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updated: 7/10/2013 1:51 PM

Naperville Ale Fest set for July 20

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Jane Donahue

Tap into a good time during the Naperville Ale Fest, set for July 20 on the grounds of Naper Settlement. The one-day event will feature food, live music and more than 180 different beers from some of America's finest craft breweries.

"Whether you are brand new to craft beer or you are a seasoned veteran - a craft beer geek -- there is something for everyone at Naperville Ale Fest," said Seago, a craft beer aficionado. "Festival participants will have the opportunity to sample beers in a very efficient way -- to develop and fine-tune their palate - and find those beers they really enjoy."

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It's the inaugural craft beer festival for Lou Dog Events, a Naperville festival production and management company founded by Mike Peters, Judy Phillip and Josh Seago.

Along with serving up more than 180 craft beers -- many one-of-a-kind brews - the festival coordinators plan to serve the community as well. A portion of festival proceeds will be donated to Naper Settlement and Naperville Heritage Society.

"One of the things that we agreed upon when we founded Lou Dog Events was that any event we do will have a 'giving back' component to it," said Phillip. "We are very clear about that; it is part of our mission."

Donna DeFalco of Naper Settlement said they are excited to host the festival.

"We are very grateful that a portion of the proceeds from Ale Fest will benefit the Naperville Heritage Society, which administers Naper Settlement," said DeFalco. "There is a huge interest in craft beer and this event is a great way to introduce people to Naper Settlement while they're enjoying the festivities."

For the three entrepreneurs, it was important not only to showcase the finest craft beers from around the country but to give back to the community where they live and work. From the monetary donation to Naperville Heritage Society to the food vendors to the live music, it was important to keep it local.

The Walk-ins and Tres Moustache will perform throughout the afternoon, and Belgio's, Braconi's, Cross Town, Heaven on Seven, Pinstripes, OMango, Shinto, Sullivan's, Tom & Eddie's and Wurst Kitchen will offer a variety of food options for attendees.

"Along with the ability to sample a variety of craft beers, we really focused on the food - local food options -- that complement the beers," said Peters. "We hope that after the fest, people will go downtown Naperville and partake in the local establishments."

Seago agreed.

"It's all part of our social entrepreneurship model," said Seago. "We are really trying to drive commerce into the Naperville area. We were very intentional in choosing the hours for the festival, and hope that all of our guests go into Naperville and spend the rest of the evening there."

For more information, visit www.NapervilleAleFest.com

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