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Win two VIP tickets to the Chef & Brew Festival (WINNER UPDATE)

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UPDATE:

We have a winner of our Chef & Brew Festival contest, in which we asked Cafe Society readers to answer this question: How many gallons of Tunnel of Trees IPA did TRVE brew during the month of October? Congrats to PerfectlyFlawed, whose guessed 150 gallons. The actual number is 170. PerfectlyFlawed, we'll send you an e-mail with info about how to claim your prize.

Original post: Last year's inaugural Chef & Brew Festival was a smash hit -- so smashing, in fact, that it sold out ten times over, which was a boon for the organizers but not so much for thirsty beer geeks, most of whom could walk a perfectly straight line out the door of the Oriental Theater, their sobriety -- and hunger pains -- very much in tact, thanks to the frustration of long lines and way, way too many bodies fighting for elbow room in a much-too-tiny space.

But Mike Burns and Michael Long, the founders of Chef & Brew, a craft beer bonanza that pairs locals suds from the state's best breweries with appetizers created by equally lauded local chefs, learned from last year's mistakes, and this year, the craft beer festival will untap at EXDO Event Center, a 22,000-square-foot venue that's much more conducive to huge crowds. "This year's event features an all-star line-up and a larger venue with plenty of room to enjoy and truly examine each of the beer-and-food pairings," promises Burns.

See also: Photos: Chef & Brew 2012 crowns food and beer winners

Eighteen craft breweries, including Crooked Stave, Strange Brewing, Funkwerks, Caution Brewing Company, TRiNiTY Brewing, Elevation Beer Company, TRVE Brewing, Renegade and River North Brewery will each collaborate with an individual chef -- Elise Wiggins (Panzano); Jensen Cummings (Slotted Spoon); Jorel Pierce (Euclid Hall); Mike Peshek (Lou's Food Bar); John Broening (Le Grand Bistro & Oyster Bar); Tom Coohill (Coohills); and John Little (Harman's Eat & Drink); and Jay Leandro (Pub 17), who won last year's battle, are all on the roster -- for the opportunity to win money and an engraved beer stein trophy.

"Our festival is here to prove that craft beer is the ultimate food-pairing partner, and unlike a lot of other festivals, our concept is all about the collaboration of chefs and brewers putting their best foot forward; the chefs make amazing dishes and the brewers pour their best beers, and they'll be working at the same table as a team," says Long, adding that a portion of the proceeds will benefit Project Angel Heart, a local nonprofit that cooks -- and delivers -- meals to those with life-threatening illnesses.

The festival begins at 7 p.m., and general admission tickets are $49 in advance and $59 at the door, while VIP tickets, which give attendees an extra hour (the doors will open to VIP ticket holders at 6 p.m.) to drink, eat and powwow with the chefs and brewers, run $59 in advance and $69 at the door, and can be purchased at www.chefnbrewfestival.com/tickets.html. Or...you can win two VIP tickets right here by answering this question: How many gallons of Tunnel of Trees IPA did TRVE brew during the month of October?

The person who comes the closest to the actual number without going over, will win. To enter, please submit your best guess, your name and a valid e-mail address (if you're already registered with MyVoiceNation, then we have your e-mail; if you're not, then we don't, and without an e-mail address, you can't win) in the comments section below.

We'll announce the winner on Tuesday, November 12, no later than 6 p.m.


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