You can bring your own pretzel necklace, but otherwise, you'll find everything you need on site to enjoy the afternoon at the Barrington Brew Fest, which is being held from 3 to 7 p.m. Saturday, July 8, in downtown Barrington.

Brew Fest is an exciting event for people looking for unique craft beers, said Sue Olafson, communications development director for the Barrington Area Council on Aging (BACOA), host of the event.

"Beer aficionados can taste from nearly 50 different breweries in one place, and that is why people love to come to this event," she said. Those who buy a sampling ticket will get a program with icons for 20 3-ounce samples, which will be marked out as the samples are poured. Samples will be poured only in the official Brew Fest tasting glass provided at the gate.

Gear up for an unforgettable craft beer experience from some of the best breweries, including:

• Blue Moon

• Crispin

• Emmett's

• Angry Orchard

• Penrose Brewing Company

• Revolution Brewing

• And many others

"Also, we're thrilled to have some really good food vendors this year such as Iron Horse Barbecue, this year's tent sponsor," Olafson said. Save your appetite for fabulous food from these food vendors:

• McGonigal's Pub

• Pinstripes

• Ruth's Chris Steak House

• Big Iron Horse

Get your tickets now!

General admission tickets $40, $50 at the gate. Includes sample glass, beer samples, music, free water and T-shirt (while supplies last).

VIP Tent tickets $80

Enjoy a variety of food for one price. Other VIP benefits:

• Early entry to the event at 2:15 p.m.

• Separate VIP seating area with private portable toilet

• T-shirt held at gate if you provide size

• Special sampling of more than 10 premium brews

• Special food offerings from Big Iron Horse Barbecue in VIP tent only

You are guaranteed a T-shirt:

• If you purchase your ticket in advance at McGonigal's Pub, 105 S. Cook St., Barrington.

• If you purchase a VIP ticket online at www.barringtonbrewfest.com.

Remaining T-shirts will be distributed at the gate on a first-come, first-served basis.

Know before you go

• Gate tickets are cash only.

• Only adults 21 and older invited.

• Valid state-issued ID required.

• Samples served only in official Brew Fest tasting glass.

• No smoking within the gated Brew Fest site.

• Water and soft drinks available.

• No outside beverages allowed.

• Event held rain or shine.

• Ticket sales are final.

"I think people come again and again because they know they will have a unique experience with all the craft beers out there today," Olafson said.

"There's an ease about the whole day where people can connect and engage while enjoying craft beer and good food. We're real excited about our event this year and want everyone to have a good time."

Fundraising efforts

Brew Fest is a major fundraising event for BACOA, which offers information and support for adults, families and caregivers on the journey to aging better. All proceeds will benefit the elderly with programs that include:

• Memory Café -- a socialization program for people with Alzheimer's and dementia and their caregivers.

• "A Day Out" -- respite program that provides care for people while their caregivers take a break.

• Meals with Wheels -- a hot food program for elderly unable to cook because of poor health or low income.

• Support and education groups for those struggling with everything from Alzheimer's to Parkinson's.

• Supportive services for family caregivers.

This story is sponsored by the Barrington Area Council on Aging.

For more information on the agency, visit www.bacoa.org.

For more information on Brew Fest, www.barringtonbrewfest.com.