This past Saturday, I took a short trip out to Long Grove, IL for the 2nd Annual Long Grove Craft Beer Day, set up in the parking lot of Buffalo Creek Brewing. I have to tell you, those folks out in Long Grove, surely know how to throw a beer fest. The weather was a perfect crisp day to sample beers from 21 breweries, a few of them are a staple in Chicago, but there were a couple I did not learn about until the day of the fest.
I heard the idea behind Long Grove Craft Beer Day, was started with Mike Marr, the owner of Buffalo Creek Brewing a couple of years ago, he personally reached out to the breweries for participation instead of going through distributors, which will explain why many of the owners were pouring their own beers (a concept that I love by the way).
This fest had some really good options, it really shows you that the City of Chicago is not the only major player in the Chicago craft beer scene. I had a couple of favorites that I leaned on pretty heavy on during the fest. Buffalo Creek’s The Hallows, a Russian Imperial Stout with whiskey barrel notes and hints of chocolate, really impressed me, I honestly lost count as to how many times I refilled on this beer. Another favorite of mines for the day was Twisted Hippo’s Ol’ Saint Auggie’s a Hoppy Farmhouse Ale, a healthy dose of hops, with some sweetness on the backend.
My overall assessment, it was a pretty good fest with a good beer list, that gave you more insight into the suburban breweries. I appreciated that the organizers kept it sweet and simple and were really thankful it was not overcrowded. I would not mind venturing out to Long Grove, IL next year to see what they are up to for the next Long Grove Craft Beer Day.