Cellarman Steve Hamburg's Living Ales Journey

For the past three decades, Steve Hamburg has embraced the untold depths of beer culture. From an eye-opening experience of real ale in Europe in 1987, to becoming the Cellarman of the Chicago Beer Society’s Day of the Living Ales, Hamburg has dedicated his life to pursue the world of brewing. After visiting the UK over 40 times, Hamburg co-founded the Chicago’s Real Ale Festival in 1996, a life-changing event that has become an iconic celebration of good beer. Discover the life of Steve Hamburg and his inspiring story of passion and commitment for exceptional beer, at the Chicago Beer Society’s Day of the Living Ales.

For many of us, beer is simply a beverage — a cold, refreshing treat to enjoy when friends and family get together, or a way to wash down a delicious meal. But for Steve Hamburg, it’s a way of life. As the Cellarman of the Chicago Beer Society’s Day of the Living Ales, Steve’s dedication to beer has been driving this popular event for over 20 years.

A Passion For Beer

What started with a taste of real ale on a 1987 trip to Europe drew Steve Hamburg back to the UK over 40 times, and led him to co-found Chicago’s Real Ale Festival in 1996. An appreciation for the craft of brewing and a commitment to educating others about beer, have earned Steve a reputation as a knowledgeable expert and he is now the Cellarman of the Chicago Beer Society’s Day of the Living Ales.

Steve Hamburg & The Chicago Beer Society

The Chicago Beer Society was founded in 1990 and is one of the oldest beer enthusiast organizations in the United States. Dedicated to developing an understanding and appreciation for beer, the Society hosts educational events, tastings and dinners each month, as well as its annual event, The Day of the Living Ales. According to their website, “the Day of the Living Ales is an open invitation to all beer drinkers, old and young, curious and passionate, to celebrate the many facets of beer crafting.” Steve has been instrumental in co-founding and running the Day of the Living Ales, a day where attendees can sample, discuss, share and learn about all types of beer, for over 19 years.

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Brewers Invitational & The Rare Beer Garden

The Day of the Living Ales offers many opportunities for beer enthusiasts, including the Brewer’s Invitational. At this event held every year, more than one hundred brewers from all over the world come to demonstrate their work. Attendees can sample rare beers from small brewers and larger, more established breweries, as well as some experimental beers.

The Rare Beer Garden is another highlight of the event and features extremely limited releases from some of the best craft and imported brewers. These rare beers are snapped up quickly and disappear almost as soon as they are opened. In addition to these beers, attendees will have the opportunity to purchase bottles of limited release and rare beers from attending breweries to enjoy at home.

Steve’s Goals as Cellarman

As Cellarman of the Day of the Living Ales, Steve is responsible for coordinating the selection of beers served at the event and making sure they are of the highest quality. He also serves as a knowledgeable representative and mentor to the many brewers who attend the event each year. His goal is to continue to provide an enjoyable and educational beer experience for attendees and spread the love of craft beer in the Chicago area.

What to Expect at The Day of The Living Ales

The Day of the Living Ales is open to anyone who wishes to attend, regardless of their level of beer expertise. Experienced brewers and beer tasting novices alike will find something to enjoy at the event. Attendees can expect to sample beers from all over the world, listen to knowledgeable panel discussions on beer-related topics, participate in beer-themed activities and games, and meet the brewers who create beers they love.

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Supporting Local Brewing Community

At the Day of the Living Ales, attendees won’t just get to sample unique beers from around the world, they will also have the chance to support the local brewing community. Steve has been instrumental in encouraging brewers in the Chicago area to find their own unique styles and to experiment with beer recipes and ingredients. This unwavering support of local brewers has been instrumental in fostering an appreciation for craft beer in the city of Chicago.

Enjoying the Fruits of Steve’s Labor

At the Day of the Living Ales, you can expect to experience first-hand the fruits of Steve Hamburg’s tireless efforts over the past two decades. Whether you’re a craft beer enthusiast or just curious about the world of beer, you’ll find something to enjoy at The Day of the Living Ales. With over 19 years of experience providing beer fans with a knowledgeable, educational and enjoyable beer-tasting experience, The Day of the Living Ales is the premier event of its kind in the Midwest.


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