The Illinois Craft Brewers Guild made the decision this year to rename Chicago Craft Beer Week into Illinois Craft Beer Week, inviting more of the state to participate in the deluge of beer marketing events that get extra attention in May. A mixed bag of unique event planning and copious "tap takeovers," the beer-celebrating week (actually a week this year) starts with Beer Under Glass (tradition) and ends with a tropical-themed Beer fest on the Chicago lakefront, reported Josh Noel this morning. On the positive side, this should give the Guild more ability to help breweries focus on a creative process for events. However, it also seems like the Guild is shifting focus to a broader, but thinner base of breweries, rather than elevating the non-Chicago market ones to their own, unique status. An Illinois Craft Beer Week, done well, could have potentially worked in addition to the Chicago-centric #CCBW. Still, will be interesting to see how this changes the rest of the lineup in terms of creativity, and how it might help expand access to the many breweries across Illinois.
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