After getting off to a bit of a rocky start in its first year out — the inaugural fest prompting scrutiny of its finances — the will return to Riverfront Park next Saturday, Aug. 25.
Featuring craft beers and artisan foods, the event will kick off at 1 p.m. Guests who purchased VIP passes, which are now sold out, will get in an hour early and receive perks like special tastings, food, a commemorative T-shirt and VIP on-site parking.
Rahul Wahi, who volunteered at last year’s Midwest Brewers Fest, came on board this year as an organizer and said he hopes to create an “iconic” event for the village.
“I wanted to really showcase , the dedicated local businesses and landscapes we have in our community,” he said. Wahi said organizers plan to donate portions of the proceeds to the and to Pints for Prostates, a non-profit dedicated to raising awareness among men of the need for regular screenings.
Nearly 60 local and national breweries are on board for this year’s event, giving beer lovers a lot of choices when it comes to sampling.
New to this year’s Brewers Fest is a “Craft Beer 101” experience that will give guests a glimpse of two popular methods of home brewing, Wahi said.
Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP)-sanctioned judges will also choose the top brews in a “Best of Show” contest. Another new element is an additional brewery tent for an enhanced “no wait” line system for beer samplers, Wahi said.
The Friends of the will also sponsor a bean bags tournament from 2 to 5 p.m. Registration is from noon to 2 p.m. in the bags tent, located near the stage. Tickets are $20 per team or $10 per person, with proceeds divided between the foundation and the winning team.
Sponsors include Whole Foods, , Burning Leaf Cigars, McBride’s, Voyager Media, , and 95.9 The River.
Organizers hope to make this year’s event even bigger than the inaugural Midwest Brewers Fest, which drew an estimated 2,000 visitors, according to Wahi.
“This year we look to take our concept and community to another level of pride in our passion of craft beer and commitment to our community,” he said.
What you should know
When: 1 to 6 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 25 — rain or shine
Where: Riverfront Park, 24321 W. Lockport St., located west of the DuPage River on the west side of downtown Plainfield
Tickets: Organizers are encouraging brew lovers to purchase tickets early to save money and avoid long lines, Wahi said. Tickets are available on the Midwest Brewers Fest website.
- General admission - Tickets are $40 in advance and are available online, or $50 the day of the event. Both cash and credit cards will be accepted on site. Ticket price includes admission, sampling from more than 150 craft beer offerings, a sampling cup, program guide and access to the Home Brewers Pavilion.
- Designated driver – Tickets are $10 and include complimentary soda and water. Designated drivers will not be allowed to sample any beer.
Parking: Free parking is available at and .
Breweries: This year, nearly 60 breweries will be on tap. Colorado-based brewery Oskar Blues will make its debut, and the event will feature the release of a collaborative brew from Three Heads and Clown Shoes breweries. For a complete list of breweries, click here.
Food: The fest will include local vendors and artisanal food pairings; vendors include Whole Foods of Naperville, Aurelio’s of Plainfield, Eric Gilbert Sausages, Heaven on Seven and more.
Live music: This year’s lineup includes Plainfield-based , plus Beth Bombara and The Jack Pines.
What else you should know: No children or pets are allowed at the fest. Guests are allowed to bring blankets and lawn chairs, but are asked to keep chairs and blankets out of the middle of the festival grounds to avoid obstructing the traffic flow between tents. No personal coolers are allowed. No one under age 21 will be admitted.