Malort night at Paddy Long's and other food and drink events



Chicago is falling deeper into autumn and that can only mean one thing: decorative-gourd season. There are plenty of pumpkin-themed activities to pass the time at the Great Highwood Pumpkin Festival, including a pie-eating contest, an attempt at the world's longest line of pumpkin pies, and a 30-foot-high wall of jack-o'-lanterns. Vendors sell pumpkin-infused food and drink, and there's live music throughout the weekend. Thu-Fri 3-9 PM, Sat 9 AM-9 PM, rain date Sun 9 AM-9 PM, 17 Highwood, Highwood, admission free, food and drink additional.

At 2 Sparrows' first-ever classic-beer dinner, for fans of old-school brews, chef Greg Ellis serves up a four-course meal paired with Miller High Life, PBR, Old Style, and Guinness. Call 773-234-2320 to reserve. 7 PM, 2 Sparrows, 553 W. Diversey, $50.

The Drinking & Writing Theater invites lovers of literature and libation to its eighth annual Drinking & Writing Festival, which highlights the Beat Generation. The spotlight's on drinkers and writers like Kerouac and Ginsberg, with the 16th Street Theater performing pieces by Diane di Prima, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, et al. There will also be a tapping of Drinking & Writing Theater's tenth anniversary collaboration beer, Naked Lunch, named after the William S. Burroughs novel. Tickets are available here. Noon-6 PM, Haymarket Pub & Brewery, 737 W. Randolph, $30.

Paddy Long's hosts a Malort night in honor of Chicago's native wormwood liqueur. The theme is cheap beer, with cans of Hamms, Milwaukee's Best, Natural Ice, and more available in addition to the over 100 craft beers on Paddy Long's menu. There will be $3 shots of Jeppson's Malort, an emceed Malort slogan contest, and a flavor-description contest with T-shirts awarded to the winners. If you're feeling extra daring, ask the bartender to fix you up one of these Malort concoctions. A beer and bacon tasting, starting at 6 PM, precedes the event. 8 PM, Paddy Long's, 1028 W. Diversey.

Downtown Downers Grove hosts its inaugural Foodie Fest, a three-hour food tasting and historical walking tour. Food and drink samplings, special discounts at ten participating venues, and two walking-tour options are the highlights of this epicurean festival. Register here. 1-4 PM, 831 Maple, Downers Grove, $20.

Sunday21's annual fund-raiser, the Autumn Harvest Supper, celebrates the farmers who provide our food and the chefs who prepare it. Spiaggia's Sarah Grueneberg (a Top Chef alum) and Chris Marchino prepare dishes to highlight locally grown seasonal produce from participating farms, including Becker Lane Organics and Heritage Prairie Farm. Buy tickets here. 3-6 PM, Heritage Prairie Farm, 2N308 Brundige, Elburn, $175, VIP $225, round-trip transportation included with both.

At the fifth annual Chef Battle Royale, part of WBEZ's Off-Air series, six local chefs from various ethnic restaurants compete to create dishes that incorporating Goose Island's beers and fresh ingredients from Whole Foods. Get tickets here. 6:30-9:30 PM, Salvage One, 1840 W. Hubbard, $15.

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