North Aurora (IL) Beer Fest

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Rhoobarb

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My fiancee just stumbled across this last night and alerted me to the fact that we will be going!:D God love her!

The 2nd Annual North Aurora Days Beer Fest

Saturday, August 4th, noon-4pm, Fox Valley Golf Course, one mile north of Butterfield Rd. on Route 25

Tix are $15.00.

At least eight local and national brewers will be pouring more than 20 different beers. Proceeds from the festival will benefit the North Aurora Veterans Memorial Fund.
 

jvh261

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Dang. I didn't know anything about this. SWMBO and I will be at the lollapalooza fest so we won't be able to make it.

We did book a hotel and got tix for this one though. Not too far of a drive.

http://www.greatlakesbrewfest.com/ - Racine, WI
 
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Rhoobarb

Rhoobarb

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jvh261 said:
Yeah, that is supposed to be a great one. Each year for the past three years I've planned to go and each time I either have something that conflicts with it or it is sold out. This year it sold out before I remembered to look into going!

Hey, Damn Squirrels, glad to hear you'll be there. Keep an eye out for a guy in an Hawaiian shirt with beer botttles all over it and a blonde. That'll be us!
 

rdwj

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I wish I could go. Unfortunately, I have a 4 year old's birthbay party that I need to attend instead.
 

jvh261

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Rhoobarb said:
Yeah, that is supposed to be a great one. Each year for the past three years I've planned to go and each time I either have something that conflicts with it or it is sold out. This year it sold out before I remembered to look into going!

Hey, Damn Squirrels, glad to hear you'll be there. Keep an eye out for a guy in an Hawaiian shirt with beer botttles all over it and a blonde. That'll be us!

Are you sure its sold out? I just checked on the site and they are still available. Some friends of mine just got a few over the weekend. Are you thinking of that one in Madison that sells out instantly every year? I've never been to that one, but supposedly its awesome.

anyway...have fun in Aurora. sounds like it should be good.
 
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Rhoobarb

Rhoobarb

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jvh261 said:
... Are you thinking of that one in Madison that sells out instantly every year? I've never been to that one, but supposedly its awesome.
Sorry, my mistake. Yes, you're right. I think the one I was thinking of is The Great Taste of the Midwest or something like that. It seems to sell out immediately. Still, it seems I'm always busy whenever they hold The Great Lakes Brew Fest! This year, I have a wedding to attend in New Hampsire the same weekend as the GLBF.
 
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Rhoobarb

Rhoobarb

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{bump}
Wanted to bump this in case anyone missed it, since it's this Saturday.
 
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Rhoobarb

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Wanted to write a post-event review, in case anyone searches on this or is thinking about going in the future. It was a really nice event. You never had to wait for a beer, you got a nice souvenir glass for tastings and the beer was pretty free flowing. It wasn't a huge event, but I could see that change in the future. If it does, they'll probably have to change venues.

Which would be a bit of a shame, b/c it was a nice setting in a wooded area, right next to the golf course. But parking was 'just enough' for the amout of people who showed up, b/c you're sharing the parking lot with golfers. If it expands from the ~250-300 people who showed up, they'll have no choice.

Now - onto the beer. We got to sample the pizza beer from Walter Payton's Roundhouse. I didn't get the 'pizza in a glass' taste that got them some press recently. It was more like beer with oregano. Not as bad as I had braced myself for, but not anything I would order again. They had a Chocolate beer which, to me and the fiancee, should have been called vanilla beer, b/c that's all you tasted. No chocolate at all and not anything I would order again.

Emmett's Ale House in Oswego had a nice vanilla cream ale. I don't usually care for beers with a strong vanilla flavor. Emmett's had a huge vanilla aroma - just like putting a mug of A&W cream ale up to your nose. But the vanilla flavor was subtle. I liked it and could see ordering it again.

We had four favorites of the fest, two of them being both of Two Brothers' offerings - their MemoriAle Alt and Domaine Dupage French Country Ale. These were easily the maltiest beers at the fest, which was a nice break from all the cream ales, kolschs and various wits and hefes being offered.

Our other two favorites were a real surprise for both of us. Rock Bottom Brewery in Warrenville had an India Brown Ale and a Steam/Cali Common that were both very good. The India Brown was extremely similar to an IDA I brewed about a year ago. We weren't expecting much from RBB. In fact, even though it is not far from home and I used to live in Warrenville up until ~six years ago, I have not stopped in there in a decade! So this was a surprise for us and we have resolved to give them another shot soon.

The only downside to this fest was that there were only two porta-potties. Some people affiliated with the event told us that last year, eight were ordered and it was way too many. This year, they ordered four (which would have been perfect, IMO) and Waste Management only delivered two. Hopefully next year, WM will get it right.

All in all, a sold event. The fiancee declared it a 'must do' again next year and I agreed!:D
 

Sir Humpsalot

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Thanks for the review! A few things came up for me and I couldn't attend afterall, unfortunately. However, I've tried most of the beers you mentioned, so I thought I would comment on two of them.

First, Domaine DuPage on tap is a very fine, outstanding, beer. However, it isn't all that great in bottles. The flavor profile changes quite a bit. However, right across the parking lot from RBB in Warrenville, there is a "TGIFriday's-type-of-place" which had Domaine DuPage on tap and it was a vastly superior beer to the bottled version.


The second comment I wanted to make is that the aroma of The Roundhouse's Chocolate Pale Ale is much more Chocolatey than vanilla-like. I think your eyes tricked you into expecting vanilla. The aroma is pure chocolate. However, it doesn't come through all that much into the flavor, so I understand how that could be mistaken for vanilla.
 
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Damn Squirrels said:
...The second comment I wanted to make is that the aroma of The Roundhouse's Chocolate Pale Ale is much more Chocolatey than vanilla-like. I think your eyes tricked you into expecting vanilla. ...
Trust me, this keg smelled and really tasted like vanilla. I remembered having it last year at a fest in Elgin next to the Prairie Rock and really liked it b/c of the chocolate. So, I was looking forward to having it again. But this time, it just wasn't the same at all. It wasn't just me, several people I spoke to (there was a lot of time standing in line at the porta-potties, so people had time to compare notes) had the same impression. Chocolate in beer is a flavor I really enjoy. Vanilla, not so much.

I agree on the Domaine DuPage. You have to get really fresh bottles to rival the taste on tap, and still, it's better on tap, IMHO. I'd never had it on tap until I ordered a keg of it and their Brown Ale for a party I had. Man, was that keg popular!
 
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