While everyone is heading to the lakefront for the Air and Water Show this weekend, we encourage you to head the opposite direction on Saturday to check out the Oak Park Micro Brew & Food Review.
The event, in its fifth year, has a pretty solid lineup of craft brewers and local restaurants. And it pledges to be a “micro waste” event. We hit up the co-organizers, Seven Generations Ahead, to find out what makes this beer fest so environmentally friendly.
“The planning committee works diligently to make the Oak Park Microbrew Review a Zero Waste event,” according to Seven Generations’ Liz Alvarado. “Thought is put into everything that is needed to host this event, and efforts are made to reuse existing materials; source recycled content, recyclable, or compost-able new materials; and work to prevent any waste from ending in the landfill.”
And what does need to be thrown away will be disposed of properly. “We will be composting all of the food scraps, plates, napkins, and forks and recycling any paper. Attendees will help make Micro Brew a Zero Waste success by utilizing the many Resource Recovery stations to dispose of any unwanted items,” said Alvarado.
You can find the full list of breweries participating on the event page of Seven Generations website. For those who are easily overwhelmed, which is understandable considering there are some 50-plus breweries taking part, here’s our pocket guide (Note: We don’t have a list of what is being poured, but this should give you an idea of what each brewery has to offer).
- 5 Rabbit: We’ve sampled just about everything they’ve brewed and haven’t been disappointed by a single offering. Maybe you’ll get lucky and have a chance to sample their latest concoction; 5 Grass.
- Argus: California Steam, Holsteiner, Pegasus – you can’t go wrong with locally brewed Argus.
- Atlas: The once legendary, pre-prohibition brewery has been resurrected with beers ranging from a sessionable Golden Ale to a complex Smoked Porter and a double-digit ABV Double IPA.
- Baderbräu: Another blast from Chicago’s past, this brewery claims it kick-started the city’s craft beer revolution in the late 80′s. Try the pilsner that started it all.
- Begyle: Brewed in Ravenswood, just a stone’s throw away from the mayor’s house. We’ve sampled their American Blonde Ale and you should too. Trust us, You won’t be disappointed.
- Destihl: The flagship of downstate craft brewpubs. Their everyday offerings are stellar, but if they have anything sour get after it.
- Emmett’s: Keep your eyes peeled for their Victory Pale Ale; an underrated beer in a crowded style.
- Flossmoor Station: With temperatures expected in the low 70′s, it’s almost Pullman Brown weather. The brown ale, brewed with molasses, is a perfect precursor to fall.
- Goose Island: Expect the unexpected; Goose Island is usually good for an oddball, one-off beer or two at these fests.
- Half Acre: We have a man crush on their beer. All of it.
- Haymarket: We’ve enjoyed their Apricot Wheat in the past, if they have it and you’re looking for something on the lighter side, go for it.
- Hopothesis: Their IPA was recently introduced to the Chicago market. Get it while it’s fresh.
- Metropolitan: You’ll have to go to Munich to find a better brewed German lager; Flywheel, Krankshaft, Dynamo and Ironworks – drink up.
- Perennial: Out of St. Louis, this artisan brewery is taking Chicago by storm with its Belgian styles and sours.
- Revolution: We’re partial to the Anti-hero IPA and Eugene Porter; but frankly just about anything coming out of Rev Brew is a hit.
- Solemn Oath: The only thing better than the names (Khlöros, Oubliette, UltraHighFrequency and Kidnapped By Vikings) is the beer itself.
- Three Floyds: No explanation necessary. If Zombie Dust is being poured the back of the line will be somewhere around West Town.
- Tighthead: Their IPA was a showstopper for us at Beer Under Glass, the opening event to Chicago Craft Beer Week. That’s saying quite a bit considering the quality of beer being poured that night.
- Two Brothers: Speaking of; it’s quality across the board from Two Brothers. Their everyday offerings are staples and their one-offs set standards. Cane & Ebel, Northwind, Domaine DuPage and Hop Juice are among our favorites.
The Illinois Craft Brewers Guild is also behind the event and they have something pretty cool planned. There will be a special beer being poured that is part of the “Replicale” project. Essentially, a whole bunch of breweries taking part in Saturday’s Brew Fest brewed the same style of beer. You can bounce from tasting station to station tasting and try each breweries version. In doing so you can see what personal touches a particular brewer can put on one style of beer.
This year’s style is Belgian Abbey Single.
The Abbey Single is a lesser known Belgian style when compared to its higher alcohol content brothers, the Belgian Dubbel and Tripel.
Rate Beer loosely defines the style as:
“Belgian-style ales seldom fit neatly into classic beer styles, but this category represents those ales under 7% abv that do not fit other categories. Colour ranges from golden to deep amber, with the occasional example coming in darker. Body tends to be light to medium, with a wide range of hop and malt levels. Yeastiness and acidity may also be present.”
Did we also mention there will be food?
Local restaurants plating up dishes include:
- Barclay’s American Grille
- Gilbert’s Craft Sausages
- The Kinderhook Tap
- Khyber Pass
- Marion Street Cheese Market
- The Perfect Dinner
- Winberie’s Restaurant
Date: Saturday, August 18, 2012
Time: 3pm – 7pm
Location: Marion Street in Oak Park, IL between Lake Street and Pleasant Street
You can order tickets HERE and Seven Generations Ahead suggests you do so before the event.
They’re expecting a sellout so don’t want til you get to the gate.