Craft Beer Festivals in and Around Lake County {2016}

Good things are brewing in the Lake County area for beer lovers.  Since the number of local breweries  in the area are growing, so are the number of beer festivals.   Whether you like ales, lagers, or something more experimental–these festivals will have a taste of something that you will like.

We’ve rounded up a list of the upcoming local beer festivals where you can get your drink on in the area.  We suggest you get a babysitter, a designated driver, and make it a date night.

Craft Beer Festivals in Lake County

4th Annual Grayslake Craft Beer Festival
Grayslake Craft Beer FestivalSaturday, June 4th, 
1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. (VIP entry at 12:00 p.m.)
Downtown Grayslake, 33 South Whitney St., Grayslake
$35 regular admission pre-ordered/ $45 regular admission day of festival / $65 VIP admisison/ $10 Designated Driver. Order Tickets online. 

The Grayslake Craft Beer Festival is a celebration of art of brewing and local fundraising event.  There will be over 250 brews from more than 80 different breweries. Admission includes beer samples, live music, and a commemorative glass. All of the net proceeds of the Grayslake Craft Beer Festival will be used for college scholarships for deserving students.  Note that for the previous years, the event has sold out and there were no door sales.


5th Annual Mundelein Craft Beer Festival
Mundelein Craft Beer FestSaturday June 4th 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Mundelein Village Hall, 300 Plaza Circle, Mundelein
$43.19 regular admission /  $45 admission day of event / $16.82 designated driver admission. Order tickets online.

This festival includes 30 world-class breweries from Illinois and the Midwest, including Mundelein’s own Tighthead Brewery. Tickets provide admission, 3 oz. samples of beer, and a souvenir cup. There will be live music from Bellwether Blues Band and Samadhi Vibe. Food will be available for purchase from local restaurants and food trucks.  Last year all of the tickets sold out in advance, so it would be in your best interest to purchase ahead of time.


PrintBrew to Be Wild
Friday, June 17th & Saturday, June 18th. 6:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m. (VIP entry at 5:00 p.m.)

Lincoln Park Zoo, 2001 N. Clark Street, Chicago
$49 general admission / $89 VIP admission / $20 designated driver
Buy tickets online.

Tap your inner animal—and savor some great craft beers—at the second annual “Brew to Be Wild” tasting event. Adults can enjoy a selection from more than 75 specialty brews from 35-plus local and regional breweries, alongside animal encounters and other fun, after-hours activities. Admission includes 20, 3 oz. samples of beer, and a commemorative glass. Beyond the tasting stations along the zoo’s winding paths, this ticketed event will feature lawn games, DJ beats and tasty food for purchase. A limited number of VIP tickets will include exclusive beer tastings, snacks, and access to a private lounge and restrooms.


barrington brew festBarrington Brew Festival
Saturday July 9th, 3:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. (open at 2:15 p.m. for VIP)

Downtown Barrington, next to the Metra station
$40 general pre-paid admission / $50 admission day of event / $80 VIP admission / $20 designated driver admission. Order tickets online.

This event supports the Barrington Area Council on Aging. Admission includes a souvenir glass, t-shirt (limited availability) and 20 tickets for 3 oz. drink samples. VIP ticket perks include early entrance at 2:30 p.m., a special seating area, appetizers and a food vendor coupon. Additional sample tickets will be available for $0.50 cents each (cash only).


long groveLong Grove Craft Beer & BBQ Days
Friday July 22nd & Saturday July 23rd, 5:00 – 8:00 p.m.
Downtown Historic Long Grove, 308 Old McHenry Rd., Long Grove
Friday Tickets: $25 presale before 6/30 , $30 presale before 7/15, $35 after 7/15 and at door  – F include all you can eat BBQ on Friday, Beer sold separately.
Saturday Admission Tickets: $35 (VIP $60) presale before 6/30,  $40 (VIP $65) presale before 7/15 , $45 (VIP $70) after 7/15 and at door.
Standard Tickets: $45 and includes Custom Long Grove 5 oz. glass, Entry access from 12:00  p.m. -5:00 p.m., and Eighteen (18) 3 oz. beer pour samples of beers from various breweries

Craft Beer enthusiasts, here is just what you have been looking for. Two days of tastings and food pairings, meet the brewer, and more. Live music, beer and cheer created by local brew masters, musicians, chefs and artists. Enjoy the beer, visit our local shops and dine at local restaurants.

You can order tickets to the Long Grove Craft Beer and BBQ Days online.


North Shore Wine, Beer, and Cigar Festival
Saturday, August 27th.
Church Street, Downtown Libertyville.
Ticket details will be announced soon.

The North Shore Wine, Beer & Cigar Festival is Lake County’s charity-orientated tasting festival.  The festival offers tastings from over sixty breweries, fifty wineries, and over one hundred cigar samplings through our partnership with Neumann’s Cigars & More. Hosted by the Libertyville Rotary Club,  the profits are distributed to over forty charities in Libertyville and Lake County.

Each admission ticket includes 10 sampling tickets which can be used for either wine or beer. Sample sizes will be approximately 2 ounces for wine and 6 ounces for beer, and the ticket includes a commemorative glass.  VIP tickets include early admission, 20 sampling tickets, 2 tasting glasses, a raffle ticket, and a $100 credit to wine and beer purchases made at the event. Additional sampling tickets can be purchased at the festival for the price of $20 for 10 additional samples.


Highwood Beer Fest

Highwood Craft Beer Festival
Fall 2016. Details will be announced soon.




Gurnee Craft Beer Fest

Legions of Craft Beer Festival
Saturday, September 17, 1:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
East parking lot of Gurnee Mills, by Bass Pro Shops, Gurnee.
Ticket details will be announced soon.

The festival will feature craft beer and cider from more than 35 unique breweries along with urban cuisine from a variety of food trucks offering everything from gourmet grilled cheese and cupcakes to sausage, tacos, BBQ, skewers, sliders, and more. Live music from a range of Chicagoland bands and performers will be featured throughout the day. Plus, take part in raffles sponsored by Gurnee American Legion Post 771, and enjoy on-site and on-air interaction with DJs from 102.3 XLC! This beer fest is a one-of-a-kind experience you don’t want to miss.  All proceeds benefit the American Legion Post 771 and Lake County Honor Flight for war veterans.



Lake Zurich Craft Beer Festival
Fall 2016. Details will be announced soon.
Paulus Park, Lake Zurich



woodstockWoodstock Ale Fest
Saturday, October 1, 1:00 -5:00 p.m.
The corner of Clay & Bartlett Street in Downtown Woodstock
$40 General Admission / $60 VIP Admission / $15 designated driver
Tickets will go on sale online on June 30th.  Buy tickets here .

The third annual Woodstock Ale Fest will be a celebration of craft beer, bacon & bluegrass. The fest will feature over 80 unique beers from craft breweries around the country. The net proceeds from the fest will benefit Adult & Child Therapy Services. General admission includes entrance to the festival, samplings of beer, and a commemorative glass.  VIP admission includes everything that is included with general admission as well as a private sampling hour from 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m., VIP food voucher, VIP Restroom Access, and a special VIP lanyard.

Did we miss your favorite festival? Tell us about it in the comments! 

About Tracy Rubel 72 Articles
Tracy dreams of someday being considered a “cool” mom and she can still remember the days when she had time to put on makeup in the morning. She is a young, single, stay-at-home mom to an awesome little boy named Jayden. She recently graduated college with a degree in Early Childhood Education and has lived in various parts of Lake County her whole life. Every day, she and her son set off in her Jeep, rocking a pair of oversized sunglasses, in search of a new and exciting adventure to go on. In her free time she enjoys photography, reading, dancing, yoga, shopping, and pinning kid’s activities on Pinterest. She truly believes that if she was given enough Starbucks that she could rule the world.

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