Home World 2024 Chicago suburban, northwest Indiana brew fests

2024 Chicago suburban, northwest Indiana brew fests


There’s nothing like a cold beer on a hot summer day and beer fests are a perfect way to try new varieties.

Grab your sunscreen, your pretzel necklace and any other accoutrements you might need and get ready to add some beer events to your summer bucket list.

We try our best to be inclusive and catch all the beer festivals but we may have missed a few. These fests go through August, just before the Oktoberfests begin.

Cheers to the summer of 2024.

Brew at the (Washington Park) Zoo: 5-8 p.m. June 1 at Washington Park Zoo, 115 Lakeshore Drive, Michigan City, Indiana. $20-$50. 219-873-1510; mczoosociety.org/events.

Presented by the Michigan City Zoological Society, this event includes an evening of brews, wine and hard ciders as well as full access to all exhibits within the zoo. This event is sold out.

Will County Beer and Bourbon Fest: 12-5 p.m. June 8 in the Hollywood Casino parking lot, 777 Hollywood Blvd., Joliet. $75-$125. 815-726-1880; habitatwill.org/events/beer-and-bourbon-fest-2024.

The third annual Will County Beer and Bourbon Fest brings together local breweries and the Joliet Bourbon Club to raise funds for the Will County Habitat for Humanity’s Veteran Build Programs. The fest will feature craft beer and bourbon samplings, food trucks, a VIP area and vendors.

Mundelein Craft Beer Festival: 1-5 p.m. June 8 at Courtland Commons Park, 444 E. Courtland St., Mundelein. $15-$55. 847-970-9235; facebook.com/MundeleinCraftBeerFestival.

Tickets to the 11th annual Mundelein Craft Beer Festival get you a souvenir tasting glass, unlimited samples from Illinois craft breweries, live music and food from local restaurant vendors.

Grayslake Craft Beer Festival: 1-5 p.m. June 15 at Grayslake Festival Park, 33 S. Whitney St., Grayslake. $45-$80. 847-223-6888; Grayslakebeerfest.com.

The festival seeks to celebrate the art of brewing with a lineup of more than 50 renowned breweries pouring more than 150 brews. All net proceeds from the Grayslake Craft Beer Festival will be dedicated to providing college scholarships for area students.

Solstice Hop and Vine Fest: 6-9 p.m. June 15 at Al Larson Prairie Center for the Arts, 201 Schaumburg Court, Schaumburg. $50-$60. 847-985-2115; schaumburgparkfoundation.org/event/solstice-hop-vine-fest.

A fundraiser for the Schaumburg Park Foundation, the event has an ′80s theme and will include live music from the ′80s party-cover band The Breakfast Club, plus an ′80s costume contest. Your admission gets you 20 tasting tickets to spend on an array of beer, wine and food options. Additional tasting tickets are available to purchase.

Hops for Hospice in Porter County: 12-4 p.m. June 22 at the Porter County Expo Center, 215 E. Division Road, Valparaiso, Indiana. $10-$50. 219-531-8078; dunelandchamber.org/events/calendar/2024-06-01.

Your ticket includes food along with unlimited beer, wine, cider and seltzer samples. There will also be a silent auction, raffles and live music from local favorites The Crawpuppies.

Downtown Wheaton Craft Crawl: 2-5 p.m. June 29 in downtown Wheaton. $35. 630-682-0633; downtownwheaton.com/events.

Ticketholders get 10 4-oz. samples of craft brews, a souvenir tasting glass and a map of tasting locations and what they’re serving. The Wheaton Dad Band will provide the music.

Brew at the (Randall Oaks) Zoo: 5:30-8 p.m. July 6 at the Randall Oaks Zoo, 1180 N. Randall Road, West Dundee. $15-$40. 847-551-4312; dtpd.org/brew-at-the-zoo.

All proceeds go towards the care and habitats of the zoo’s animals. At this fundraiser, ticket holders will enjoy live music, lawn games, food for purchase and the zoo’s animals at night.

Naperville Ale Fest: 2-6 p.m. July 13 at the Naper Settlement, 523 S. Webster St., Naperville. $60-$70. napervillealefest.com.

This long-running fest will feature more than 100 craft beers to sample as well as nosh from area food trucks, lawn games and live music. Tickets get you 18 3-ounce samples.

Look for the Christmas in July tent with craft Christmas ale, Cider Alley with hard ciders and the Milkshake IPA tent that features beers that taste like milkshakes.

Emmett’s BrewFest and Adult Big Wheel Race: 9:30 a.m.-11 p.m. July 20 at Emmett’s Brewing Company, 128 W. Main St., West Dundee. $40-$50. 847-428-4500; eventbrite.com; search for Emmett’s BrewFest & Adult Big Wheel Race.

The inaugural BrewFest will feature seven craft breweries, food, live music and a car show. The jewel in the event is the Adult Big Wheel Race at 3 p.m.

Highland Pints in the Park: 5-9 p.m. Aug. 10 at Wicker Memorial Park, 2215 Ridge Road, Highland, Indiana. $20-$50. 219-670-9902; pintsinthepark.net.

Several breweries will be on “tap,” along with food trucks and live music from Dick Diamond and the Dusters.

Brookfield ZooBrew: 12-5 p.m. Aug. 17 at Brookfield Zoo, South Gate entrance, 3300 Golf Road, Brookfield. Ticket information coming soon. 708-688-8000; brookfieldzoo.org/zoobrew.

Party like an animal … with animals. It’s your chance to sample from 80-plus varieties of ales, lagers, stouts, seltzers, ciders and hard lemonades while hanging out with the zoo’s animals. Tickets get you admission, parking and zoo admission.

The Oak Park Microbrew Review: 1-6 p.m. Aug. 17 at 201 S. East Ave., Oak Park. $55-$65. 708-660-9909; sevengenerationsahead.org/opmbr.

One of the longest-running beer festivals in the Chicago area returns for year 17 with beers, ciders and seltzers from more than 60 breweries. Food from area restaurants will be available for purchase.

The Oak Park Micro Brew Review is also the largest zero-waste craft beer fest in the Midwest.

Valparaiso Brewski Fest: 4:30-10:30 p.m. Aug. 23 at Central Park Plaza, 68 Lafayette St., Valparaiso, Indiana. $10-$25. Brewskifest.org.

The fourth annual festival celebrates the beers of yore and yesteryear with a retro theme. Dress like your dad — think old beer shirts and hats. Admission gets you four beers, access to food trucks and live music from The Crawpuppies and Dead to Rights.

Annie Alleman is a freelance reporter for the Beacon-News.

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