Loosen Up With Summer Libations in Lake County 2020

“In the summertime, when the weather is fine,” we loosen up with summer libations in Lake County.

While we face the national public health crisis, the land of lakes’ masons of brew, spirits and wines continuously blow our minds with the summer libations options, they offer at their speakeasies.

Summer is winding down, but it ain’t over yet. We make our own here in Lake County. Take your taste buds out for a treat as we recline, relax and loosen up with summer libations in Lake County.

Bosacki’s Brewery in Mundelein

Libation: Raspberry Wheat

The tart berry beverage that many hold near and dear: Bosacki’s Raspberry Wheat. The Mundelein brew house’s pale ale is going to get tapped for the season on August 21. The unfiltered wheat brew has a cloudy appearance with a fuller body. The alcohol by volume (ABV) is 5.3 percent touting no noticeable bitterness with an International Bitterness Unit (IBU) of 15.

Buffalo Creek Brewery in Long Grove

Libation: North Star

The Long Grove brewery just released specialty suds called North Star at the end of July. One dollar of the proceeds from the brew benefits YouthBuild Lake County based in North Chicago. YouthBuild provides underserved young adults with education, training and life skills necessary to become gainfully employed and build a better future. Named after the book written by YouthBuild’s Co-Founder John Bell, the “Polaris” moniker beverage is a German-Style Altbier and is currently available on tap. North Star stands at 5.6 percent ABV and rates at 69 IBUs.

Copper Fiddle Distillery in Lake Zurich

Libation: Vodka

After bringing you favorites like their gin, rum, bourbons and other spirits, Copper Fiddle Distillery has added vodka to their repertoire! The Lake Zurich liquor masons used their traditional rye, yellow corn and barley mash distilled in their copper pot and reflux for this clean finishing, very balanced and smooth triple filtered Midwestern vodka. The neutral spirit is 100 percent distilled grain. The beverage was the August 2020 Libation of the Month.

Glunz Family Winery in Grayslake

Libation: De La Costa Sangria

When you’re active during the summertime, it’s the dream of many (including this author) to enjoy the fruits of vino in a can. Now this dream is a reality as Glunz Family Winery and Cellars have this berry concoction in an aluminum can format! Sangria, in an aluminum can is a life-saver.

Half Day Brewing Co. in Lincolnshire

Libation: Cloud Cover IPA

When your looking for a beverage for all of the summer feels, make it a Cloud Cover from the Lincolnshire brew spot. Cloud Cover is a New England IPA that is loaded with hops and complemented by tangerine, vanilla and berries. The massive double dry hop screams an intense aroma of citrus and mango. The Half Day Brewing Co. ale stands at a seven percent ABV.

Harbor Brewing Co. in Winthrop Harbor

Libation: Locoe NEIPA

Harbor Brewing Co., in partnership with North Point Marina, opened Lake County’s first beer garden in late May. To commemorate this accomplishment, the Lake County Libation Trail participant created a New England India Pale Ale called Locoe NEIPA. The delectable brew is their juiciest double dry-hopped ale. The seven percent beverage is jam-packed with lotus and Simcoe hops. This brew is the July 2020 Libation of the Month.

Light the Lamp Brewery in Grayslake


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On sale in our taproom today at 4pm! 🥳🥳🥳🥳🥳🥳🥳🥳 Thanks to the wonderful @plain.gravy for the artwork

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Libation: Boondoggle IPA

Hop in the van because the double dry-hopped double IPA is coming from a van near you. The Grayslake India pale ale, Boondoggle is created with Motueka, Mosaic and Ekunot hops. The eight percent ABV imperial is being sold in can format as well.

Lynfred Winery in Wheeling (Take-Out Only)

Libation: Pinot Grigio

Pinot Grigio, also called Pinot Gris, produces a light acidic white wine. Italy is the largest producer, specifically Lombardy and Friuli-Venezia Giulia, but Pinot Grigio is also grown and manufactured in the Alsace region of France, Australia, Oregon, California and Washington. The grapes are a mutation of their Pino Noir. The beverage has an aroma of orange blossoms, lemon, white peach, and yellow apple complemented by a lemon juice pear, apple and mineral palate. Experience this 11. 5 percent ABV refreshing summer white all season long.

Mickey Finn’s Brewery in Libertyville


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Now on tap @mickey_finns

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Libation: Patio Vibes Fruited Sour Ale

Every libation lover is satisfied with a tart glass of suds every once and a while, especially during the summertime. Get your vernal feels with patio vibes at the Libertyville brewpub. This sour Berliner Weisse-style base brew is the foundation of the beverage with a plethora of fruits. The result is a slightly sweet and tart treat standing at 4.5 ABV.

Nightshade and Dark’s Pandemonium Brewing in Waukegan (Take-Out Only)

Libation: Here There Be Tygers

“Shift your hunting ground for a few years, and everyone forgets how the law works. Well, let me remind you. A man-cub becomes man, and man is FORBIDDEN!” The quote from Sher Khan of the “Jungle Book” tells us that Night Shade and Dark Pandeomium Brewery just released their newest hazy double IPA: Here There Be Tygers. This eight percent, India pale ale is jam-packed with hops including galaxy, Sabro, Wailti, Rakau, Motueka and more.

North Shore Distillery in Green Oaks

Libation: Malt Whiskey

Illinois-Made inventors love to experiment on new flavors with a plethora of different ingredients, and that’s why the award-winning Green Oaks distillery designs innovative art with their liquid creations. During the height of the pandemic, the Kassebaum’s (the proprietors of the Green Oaks distillery) made hand sanitizer. North Shore created an 88 proof malt whiskey that stands at 44 percent ABV. The North Shore Distillery’s whiskey has a rich, smooth and balanced taste with spice and fruit notes and was aged no less than six years in the bourbon barrels.

Only Child Brewing Co in Gurnee

Libation: Build Your Own Seltzers

Just when you thought summer drinking was over, Only Child Brewing Co. flips the script and blows your mind.  The Gurnee brewpub partnered up with Amoretti and are launching their Build Your Own Seltzer menu. As seltzers are becoming the libation of choice in the summer, Only Child allows you to pick your own flavors, intensify and try out different options. The brewing company offers flavors like original (straight-up seltzer), raspberry, black cherry, strawberry lemonade and prickly pear key lime that are light, low carb and calorie as well as gluten-free.

Ravinia Brewing Co. in Highland Park

Libation: Grunsfeld Lager

Ground control to Major John. This hopped lager named after NASA man John Grunsfeld is spectacular. At 5.25 percent you can lay back with this beer comprised of Motueka hops, Vienna and aromatic Munich malts. The aftertaste is complimented with a citrusy lime taste. The Highland Park bred brew is rated at 18 IBUs.

Side Lot Brewing Co in Wauconda

Libation: Bix Don’t Kill My Vibe

“I can feel your energy from two planets away. I got my drink, I got my music, I would share it, but today I’m yelling: Bix don’t kill my vibe.” Recently, the innovative Wauconda brewpub released a special limited can supply of this blonde ale. The barrel-aged Belgian blonde fusion hopped with Hallertau, weighs in at a 9.5 percent ABV. The brew was initially a custom beer for a wedding reception.

Tighthead Brewing Co. in Mundelein

Libation: Go-Go Wit

Don’t hang your curveball with this pitch. It’s Go-Go Wit season at Tighthead Brewing Co. The Belgian Witbier brewed with pilsner malt, oats, bitter, sweet orange peel, coriander and chamomile flowers. This refreshing white beer starts out sweet and citrusy. The finish is dry and crisp, with a hint of tartness. The Mundelein brew stands at five percent ABV with 18 on the IBU scale.

Valentino Vineyards in Long Grove


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Libation: Valentino White Port 2014′ VTG

Utter perfection during the land of lakes warm season. The white port with its attractive deep golden color has a rich aromatic bouquet. The sweet dessert wine is barrel-aged four years and it pairs exceptionally with fruits, cheese, chocolate-dipped strawberries, cheesecake or just sipping without a dessert. The white port is delectable chilled or at room temperature.

Vigneto del Bino Winery in Antioch

Libation: Summer Shanty

THe smooth sweet white wine made from Sommerset table grapes are packed with a strawberry aroma. The strawberry continues with the palate with a hint of grapefruit. The Summer Shanty is also used in the concoction that Vigneto released at the beginning of summer called the Vino Colada (which was also the May 2020 Libation of the Month).

Wright’s Brew & Bistro inside Lincolnshire Marriott Resort

Libation: Five Eyes Honey Ale

Viva La Honey! The Lincolnshire Marriott Resort teamed up with other Lake County Libation Trail participant, Tighthead Brewing Co. in Mundelein, to concoct Winnie the Pooh’s favorite snack with the “Illinois Made” craft brewhouse. These black and yellow geniuses harvest the honey onsite at the Lincolnshire resort’s apiaries. This cream ale contains a pilsner malt that provides a grainy sweetness while the fermented honey sugars. This refreshing brew has a crisp and light taste with subtle floral notes. Tighthead Brewing Co. is open for pickup and curbside, while Wright’s Brew & Bistro is closed till we flatten the curve a little more. Did you know that bees have five eyes?

ZümBier Brewery in Waukegan

Libation: Project Golden Eagle

The brew hasn’t been released yet, but they’re testing two different versions of this divine brew. Zümbier lets us in on the “testbiers” as both are hazy India pale ales. TestBier no. 1 contains mosaic, galaxy, citra and simcoe hops, while TestBier no. 2 has comet, citra, ariana and simcoe hops. Numero uno will stand at 5.6 percent ABV, while the latter is 6.5 percent.

For more summer libations to loosen up with in the land of lakes, continue here. To see what else is going on in Lake County, click here.

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