Oktoberfest Revolution!

First of all, let me offer an apology. I am usually much better about posting event write-ups in a timely fashion. I will save you the gory details but I’m pretty sure the Bubonic Plague (aka ‘Black Death’) resurfaced in Chicago and I, somehow, contracted this disease. But before I succumbed to this mostly eradicated ailment, I attended the Revolution Brewing Oktoberfest celebration at the Kedzie Avenue production facility. If I was going to attend one party before I died a tragic death due to complications from a 16th Century malady, this would be it. Revolution’s Grand Opening party at the conclusion of Chicago Craft Beer Week was a soirée of epic proportions and Oktoberfest, while slightly more subdued, lived up to Revolution’s event expectations.

The hubby and I arrived exactly on time at 3pm which, in hindsight, may not have been the best idea; this was a five hour event after all. (That involved a stein that contained a liter of beer. I believe the hubby stopped count at 4 liters. That’s a lot of beer.) But remembering the fun that was had at the Grand Opening party, I did not want to miss a second of this. As you enter the cavernous brewery, you approach the tap room where rows upon rows of dimpled steins emblazoned with the Oktoberfest Revolution logo lay waiting for party goers to claim them. Each stein contained two tickets, good for a full pour (aka one liter) of Oktoberfest. And let me tell you, the glass alone was pretty heavy but add a liter of their crisp and malty marzen? Let’s just say that I felt like I was lifting weights. Maybe if I incorporated beer into my workouts it would motivate me to hit the gym more often.

My Illinois Craft Brewers Guild family! Kim Leshinski, Justin Maynard, and me, struggling to lift the stein! Check out my biceps!

In addition to their Oktoberfest, Revolution was pouring many other favorites. In their tap room you could get a half or a full pour of pretty much any of their staple or seasonal brews, and there were beer stands situated throughout the brewery serving Anti Hero, Oktoberfest, and Cross of Gold. To add some sustenance to the many liters of beer being guzzled, Revolution offered German-themed food such as house-made bratwurst and their delectable soft pretzels. And the Polkaholics got everyone in the room doing the chicken dance (and wishing owner Josh Deth a happy birthday).

But wait! There’s more! A section of the brewery was converted into a mini-carnival with games to test strength and agility while raising money for charity. The biggest draw was the dunk tank where brewers and brewery workers volunteered their time and dignity to take their chances with a vat of a half water/half beer cocktail. I was not going to participate in attempting to hit the small target; I was perfectly happy being a spectator. But Gary Valentine was buying rounds for the chance to dunk Haymarket Brewing’s David Kerns and I couldn’t pass that up. While my first throw was no where near the mark, I totally dunked him on my second try! It was an oddly satisfying feeling. Not that I have a particular percolating hatred for Mr. Kerns; quite the contrary. But I guess it is a form of sadistic schadenfreude (an appropriately German word for Oktoberfest!) where you actually cause the discomfort someone else is feeling, and then also take pleasure in it. Awesome!

A pre-dunk tank Justin Bieber, er, I mean David Kerns

As is the case with most of these beer festivals, the best part is the people. We are all busy but these events offer an opportunity for me to hang out with some of my very favorite people that I do not get to see as often as I would like. These festivals are like a homecoming party of sorts where we all come together for the enjoyment and appreciation of beer. Wow. That was really mushy. I think I am still emotional from the plague; I better stop while I’m ahead. But do yourself a favor: whenever you see that Revolution is having a party, do not hesitate to purchase tickets. In addition to their tasty beer, their events are going to really put them on the map.

Revolution Brewing’s Brewmaster Jim Cibak

For more great pics of this party, check out Christopher Murphy’s photostream!

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