Updated February 8, 2017
Learn about spirits, for the spirit of learning
Find BYOB and beverage-related classes in Chicago.
Food and drinks aren't the only classes offered at the Chopping Block, which covers the gamut of culinary skills for the non-professional chef. Whether you're into meat, mudbugs or knife skills, the Chopping Block has an array of hands on and demonstration classes at its River North shop in the Merchandise Mart as well as its Lincoln Square workshop. Most classes are BYOB, and kid-friendly or corporate team building events are also an option.
Eataly Chicago has both food and beverage themed classes, including pasta making and wine exploration. Eataly isn't the only place you can take a cooking or wine class and then shop for groceries. Mariano's locations including, Bucktown and New City, hold sushi making classes, wine and paint nights, and other special events. Check with your Mariano's or their Eventbrite schedule.
Food and Cooking Classes
Baker and Nosh is not only a tasty cafe offering fine teas, La Colombe Coffee, and freshly squeezed juice drinks. Monday and Tuesday nights from 6-9pm they also host BYOB baking classes such as bread basics and croissant making - you may even use herbs from the garden for your recipes.
Arami is a great place to try different Japanese whiskies, as well as an option for sushi making classes in Chicago.
Bang Bang Pie and Biscuits hosts monthly BYOB pie-making classes.
Beverage Themed Classes
Naturally, retail stores want you to try (and then buy) new flavors and promotional items. A great place to learn about beverages may be at your local grocery or liquor store! For example, Binny's has free tastings every Saturday from 1-4pm at all locations. Binny's on Marcey Street in Lincoln park hosts a variety of beverage class types such as meet the brewer, wines from various regions, and presentations from spirit brands. Check out the full list of events by Binny's location here.
Going from basic beer drinker to beer geek isn't hard if you put your mind (and your mouth) to it. Chicago is full of breweries and beer-oriented bars and restaurants that offer beer classes to fine tune your palette. Map Room
Goose Island Clybourn hosts classes about once a month topics like Belgian beer styles or seasonal pairings. Speaking of Belgian beer, the Map Room has a great selection on tap. This Bucktown gem has been a staple in the Chicago craft beer and home brewing scene for years, and frequently hosts beer tastings and classes. Other beer school events include West Town's Paramount Room
Hollow Leg hosts cocktail classes, make your own bitters workshops, and other beverage-themed courses in Ukranian Village.
Aside from Bocce nights and fitness classes, Chicago Distilling Co. also holds cocktail classes. Koval Distillery can also teach you to make cocktails, but if you want to level-up, try their bartending classes or whiskey workshops. CH Distillery is also a great place to learn about cocktails and spirits whether it's on a tour or through a class - don't be surprised if you see CH hosting cocktail classes around town in collaboration with other cool places.
Bars specializing in craft cocktails like Billy Sunday also hold cocktail making classes.
Augusta Food and Wine is a great bottle shop offering wine tastings Thursdays from 6-8pm. Knife sharpening and wine-related classes are also on the calendar. Wine bar and restaurant Bin 36 can teach you about wine pairings, mixology and more during their ongoing events and classes. ENO Wine Bar calls their wine education series 'Enoversity.' The wine bar at Plum Market in Old Town has wine tastings and classes, which tend to be on Thursday nights.
Brew and Grow has locations throughout Chicagoland, most of which host homebrewing classes. You can also sample some of their homebrew concoctions while you learn (or shop).
Beef and Barley is a great place to watch sports or play Skeeball, and hosts home brewing classes for Chicago home brewers.
No one needs to teach you how to drink coffee, but understanding its origins, flavors and various brewing processes takes some serious studying. Chicago's coffee roasters and shops have plenty of coffee education opportunities. Perhaps the most well known roaster in Chicago, Intelligentsia offers educational tours of its roastery as well as barista training courses.
Counter Culture Coffee has a training center in West Loop that offers a variety of coffee classes, as well as free public coffee cuppings Friday mornings at 10am.
Wicker Park's Ipsento offers coffee classes, as does Cafe Integral and Asado Coffee Roasters. Hero Coffee Bar is dog friendly cafe that also offers brewing classes. Your fellow Chicagoans are also offering their coffee expertise through Dabble classes.
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