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Will You Get Enough Beer at the Chicago Beer Festival?

Someone just had to go and get the Illinois Liquor Board involved.

Photograph: Bill Hogan/Chicago Tribune

Lagunitas will be available at this year’s festival—but not in unlimited quantities.  

The Chicago Beer Festival, a yearly beer sampling event where people pay a flat rate for unlimited drinks for three hours, was all set for its third annual outing (March 30, Union Station), until someone went and told on them.

According to the fest’s Facebook page, the Illinois Liquor Board was tipped off that the event offered unlimited beers for a fixed set of time. Most likely this is in violation of the state’s Happy Hour Law, which prohibits “serving an unlimited number of drinks during a set period of time for a fixed price (the exception is for private functions not open to the public).”

The tipster, aligned with a competing beer festival at Soldier Field, was upset that they couldn’t also have unlimited drinks at their event. The Board forced the Chicago Beer Fest to change its policy.

So instead of a $40 ticket for unlimited beers, attendees now pay for the $40 ticket and get 20 vouchers, or about five 12-ounce beers. Additional vouchers are available for purchase at the event. (Still, that’s five beers in three hours—really, how much more beer do you need?)

Needless to say, some people are not happy about the change (just read the comments on that Facebook post). Maybe it’s time the state revisits the Happy Hour law?

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