The Illinois State Fair is officially in the books as is the wine lobby’s ten-day run as Illinois craft beer guides. Andrew and I popped into the Illinois Wine Experience tent at the fair last Thursday to check out the Illinois Grape Growers and Vintners Association’s setup, the selection and how the beer was presented.
We first reported, at the start of the fair, the IGGVA was adding about a dozen bottles of Illinois-brewed craft beer to its tent this year.
Overall, the beer was laid out well with distributor Marketplace Selections, out of Peoria, providing info cards for some of the beers.
The most popular was Metropolitan Brewing’s Krankshaft Kölsch. IGGVA President Bruce Morgenstern tells Guys Drinking Beer Krankshaft was the one beer they had to re-order — a couple of times.
The descriptions of the beers left a little to be desired though. As Andrew and I chatted with Morgenstern we overheard one volunteer describe Flossmoor Station’s Pullman Brown as a stout while another volunteer touted Destihl’s Hoperation Overload’s high ABV (10%), not for its robust hoppiness and rounded maltiness. However, Morgenstern did warn us when we spoke to him prior to the fair that people pouring the beer wouldn’t undergo extensive training on beer styles.
Prices were reasonable; $5 for a 12 oz can or bottle and $9 for a 22 oz bottle.
The addition of Illinois-brewed craft beer to the Illinois Wine Experience tent was done without input or involvement from the Illinois Craft Brewers Guild and Morgenstern wouldn’t commit to working with the Guild next year. He told Guys Drinking Beer he hoped the addition of craft beer would be a boon for the association. “We hope this opens up to better things to come,” said Morgenstern. He reiterated that last Thursday.