Suds will flow at Ale Fest in Wheatons Memorial Park
And to think, Wheaton used to be a dry town.
Craft brew lovers heading to the second annual Wheaton Ale Fest on Saturday are saying thank goodness that ban was lifted in the 1980s because more than 150 brews await their taste buds.
If you go
If you go
What: Wheaton Ale Fest
When: Noon to 4 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 4
Where: Memorial Park, 208 W. Union St., Wheaton
"The array of beer products is unique," said Curt Foreman, whose company, BrewFest Partners, produces the event. "And the fact that it's a formerly dry town compared to the others in the Western suburbs — from that perspective, that makes it unique."
The fest kicks off at noon and runs through 4 p.m. at Memorial Park, 208 W. Union St.
Sponsored by the Wheaton Park District and CASA DuPage, the event includes three-ounce pours of craft beers from more than 50 brewing companies, as well as food for purchase.
"It's incredible all the different people who come out," said Margie Wilhelmi, Wheaton Park District's director of marketing. "It's almost like a mini Taste of Wheaton, but with the focus on the ale."
Some of the brewers in attendance will include Argus, Dogfish Head, Arcadia Ales, Finch's Beer Company, Great Lakes Brewing Company, Firestone Walker, Big Muddy Brewing, Emmett's Tavern and Brewing Company, Central Waters, Magic Hat, Left Hand Brewing Company, Lake Front Brewing Company, Ska Brewing, Two Brothers Brewing Company, Woodchuck Draft Cider, Goose Island Beer Company, Blue Moon and Langunitas.
"They're primarily American craft beers, and there's local breweries represented as well," Foreman said. "Most will have a brewery rep who will have knowledge about the product."
Live entertainment includes performances by the Fresh Hops, as well as a New Orleans-style group, the Four Star Brass Band.
Organizers say they're excited for the shady, grassy change of location this year — after having it on the street last year — and think it will add to the atmosphere.
"It has more of a fest feel to it," Wilhelmi said. "We're hoping that bringing it into Memorial Park this year — that it kind of brings that whole piece together."
Tickets are $40, which includes unlimited taste-testing and a complimentary pilsner glass.
Guests can vote on their favorite Illinois craft beer. The winner receives the coveted All-Star Ale Award.
Taxis will be available following the event.
Tickets are required and can only be purchased in advance online at wheatonalefest.com.
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