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Features

St. Charles to host inaugural Brews on the Fox

Craft-beer festival operating in conjunction with 'Firin' up the Fox'

St. Charles will host the inaugural Brews on the Fox festival in September, in conjunction with the fourth annual "Firin' Up the Fox" barbecue festival.
St. Charles will host the inaugural Brews on the Fox festival in September, in conjunction with the fourth annual "Firin' Up the Fox" barbecue festival.

ST. CHARLES – Just as Festival of the Vine celebrates the wonders of wine, Brews on the Fox will celebrate the art of craft. In September, a bevy of breweries will venture to St. Charles for a craft-beer festival.

Brews on the Fox will be from 5:30 to 9 p.m. Sept. 19, in conjunction with the fourth annual “Firin’ Up the Fox” barbecue festival, running Sept. 18 through Sept. 20. Both events will be on the grounds of the former St. Charles Mall, located at the northeast corner of Randall Road and Route 38 in St. Charles.

Brew Avenue Events is producing the festival in partnership with Pride of the Fox, the group responsible for the St. Charles RiverFest.

The craft-beer portion of the festival will feature more than 60 different beers and ciders from roughly 30 local and regional breweries.

“This is the first craft-beer festival in St. Charles that I know of,” said Alessandro Vazquez of Brew Avenue Events, a company that specializes in craft-beer festivals. “My focus is going to be Illinois craft breweries. I’m really trying to find breweries that have been around for less than a year that people haven’t heard about, and I am going to bring them to the fest.”

The breweries confirmed thus far include Cademon Brewing of Genoa, PrimaCider of Long Grove, Hopvine Brewing of Aurora, Aquanaut Brewing of Chicago, Urban Chestnut Brewing Company of St. Louis, Cahoots Brewing of Forest Park, Pig Minds Brewing of Machesney Park, Middle Brow Brewing of Chicago, Pollyanna Brewing of Lemont, Banging Gavel Brews of Plainfield, Marz Community Brewing of Chicago, Illuminated Brew Works of Chicago and Penrose Brewing of Geneva.

The Oswego resident said he’s been targeting the area for a year, and thinks St. Charles will be the perfect setting for the inaugural Brews on the Fox festival.

“This is an under-served market for an event like this,” Vazquez said, adding he thinks Brews on the Fox could stand on its own in the future. “This event has the potential to be a signature event for the area.”

The outdoor festival will feature food trucks, barbecue vendors and live music, and – with its close proximity to Binny’s Beverage Depot – Vazquez said attendees can visit the store to buy what they taste.

“People are extremely excited,” Pride of the Fox executive director Julie Farris said in regard to the combination of craft beer and barbecue. “It just seems like a natural fit.”

Capped at 1,500 tickets, including 200 VIP tickets, Vazquez said he expects the event to sell out.

General admission tickets, which will include 20 three-ounce samples and a souvenir tasting glass, will cost $45. VIP tickets, which will include early admission, access to specialty brews and a VIP area and complimentary food and snacks, cost $65. Designated driver tickets, which include soda and water, cost $15.

Tickets went on sale Monday. For tickets, visit tickets.beerfests.com/event/BrewsontheFox.

A portion of the event proceeds will benefit the local nonprofit Pride of the Fox.

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