Get revved up for six days of coffee and beer-focused events surrounding the Uppers & Downers Coffee Beer Festival featuring tastings and hands-on tutorial sessions focusing on coffee, beer and cocktails. Events include a coffee cocktail competition between some of Chicago’s top bar talents.
TUESDAY, March 26, 6:30-9:30pm: Irish Coffee Cocktail Competition at Saint Lou’s Assembly benefiting Planned Parenthood (664 W. Lake St.)— This year, the event will charge a $10 dollar ticket fee and all proceeds will benefit Planned Parenthood. The cocktail competition sources the bar personalities from Chicago and beyond to present their interpretations of a classic Irish Coffee to see who takes home the crown of coffee cocktail king/queen. Competitors include:
Donavan Mitchem (MONEYGUN, Saint Lou’s Assembly)
Rob Boyd (Tack Room, Dusek’s, Punch House)
Koji Daremo (The Ruin Daily)
Greg Fleming (Larry’s)
TBA (Bebo Ergo Sum in Los Angeles)
and more participants to be announced!
COST: $10 tickets on sale now here (all profits benefit Planned Parenthood)
WEDNESDAY, March 27, 10am-2pm: Coffee Roaster Tours and Hands-on Tutorials – Presented by Oatly (Multiple Locations) — Starting at Good Beer Hunting’s brand new studio at 2130 W. Fulton St, join the team from Oatly, the oat milk brand that strives to provide nutritional liquid food designed for humans, to go behind the scenes at various Chicago’s coffee roasting and training facilities. Guests will be able to learn firsthand from roasters about why Chicago’s coffee scene is considered among the best in the world while sipping on tasty samples to keep your energy levels high during the guided walking tour.
COST: $20 tickets on sale now here
THURSDAY, March 28, 6pm: Decaf Party With Wild Fermentation, Wood-Aged and Other Special Beers From Participating Brewers (2840 W Armitage Ave.): Head to Middle Brow’s Bungalow and join a curated group of brewers as they take over taps offering a variety of specialty beers. Snack on some house-made pizza while you mingle with brewers from around the country.
COST: Free and open to the public
FRIDAY, March 29 , Doors 7pm, Dinner 8pm: Charity Collaborative Chef Beer Dinner at Tack Room (1227 W. 18th St) — Benefiting Green City Market, presented by social partner Vero, Uppers & Downers’ chef-driven, five-course beer dinner is back for a second year featuring Chicago culinary talents pairing dishes with a variety of beers. Chef participants and beer pairings include:
Andres Padilla (Frontera) + Cruz Blanca Brewery
Noah Sandoval (Oriole) + Hopewell Brewing
Mike Galen (Dusek’s Board & Beer) + Guinness Brewery
Mindy Segal (Mindy’s HotChocolate + Mindy’s HotChocolate Bakery at Revival Food Hall) + Middle Brow Brew Co.
Mike Simmons (Café Marie-Jeanne) + Rolling Meadows Farm Brewing
COST: $99 tickets on sale now here
SATURDAY, March 30, THE MAIN EVENT: Session one from 11am-3pm + Session two from 4-8pm: Uppers & Downers Festival of Coffee Beers at Thalia Hall (1807 S Allport St.)— 2019's Main Event is featuring case studies, special exhibits, one-off experimental coffee beer collabs, coffee cocktails, single-origin espresso and cold brews from experts from more than 20 breweries and coffee roasters. This year Uppers & Downers is expanding with lactic fermentation sensory, surprising cocktails, culinary experiments and more.
COST: $65 - $100 tickets on sale here
SUNDAY, March 31, 10 am-12:30 pm: Hangover Party at Cruz Blanca (904 W Randolph St.) — Join the Good Beer Hunting crew along with Stephen Morrissey for a post-fest party at Cruz Blanca featuring breakfast bites, cash bar and lunch for the people who aren’t quite ready for the fun to end. Look back and discuss the standout elements of the week as Uppers & Downers records a live podcast to close out the festival.
COST: $15 tickets on sale here