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posted: 6/14/2014 8:00 AM

Lake Zurich advisory board considers craft beer festival

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  • Lake Zurich officials are considering holding a craft beer festival in October.

      Lake Zurich officials are considering holding a craft beer festival in October.
    Scott Sanders | Staff Photographer, 2012


A craft beer festival could be on tap as another special event in Lake Zurich's portfolio to engage the community.

Details are to be determined, but the working plan being considered by the park and recreation advisory board is to hold the festival at Paulus Park over the Columbus Day weekend in October.

It would be the first craft beer festival held in Lake Zurich and is the only item listed for discussion at a special meeting of the advisory group at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the village hall, 70 E. Main St.

The staff recommendation is to approve the festival and forward the proposal to the village board.

A craft beer festival was among the ideas that surfaced in general discussion over ways to engage the community, said Bonnie Caputo, recreation manager for the village's parks and recreation department.

Caputo said events and activities like the farmers market, which opened for a second season Friday, and the Rock the Block party -- which drew about 5,000 to downtown Lake Zurich last September and will be back this year -- are "interest generators."

"Special events is a huge movement we're involved in," she said. "This (craft beer festival) came up as a wonderful addition to the repertoire."

In a memo to the advisory board, Caputo said the logistics of a craft beer festival initially were discussed with two organizations involved with festivals.

The conversation was continued with Special Events Management of Chicago, which is known for a number of productions, including the Puerto Rican and Wells Street art festivals in Chicago this weekend and the Des Plaines Summer Fling June 27 and 28.

The company's proposal for a Lake Zurich craft beer festival predicts it would do slightly better than break even -- with a projected income of $101,750 and expenses of about $98,879, including a $10,000 management fee.

Hank Zemola, CEO of the Special Events Management, said craft festivals are replacing traditional Oktoberfests in some places and give festivalgoers an opportunity to sample local brews they otherwise might not encounter.

A typical festival of this type could attract from 30 to 50 vendors, he added, with an admission fee of $30 to $45.

"It would give you a pretty big portfolio," he said.

Both the management firm and the advisory board think the revenue potential could grow with more sponsorships and a suggested ticket price of $40.

"The village is very supportive of expanding and diversifying special events for the Lake Zurich community," Kyle D. Kordell, management analyst and deputy village clerk, told the Daily Herald in an email.

"This is a great idea of the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board and we appreciate their volunteer efforts in coordinating such an event."

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