Inside Scoop: Miskatonic Craft Kitchen opens, Chicago’s renovated Ramova Theatre is home to a NY brewery, Westmont Winter Beer Fest, Lake County Craft Beer Festival and more
Miskatonic Brewing Company opens Miskatonic Craft Kitchen in Naperville
Just before Christmas, Darien-based Miskatonic Brewing Co. expanded to downtown Naperville, opening a taproom and craft kitchen that serves up “globally inspired and locally sourced dishes” with a focus on fresh, seasonal ingredients from Midwestern farms, house-made sausages and sharable plates. Plus, Miskatonic’s regular lineup of craft beers and some pretty creative cocktails.
What are we looking forward to most from chef Daniel Davis’ enticing new menu? Probably the Dutch war fries, consisting of Belgian-style frites with Indonesian peanut sauce, garlic mayo and fresh-cut white onion or the Nurnberger bratwurst with burnt apple mustard. The salt & pepper chicken wings with house fermented sweet chili sauce? Yep, those too.
Located at 7 E. Chicago Ave., Suite 120 in Naperville. MiskatonicBrewing.com
New York’s Other Half Brewing sets up shop in Chicago’s renovated Ramova Theatre home
The Ramova Theatre, a 1920s movie house in Chicago’s south side Bridgeport neighborhood — and sister theater to Lakeview’s Music Box Theatre — is in the finishing touches of a $23-30 million makeover that has transformed it into a major entertainment complex. Prior to this undertaking, the building had sat dormant for more than three decades.
The Ramova houses a 1,500-seat concert venue, restaurant, brewery and events venue, and live concerts are underway.
The popular Brooklyn-based Other Half Brewing, with additional facilities in Philadelphia and Washington, D.C., was the brewery of choice for developers. Other Half Ramova has a clean, modern look, and beer production is expected to cover the demand of the venue but not necessarily be made available for local distribution.
3518 S. Halsted. RamovaChicago.com
Westmont Winter Beer Fest Feb. 17
Head to west suburban Westmont for their 2024 Winter Beer Festival in Ty Warner Park, which will feature dozens of craft breweries from the Chicagoland area on Feb. 17 from 3-7 p.m. Participants will receive 20 four-ounce pours, and the event will have heated and lighted tents, bonfires, outdoor seating and food trucks. For tickets and more information, visit WestmontParks.org/BeerFest
Naperville Ale Fest – Winter Edition Feb. 24
A time-honored tradition, this is Illinois’ largest outdoor winter beer fest. Yes, it will be cold, but also filled with beer! This event will feature more than 150 craft beers – with a strong focus on beers only available in the winter months. Since most beer festivals take place in the summer, it’s rare to get a chance to try this many stouts, porters, barrel-aged beers, winter warmers and giant double IPAs all in one place. Located in Naperville’s Frontier Park (3380 Cedar Glade Dr.) from 12-4 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 24. Ticket info: NapervilleAleFest.com
Lake County Craft Beer Festival Feb. 24
Get ready to dive into fun at the ninth annual Lake County Craft Beer Fest. This year’s theme will be a beach bash, so embrace the spirit of summer and head to the Lake County Fairgrounds in north suburban Grayslake for an evening of sun, sand and a drink in your hand.
The event features local, regional and national breweries, distilleries and wineries sampling specialty and seasonal beers, plus music, food, games and entertainment (escape room, axe throwing, giant beer pong, corn hole, costume contest and more).
Discounted general admission online ticket sales end Wednesday, Feb. 21. VIP admission is $80 (with an added hour from 4-5 p.m.), and general admission is $50.
For ticket information, visit lcfairgrounds.com/craftbeerfest
Brewsology Brew Fest at the Museum of Science and Industry March 2
The Brewsology Beer Fest is the boozy hybrid of your middle school museum field trip. Taking over Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry after hours, the event will feature dozens of local craft breweries and cideries. Attendees will have access throughout the museum with beer samplings included with admission. Tickets range from $55 (general admission 8-11 p.m.) to $70 (early entry 7-11 p.m.) to $95 (VIP 6-11 p.m. and $30 in dining credit). For more information, visit Brewsology.com/Chicago
College of DuPage winter/spring beer classes
The College of DuPage, located in west suburban Glen Ellyn, is again offering a Business of Craft Beer program this winter and spring. This short-term career training program is entering its ninth year and offers professional courses, usually one evening per week for six weeks, that are taught by those working in the craft beer industry. Basic courses include:
* Inside Track to the Craft Beer Industry — Learn about the professions within the craft beer industry and the skills needed to be successful in different areas. Tuesday and Thursday, Jan. 23 to Feb. 15
* Beer Production — Learn about the production of beer, from material management, to brewing schedules, packaging product and managing product distribution. Tuesday, Feb. 20 to March 26
* Promoting Beer as a Brand Ambassador — Develop promotional skills and branding you can use in the taproom, at events and online. Thursday, Feb. 22 to March 28
* Front of House Beer Management — Learn essential skills for superior taproom service and management. Monday, April 1 to May 6
For more information about the Business of Craft Beer, visit COD.edu/craftbeer