Craft beers take center stage at weekend festival
By Tina Akouris firstname.lastname@example.org August 22, 2013 10:36PM
A view of the stage at the 2012 Midwest Brewers Fest | Supplied photo
Dave Stoiber and Ken McMullen wouldn’t be offended if you called them “beer nerds.” In fact, they would probably take that as a compliment.
Stoiber and McMullen are putting the finishing touches on the third annual Midwest Brewers Fest set for Aug. 24 at the Plainfield Riverfront Park.
“It’s not just about drinking beer all day,” said McMullen, who is the president of the Midwest Brewers Fest and the brewmaster at the soon-to-be-open Hopvine Brewing Company in Aurora.
“We will have bands and games and we try to make this more interactive. We have relationships with these brewers and they will be there to talk about their beer.”
About 65 breweries and home-brew clubs will be at the fest. McMullen said the fest also will feature food trucks and a food tent.
All the beer featured will be craft beers, made by small independently owned commercial breweries that use traditional brewing methods.
But the MWBF means more than just craft beers and a place for beer aficionados to gather. The organization is a 501(c)3 charity and fest organizers will donate proceeds to Pints for Prostates and the Plainfield Riverfront Foundation.
Stoiber, a MWBF board member, said in 2012 the organization donated $25,000 to the Plainfield Riverfront Foundation and $5,000 to Pints for Prostates.
“The Plainfield Riverfront Foundation is trying to develop the (DuPage) riverfront as a recreational amenity,” Stoiber said. “They are trying to restore it. That area was hit by the tornado in 1990.”
Part of the MWBF also will be a celebration of a new law that Governor Pat Quinn enacted in July. Quinn signed into law a bill that allows homebrewers to share their homemade beer and enter homebrew competitions.
“This is the first time we will give samples of our own home brews to our patrons,” Stoiber said. “We got the first permit issued for this in Illinois.”
Another first is the inclusion of real ale, which is beer served from a cask. The beer is naturally carbonated, and a faucet is pounded into the cask so the beer can be poured by gravity and not from a tap.
“It is the traditional way to serve beer,” McMullen said.
McMullen said fest organizers will provide shuttle service this year from the Route 59 Metra stop in Aurora to the fest. McMullen said shuttle tickets can be purchased on the fest’s website www.midwestbrewersfest.org for $3.
VIP tickets for the fest are $100 but McMullen said those tickets are selling out quickly. General admission is $40 in advance and $50 at the door. VIP entry begins at noon and general admittance begins at 1 p.m. and the fest ends at 6. McMullen said the fest is for adults only 21 and over.
For more information about the fest, go to www.midwestbrewersfest.org or the organization’s Facebook fan page.