Wheaton Ale Fest boasts local brewers
Wheaton Ale Fest is Aug. 4 this year, featuring food, beer and music. | Courtesy of Wheaton Ale Fest
Memorial Park, 208 W. Union Ave., Wheaton
Noon-4 p.m. Aug. 4
$40; $15 for designated drivers
(630) 665-4710 or wheatonalefest.com
Updated: July 31, 2012 9:25PM
Somehow it seems appropriate that one of the bands performing is named Fresh Hops.
The Northwest Indiana band is one of two that will entertain during the Wheaton Ale Fest, which takes place from noon to 4 p.m. Aug. 4 in Wheaton’s Memorial Park, 208 W. Union Ave.
Billed by organizer Brewfest Partners as “a celebration of the great craft beer and the cool people who enjoy it,” Wheaton Ale Fest features nearly 50 vendors — most of which are local and regional brewers — offering approximately 125 styles of beer.
“Craft beer has really become popular and trendy in the last couple of years. We’ve seen that at Arrowhead (Golf Club),” said Margie Wilhelmi, director of marketing for the Wheaton Park District. “We know the popularity and interest existed not only in Wheaton, but in the surrounding communities.”
Among the varieties beer enthusiasts can sample are Avery Karma Ale, Lagunitas India Pale Ale, Metropolitan Flywheel Bright Lager, Two Brothers Cane and Ebel Rye Ale, Finch’s Golden Wing Blonde Ale and Sixpoint Righteous Ale.
“Each vendor will typically bring about six varieties,” Wilhelmi said. “We’ll have a lot to offer.”
Guests of Wheaton Ale Fest will be able to vote for their favorite Illinois craft beer, and the winner will receive the Illinois All-Star Ale Award.
Along with the music of Fresh Hops, guests can enjoy the strolling Four Star Brass Band throughout the afternoon. Food will be available from vendors Steakwich, Windy City Paella, Gilbert’s Craft Sausage, The Bank Restaurant and Genghis Grill. Other vendors include Brew & Grow, which will offer information about home brewing.
Wheaton Ale Fest is hosted by the Wheaton Park District, along with Court Appointed Special Advocates of DuPage. Proceeds benefit CASA of DuPage, a nonprofit organization that trains volunteer citizen advocates to speak to the best interests of abused, neglected and dependent children in DuPage County’s juvenile court system.
Tickets to Ale Fest cost $40, which includes a sampling pint glass and unlimited sampling. Those opting not to imbibe can purchase a “Designated Driver” ticket for $15. The Designated Driver ticket includes pop or water, and at the end of the event the driver receives a sampling pint glass to take home.
“They can still take part in the event because there’s something to do even if you’re not the craft beer enthusiast,” Wilhelmi said.
All guests, no matter which ticket type is purchased, must be 21 or older to attend. Tickets to Ale Fest are available online at wheatonalefest.com. As of press time, approximately 1,200 tickets have been sold, Wilhelmi said. “We’re expecting more than 2,000 by the time the event takes place,” she said.
In addition, close to 100 Designated Driver tickets have been sold so far. VIP tickets, which are limited to 250 attendees, have already sold out.
This year marks the second for Wheaton Ale Fest, with last year’s inaugural fest selling out to about 1,200 attendees.
“Based on last year, it definitely proved to us there’s an interest in bringing that type of event to Wheaton,” Wilhelmi said.