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Food & Drink

Backyard Brew Fest highlights local breweries

Mark Hedrick, co-founder and head brewer at Alter Brewing Co. in Downers Grove, looks into one of the tanks at the brewery, which will host the first Backyard Brew Fest on May 19.
Mark Hedrick, co-founder and head brewer at Alter Brewing Co. in Downers Grove, looks into one of the tanks at the brewery, which will host the first Backyard Brew Fest on May 19.

DOWNERS GROVE – Alter Brewing Co. in Downers Grove will be the destination of choice May 19 for craft beer connoisseurs.

The brewery will host the first Backyard Brew Fest, a celebration of the many craft beers produced throughout the western suburbs.

The outdoor festival will feature brews and ciders crafted by breweries in DuPage and Will counties.

The event coincides with Illinois Craft Beer Week, which runs from May 18 to 25.

The festival will be from noon to 4 p.m. at Alter Brewing Co., 2300 Wisconsin Ave., Downers Grove. Tickets are $30 and include a commemorative glass and two half-pint pours. Additional beers are $3.

The Roaming Hog’s food truck will serve a variety of pork dishes, and Big Wang’s will be on hand serving Chinese street food. DJ Ali Bag from Baig of Tricks Entertainment will emcee the event and provide musical entertainment.

"There will be music, food and lots of beer," said Adam Hooczko, marketing manager for Alter Brewing Co. "Everybody loves a good fest."

The event is designed to highlight the burgeoning craft beer scene.

“Chicago has an amazing craft beer scene,” Hooczko said. “There are a lot of great breweries cropping up in the suburbs. We really want to highlight how great the beers are."

Proceeds from the event will be donated to Little Friends, a Naperville-based organization that serves children with autism and other developmental disabilities. The organization’s Bridge High School is next to Alter Brewing.

Alter Brewing hopes the fest becomes an annual event held at a different brewery each year.

"It is our hope that this festival will become a rotating annual affair and that each year a new brewery will pick up the torch and choose a cause or organization that is important to them," Hooczko said.

In addition to Alter Brewing Co., the following breweries will be on hand at the event:

• 2 Fools Cider

• Pollyanna Brewing Co.

• Lunar Brewing Co.

• Noon Whistle Brewing Co.

• Skeleton Key Brewery

• Solemn Oath Brewery

• Imperial Oak Brewing

• BuckleDown Brewing

• Miskatonic Brewing Co.

• Emmett's Brewing Co.

• Elmhurst Brewing Co.

• Werk Force Brewing Co.

• Two Brothers Artisan Brewing Co.

• Church Street Brewing Co.

• Midnight Pig Beer.

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If you go

WHAT: Backyard Brew Fest

WHEN: noon to 4 p.m. May 19

WHERE: Alter Brewing Co., 2300 Wisconsin Ave., Downers Grove

COST: $30

INFO: alterbrewing.com, 630-541-9558

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