Beer geeks flocked to the Aragon Ballroom (1106 W. Lawrence Ave.) over the weekend for the fifth annual Beer Hoptacular, and the most recent brewfest did not disappoint.
The event consisted of three separate sessions over October 10 and 11, allowing beer lovers three and a half hours to sample brews from more than 60 breweries. Illinois brands were extremely well-represented—we counted 36 local brews, including some from 5 Rabbit, Goose Island, Half Acre, and Lagunitas. This year's outing, though, also celebrated some other drinks, such as bourbon and cider (there was even a dedicated cider room serving up Angry Orchard and Magner's, among others).
Just like last year, the 30-sample-limit went basically unenforced—one bartender admitted to not even having a hole punch for the Hoptacular punch cards—which added to the party vibe by the end of Saturday night. Attendees played on the seesaw and tried their hand at Hammerschlagen, a bar game where you attempt to hammer a nail into a tree trunk (look it up; it's addicting).
Here's what else happened when we stopped by this weekend.