ST. CHARLES – Giving back is as easy as drinking beer. The hard part is choosing which ones to sip.
The Tri-City Craft Brew Festival, a production of Brew Avenue Events, returns June 9 to Lincoln Park in downtown St. Charles, and attendees will have more than 80 unique craft beers, along with a variety of ciders and wines, to enjoy.
Proceeds once again will benefit the St. Charles Breakfast Rotary Club, which has supported a variety of charities and provided local scholarships and projects in the St. Charles area for more than 30 years.
“There are a couple of changes from the first two years that we hope will boost up the attendance even more,” Tom Tarvis of the St. Charles Breakfast Rotary Club said. “We’re expecting between 1,200 and 1,300 people, and this is our signature fundraiser.”
This year there will be some wine stations, with Cooper’s Hawk, Vintage 53 and Juicy Luzy Sangria scheduled to participate, as well as a hard cider and soda tent.
There also will be beefed-up VIP tickets. For $65, you can get in an hour early at noon – meaning VIPs will have access to beer offerings before everyone else – and get 18 drink tickets, VIP-only beer pours and food samples from the Blue Goose Market, a VIP commemorative pint glass, a VIP festival swag bag, Beer Schwing lanyard and festival program.
Regular tickets are $45 online or $50 at the gate and include 18 drink tickets, a tasting glass and a festival program. There’s also a Designated Drinker ticket option for $15, which includes complimentary soda and bottled water and access to the festival’s food, music and merchandise vendors.
Tickets can be bought at the Blue Goose Market or St. Charles History Museum and are available online at tricitycraftbrewfestival.com. The event is only for those 21 and older and will run from 1 until 5 p.m., although VIPs can get in at noon.
Brews from as far away as Alaska and Hawaii and as close to home as Batavia and St. Charles will be among the many featured, tasty offerings.
“To me, the must-have is the Goose Island Bourbon Country Stout,” said Alessandro Vazquez, owner of Brew Avenue Events. “It’s one of those beers people hear about and then line up for. It’s also exciting every year with some of the new breweries. We heard from D and G Brewing, which is just two blocks away and just opening in time to join the festival, and there are plenty of other breweries to keep a look out for, like Energy City Brewing in Batavia, which is a neat one that’s pretty new to the scene.”
Delicious liquids will not be the only things consumed as several local food vendors and regional food trucks will be on-site, as well as a few local restaurants with food samples.
Guests also will enjoy live music and a DJ as well as a special appearance from 95.9 The River.
“The whole idea is for people to come into town with their friends, drink responsibly, and have a good time,” Tarvis said. “Maybe they’ll stick around and have dinner in town afterward or maybe go to a Ron Onesti show at the Arcada and make a whole evening of it right in St. Charles. It’s going to be a lot of fun.”
While more than 1,000 people will hopefully attend and taste a variety of brews, many charitable organizations benefit from taste buds enjoying such a treat.
“We’ve given money to CASA and Project Mobility,” Tarvis said. “We support The Salvation Army and Clothes For Kids drives in the wintertime and collected over 200 coats last year. We’ve participated in toy drives and supported the Lazarus House. We’ve given out vocational scholarships. The more we make, the more we can give out, so that’s why we want to make this event better than ever.”