By Nate Johnson
While the continued rise of craft beer makes it feel like it’s always “craft beer week,” several Rockford establishments are celebrating American Craft Beer Week with a variety of special events toasting the local brewing scene.
Since 2006 the Brewers Association has taken a week every May to commemorate the art and tradition of craft brewing with the ever-growing community of beer aficionados.
In the wake of opening their Dockside Taproom, Rockford Brewing Company (RBC) will be holding a series of events for the occasion.
After kicking off the festivities with a special crowd-sourced beer from the Forest City Brewers Club on Monday and the brewery’s own barrel-aged vanilla porter on Tuesday, RBC will be holding an izakaya-inspired dinner in the Taproom to go with the release of their Japanese Lager tonight from 5-9 p.m.
Thursday night will feature a “brew and chew social” as the Brewery’s kitchen will present four snacks and two desserts for pairing for six of their house beers, as well as the unveiling of their very own bourbon barrel-aged black IPA.
Meanwhile on the Thursday, the Olympic Tavern will be welcoming Chicago’s Revolution Brewing for a tap takeover, as their Fist City, Wicked Fist, Café Deth and ChicaGo SmoKe will all make rare Rockford appearances.
More local breweries will be the focus for Rockford Brewing over the weekend as Friday and Saturday will feature such nearby favorites as Pig Minds, Generations, Church Street, Crystal Lake, Tighthead and the aforementioned Revolution in the Dockside. RBC will also be tapping a firkin of their Belgian strong ale aged with cranberries and dates.
Rockford Brewing will wrap up Craft Beer Week with the culmination of a week-long survey asking for customer input on a brand new beer. The week’s surveys will be reviewed and the selected recommendation will be brewed on Sunday with the brewery open for viewing of the brewing process and the house brewer will be available for a Q&A.
Old Chicago will be participating in CBW as well, offering a week-long special of a “Crafted Beer Burger” along with a pint of a craft beer for $12. As one might expect, Old Chicago will also offer a variety of special taps available over the course of the week.