Announcing: The Third Annual “South of 80”: A Celebration of Downstate Brewers

In Events by The Guys

It’s that time again.

In 2012, we got our feet wet with breweries like Six Row, Big Muddy and Bent River.

In 2013, we jumped in all the way with Destihl, Urban Chestnut and Scratch.

In 2014, we bring you our most interesting, fun, mixed-up crazy variety of breweries yet.

On May 20 at 7 p.m., in partnership with our friends at The Green Lady, we humbly invite you to help us celebrate the brewers of downstate Illinois and St. Louis at the Third Annual “South of 80.”

southof80posterWhen this whole thing started, it was simply a celebration of the homelands of Ryan and Andrew, the place away from Chicago that’s also known as “most of geographic Illinois.” It’s always been disparagingly known to Chicagoans like Karl as “South of 80.”

Since then it’s turned into a way to introduce beers and breweries to Chicago that hail from places like Ava, and Cantrall, and Moline. Places in our own state (and just across a river) that still never seem to get the same amount of respect or attention as places like Wisconsin and Michigan and Indiana.

This year, we’re revisiting some of our favorite breweries from the last couple years and introducing a few new ones your way. We’re biased, of course, but it’s one of our favorite Chicago Craft Beer Week events. We hope you agree.

Scheduled to appear at the Third Annual South of 80 event:

  • Urban Chestnut (St. Louis, MO)
  • DESTIHL (Normal, IL)
  • Triptych (Savoy, IL)
  • Little Egypt (Ava, IL)
  • 4 Hands (St. Louis, MO)
  • Rolling Meadows (Cantrall, IL)

We’ve taken a look at some of the stuff that’s headed our way for this one — if you have had beers from these guys before, you’re gonna want to see what they’re sending up. If you haven’t had the beers from these guys, wait til’ you see what they can do.

In the coming weeks, we’ll release the beers that’ll be on tap along with brief looks at each brewery to bring you up to speed. When you bring all your friends on May 20th, they’re going to ask, “What is the deal with these breweries that are all from South of I-80,” and you’re going to want to be able to answer, right?

The Green Lady opened in 2011 under the direction of Melani Domingues, former manager of one of New York City’s best craft beer bars, the Ginger Man. Inspired by the Scottish spirit that’s both protector and demon (depending on your perspective), TGL’s draft list is always among the best in the city featuring unique beers from around the Midwest and beyond. started in 2010 as a way for three friends to write about the beer they loved drinking, and since then has become a noted source for beer reviews, brewery news and advocacy for the issues in Chicago’s craft beer scene that they believe in. Since its start Guys Drinking Beer has earned praise from Chicago Magazine, the Huffington Post, and was recently recognized (for the second consecutive year) by Saveur Magazine as one of the country’s best beer or wine blogs.

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Written by many, compiled by one, this is a collaborative post with contributions from at least two writers at Guys Drinking Beer.