Itasca officials hope hundreds of golf fans will head their town to, quite literally, toast the Ryder Cup on Sept. 28.
The village will host the Itasca International Craft Beer Tasting from 6 to 9 p.m. that night at the Holiday Inn of Itasca, 860 W. Irving Park Road. The event will be hosted by Itasca, Windy City Distributors, Town and Country Distributors, and will feature roughly 75 brews to raise money for two Itasca charities.
Organizers timed the event to coincide with the international Ryder Cup golf tournament, which is coming to the Medinah Country Club Sept. 25-30. The event is expected to attract roughly 45,000 spectators per day.
The beer tasting is also timed to celebrate two new breweries preparing to set up shop in Itasca: Church Street Brewing Company and the Itasca Brewing Company Inc. Itasca officials voted to approve permits for both businesses this summer.
Village Administrator Evan Teich said Church Street Brewing Company will soon open at 1480 Industrial Drive, Unit C., and will brew beer right in town. The company will not have a complimentary restaurant or bar, but will distribute to other eateries throughout the suburbs.
"It's manufacturing and it's a small startup business that will grow, and that's always appealing to municipalities," Teich said.
Itasca Brewing Company is setting up its corporate offices at 100 S. Walnut. St. and currently brews its beer in Arlington Heights. Teich said company officials hope to both distribute their beer regionally and to open an accompanying retail location in Itasca, but scouting a proper location takes time.
"The rules and regulations with the DuPage County Health Department. have a lot of requirements, so it is difficult to establish yourself and they are looking," Teich said.
But both companies will join roughly 20 other breweries on Sept. 28 to let aficionados test out their latest blends, many which are not yet sold in stores or bars.
"This is a chance to try so many styles all in one space," Tiech said. "It would take you all summer to find the places that each of these beers are at, so it's a good opportunity."
Because of the Ryder Cup, Itasca officials said they expect a sold-out crowd. The village's 1,100 hotel rooms are booked for the event, as are several hotels in other suburbs near Medinah Country Club. In addition, Itasca's annual Benches on Parade fine arts festival comes to downtown Itasca Sept. 29-30. The annual, juried event attracts artists from around the country and features their work for sale, along with tastings from several local wineries.
But to keep the event intimate, tickets are limited to 350 people. Teich said they want visitors to be able to talk with brewery representatives about food parings, recipes and ask questions.
Tickets cost $35 in advance, $40 at the door if they are not sold-out beforehand, and are available at itasca.com/beer. Designated drivers are free. Proceeds will benefit Itasca's walk-in ministry, which offers financial help to residents and local business employees in need, as well as the Itasca Food Pantry.
All participants must be age 21 and IDs will be required at the door. More details about brewers who will attend, visit itasca.com/beer.