This weekend marks the official start of fall, but luckily the weather is set to be summery and the 312 Block Party will be in full swing! This Friday and Saturday, September 22nd (5:00pm – 10:00pm) and 23rd (3:00pm – 10:00pm), the area surrounding Goose Island’s Fulton St. taproom (1800 W Fulton St.) will be dominated by a crowd of beer aficionados looking to dine on some tasty food, hear some excellent music, and of course, drink some rare beers!
The fest centers on Goose Island’s wonderful lineup of beer, both old and new. They’ll have the majority of the yearly roundup available to drink, from their flagship 312 Urban Wheat to the Chicago-exclusive (and recently available in bottles) Old Man Grumpy. However, the true adventure lies in their Taproom offerings, where rare and utterly unique beers will be available. Ever wonder how 2012 Bourbon County Stout Cherry Rye has aged? Or maybe you want to try the 2011 Bourbon County Stout Blackberry now that you know it exists? There are over a dozen rare beers for you to try with the possibility of even more surprises.
While beer may be the main attraction for some, the 312 Block Party’s music lineup is always on point. In the past headliners have included legacy acts like the Breeders, perennial party makers Matt & Kim, local favorites Whitney, and many more. This year continues that winning streak of fantastic artists with the likes of DJ Prince Paul, Ted Leo and the Pharmacists, the superband Filthy Friends (featuring members of of R.E.M., Sleater Kinney and the Minus Five), the Record Company, and Animal Collective! There is also an unannounced special guest taking the spot that the incredible and legendary Charles Bradley relinquished to focus on his battle with liver cancer.
Beyond these amazing acts, there is a strong local presence on the lineup. You’ll get a chance to see just how diverse and interesting the Chicago music scene is with some reggae from the Drastics (featuring MC ZULU), Low Down Brass Band’s genre hopping sound, the fun surf rock of Ovef Ow, Malcolm London’s poetic flow, a little cumbia jam band madness from Dos Santos, the Sueves’ massive garage punk and curated jams under the hands of DJ Faithful Anchor. And let’s not forget Joey Purp, one of the founding members of Savemoney, who has been making waves with energetic performances and a lyrical style that is equal parts thoughtful and explosive.
In between all the beer and music there will be plenty of amazing food vendors dishing out their delicious offerings. Girl & the Goat, Beat Kitchen, Happy Lobster, Bub City BBQ, and Intelligentsia will be on hand to keep you full and energetic to the end of the night!
There are no advance tickets to the event; instead, they are keeping last year’s entry process of a $10 suggested donation at the gates. The donations will benefit some great charities including Social Works, RefugeeOne, Mission Muscle Foundation, Open Books, and Chicago Canine Rescue. I highly recommend you make it early as the 312 Block Party tends to reach capacity well before the headliners hit the stage! And remember: this event is intended for human adults ages 21+, so dogs and children are not encouraged.