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Food & Drink

Berwyn Brew Fest to feature more than 60 breweries

Elena Suarez and Matt Kmiec talk about beer with a volunteer during a past Berwyn Brew Fest.
Elena Suarez and Matt Kmiec talk about beer with a volunteer during a past Berwyn Brew Fest.

BERWYN – There aren’t too many opportunities for Berwyn residents to try craft beer from across the country, but on Oct. 13, they can head to Proksa Park between 1 and 5 p.m. for the chance to taste a variety of unique beer from more than 60 U.S. breweries at the fifth annual Berwyn Brew Fest.

Tickets are $30, which includes a punch card for 10 tastings and a souvenir glass. The event is only for those 21 and older.

More than 1,000 people attended the event last year, and Zak Kerby, recreation and events manager at the Berwyn Park District, said he’s hoping for an even bigger turnout this year.

“The interest in craft beer seems to be increasing,” he said. “[Brew Fest] attracts people who are interested in craft beer, and it’s a great opportunity for people to try new beers. There is a great selection of beer, and the park is a beautiful setting. It’s a great fall event.”

Guests can taste a wide variety of beer styles, including IPAs, pilsners, ciders, ales and more. Kerby said some of the breweries are bringing “exotic” flavors like peach, blueberry and sour apple ales.

“There will be something for every taste, and some things that most people haven’t heard of,” he said. “It will be a great drinking experience.”

In addition to breweries from states as far away as California and New York, several local establishments also will be represented, including Berwyn’s Flapjack Brewery, Oak Park Brewing Co. and BuckleDown Brewing in Lyons. At least half of the breweries at the event will be from Illinois.

Sean Mahoney, co-owner of BuckleDown Brewing, said he enjoys participating in Berwyn Brew Fest because a lot of the brewery’s customers come from Berwyn, and he likes mingling with them at beer festivals. BuckleDown will be serving its best-selling Belt and Suspenders IPA and its new beer, Release the Haze, which is a New England-style IPA that’s becoming very popular, he said.

“We like to do a lot of craft beer events because we want to get our beer to as many people as possible,” Mahoney said. “We want to support our friends and customers in Berwyn. We’re not a big company, so giving back and connecting with the community is important.”

Chicago-area bands Rev. Bob’s Rockin’ Blues Band, Sails and Caliente Old School will provide live entertainment, and local vendors will serve street tacos, burgers, hot dogs and more.


If you go

WHAT: Berwyn Brew Fest

WHEN: 1 and 5 p.m. Oct. 13

WHERE: Proksa Park, 3001 Wisconsin Ave., Berwyn

COST: $30 in advance, $35 at gate


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