pilsners and more while listening to tunes spun by CHIRP Radio and noshing on bites from Fountainhead.
The event is split into two sessions: 2 to 5 p.m. and 7 to 10 p.m. Admission is $10 ($15 after Jan. 15), which solely includes entry to the fest. Beer and food tickets cost $1 each, with beers typically priced at $4. Buy admission and food/drink tickets online at www.lincolnsquare.org/winter-brew.
Donut Fest’s fried dough bacchanal is set for Jan. 28 at Wicker Park’s Chop Shop, 2033 W. North Ave. Attendees will gorge on fritters and long johns from a dozen bakeries including Naperville’s DeEtta’s Bakery, back to defend its 2017 Judges Choice title, and Doughnut Vault, 2017’s Crowd Favorite winner. Also competing for voters’ hearts and taste buds: Firecakes, Stan’s Donuts, Glazed and Infused, Gurnee Donuts, West Town Bakery, Roeser’s Bakery, Ipsento Coffee, Longman & Eagle, D&D’s Place and GBD Cakes.
Tickets are $50 for early-bird VIP access, 8 to 10 a.m., or $35 for general admission to one of two later sessions. Admission includes a goodie bag, three coffee tickets — nothing like a caffeine jolt to counteract a food coma — and, for VIPs only, a Donut Fest mug. Purchase online at donutfest.com.
Resistance is futile.