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Spring Uplifting Sips on the Lake County Libation Trail 2021

As we look at spring uplifting sips on the Lake County Libation Trail, we also celebrate the land of lakes Check-in Challenge week running April 9-18.

Lake County is home to 24 libation trail brewhouses, distilleries, and wineries, including the county’s first craft brewery in Mickey Finn’s. It’s also the residence of the first craft distillery in the Land of Lincoln in North Shore Distillery.

 

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Slowly but surely, we’re returning to normal. We’re inching closer and closer to being able to return to full capacity at our favorite drinking holes. Continue to #DrinkLocal and discover suds, spirits and vino made in our very own backyard.

Take advantage of all the delicious flavors that come with spring uplifting sips on the Lake County Libation Trail.

Zümbier Brewery in Waukegan

 

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Hoppy Time

Do the dance sensation that is sweepin’ the nation at the hop.” You know it’s Hoppy Time at the Waukegan small-batch brewery if you hear the smash song by Danny and the Juniors. Zümbier is canning this delightful adult beverage. The libation palate is highlighted by honey, loads of hops, Columbus, Citra and Simcoe. Don’t be bitter, and take a sip or 20 of this delectable drink this Lake County Restaurant Rally and beyond. The ZümBier brew is available on tap and for carryout via can, howler and growler.

Wright’s Brew & Bistro inside Lincolnshire Marriott Resort

 

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Five Eyes Honey Ale

Did you know that bees have five eyes? Well, that is how this new honey ale from Wright’s Brew and Bistro located inside Lincolnshire Marriott Resort got its name. This cream ale is brewed in collaboration with Tighthead Brewing Co. in Mundelein. The award-winning brew house utilizes the honey that is produced in the beehives on-site at the Lincolnshire resort. One sip, and you will see what all the buzz is about.

Wild Onion Brewery in Lake Barrington


Pineapple Misfit

Everyone’s favorite smiling skull IPA got a sweet tooth by popping a little pineapple in the libation for the summer. The Pineapple Misfit IPA, a perfect blend of hop bitterness, aroma, malt body and fruit with a swaggy hairstyle. Watch out because that misfit can kick with some bitterness, but it’s quite pleasant due to the centennial and Citra hops.

Vigneto del Bino Vineyard & Winery in Antioch

Frontenac Gris

The Antioch winery offers two fantastic whites for the fall season. The Frontenac Gris is a semi-dry wine made from the French-hybrid grape. This vino has a taste of sweetness with honey flavor and finishes tart with apple.

Valentino Vineyards & Winery in Antioch

 

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Valentino Signature Red 2004 VTG

You can’t go wrong with any wine that is a winery’s calling card. The 2004 red is an International Medal-Winning Wine. This full-bodied, smooth finish Bourdeaux styled vino with mid-to-full range tannins aged two years in a combination of French and American oak barrels. The delectable wine that pairs well with heavy eats like steaks, whitefish, chicken and lamb, is 13.8% ABV.

Tighthead Brewing Co. in Mundelein

 

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Everybody Loves Ekuanot

The Mundelein brewery expands the family of its signature series draft, “Everybody Loves” with Ekuanot. Infused with tropical fruit, berry, papaya and apple, the refreshing aroma of this American double dry-hopped India pale ale will transport you to a tropical paradise. Visit the Mundelein brewery as they open for indoor suds sipping as Lake County advanced to Phase 4 Tier 1 in Restore Illinois recently. If you want to drink the psychedelic sips in a land of lakes winter wonderland, Tighthead Brewing Co. also boasts a heated patio area. If you’re not comfortable returning to indoor or outdoor service, you can enjoy the newest draft addition, via carryout by purchasing a four-pack to-go of the DDH IPA. Support your local Lake County brewers.

Side Lot Brewery in Wauconda

 

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The Legend of Norm

“How’s life treating you, Norm?” We all know the Bostonian barfly was legendary in “Cheers.” The Legend of Norm (of the Wauconda dimension) is an allegory for the ages. Bill Brasky in stature, Tiger King in exotic pets and always wears Oakleys. The Side Lot brew is a pale ale, light-body, bone dry and pairs perfectly with the end of a bike ride. The seven percent ABV adult beverage is served in a 16-ounce draft or in a four-pack to-go.

Roaring Table Brewing Co. in Lake Zurich


Tuba Solo

Baaaaaaa dum. The ever slow approach of the tuba intro of the movie “Jaws” makes way for the Lake Zurich brewery’s Tuba Solo! IPA  is simply divine as it contains 7.2 percent ABV. The New England double dry-hopped IPA has tastes of candied citrus, passionfruit, honeydew and ripe berries on a rich, silky body.

Ravinia Brewing Co. in Highland Park


Food Truck Pilsner

The Highland Park Brewery, Ravinia Brewing Co., was originally concocted as a limited release, but now food truck-themed suds is a flagship feature. This beer will bring bright and warmer days. The Food Truck Pils was created with one thing in mind, clean and easy drinking with balanced, fresh and light tasting notes. This pilsner lives right between classic European pilsners and over-hopped American pils. This fruity yet slightly bitter pilsner pairs splendidly with tunes blaring from the eldest outdoor concert venue in the country, the Ravinia Festival, and many other summer feels.

Phase Three Brewing Co. in Lake Zurich

 

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Flouradiance

Built for strong flavor and drinkability with simplicity in mind, the wheat pale hits your taste buds with a shade of yellow. The American ale contains yeast for full attenuation, Pacific Northwest Amarillo hops that bring huge citrus notes. The Lake Zurich brew packs just enough dank and pine notes, malted wheat to keep things from getting too light at a modest 5.5% ABV. Feel free to have a few.

Oppidan Spirits in Waukegan

 

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American Botanical Gin

They deviated from the standard London Dry style to create a unique and refreshing perspective with floral and citrus notes unseen in this category. For citrus, the Waukegan distillery uses a freshly peeled pink grapefruit. Elderflower, hibiscus and chamomile give Oppidan American Botanical Gin a light floral nose balanced by the spice of ginger, cardamom, and cinnamon. The result is a superbly balanced gin that works well neat or in your favorite gin cocktails.

Only Child Brewing Co. in Gurnee

 

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Tantrum

That child is a real problem. Toddler tantrums are the cherry top of your day. For those lovely nights, your mini-me isn’t falling asleep. Only Child Brewing Co.’s Tantrum is their Bavarian-style hefeweizen. The German beer has a signature banana aroma. The fruity, crushable, effervescent ale will really get you spring feels while drinking down spring uplifting sips. Just remember to watch out for the Jenga tower.

North Shore Distillery in Green Oaks


American 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 pandemic’s height, 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.

Nightshade and Dark’s Pandemonium Brewing in Waukegan


Life is Twice as Strange

“Time is so strange, and life is twice as strange. The cogs miss, the wheels turn, and lives interlace too early or too late.” Based on a quote from Ray Bradbury’s “Dandelion Wine,” this brew packs a mean punch to double the peculiar in your life. The imperial red ale is created with Earl Gray Tea and plum. The 9.2% ABV beverage contains plum to balance the tannins from the tea. Nightshade and Dark’s plan to can this bad boy and serve them via howler. FYI, the beer contains caffeine from the tea.

Mickey Finn’s Brewery in Libertyville


Choka West Coast IPA

“Surfing is the most blissful experience you can have on this planet, a taste of heaven.” – John McCarthy. Mickey Finn’s 7.4% ABV Choka West Coast-style IPA shreds with sick flavors of pine and grapefruit with a malty backbone and a fairly dry finish. Ride the gnarly wave and hang 10.

Lynfred Winery in Wheeling

 

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Vermentino

We can all say 2015 was a good year. In the case of the Wheeling Lake County Libation Trail, Lynfred Winery’s 2015 was sweet. The Vermentino 2015 is a light white vino containing various flavors from grapes grown in Lodi, California. This aromatic alternative to pinot grigio is delectable to complement seafood and grilled veggies. The taste is lemon zest, peach and minerals that give your palate a refreshing and clean finish.

Light the Lamp Brewery in Grayslake

 

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Constant Squeeze Milk Shake IPA

Synonymous with the hawk a-blowin in the Chicagoland area, winter has a constant squeeze on all of us. Something that takes those winter blues is the Constant Squeeze the Grayslake brewery has on us with this delectable new IPA. Think of the summertime has this milkshake India pale ale tastes like you’re drinking a melted carbonated dreamsicle. The flavors you’ll taste include orange, milk sugar, vanilla, a ton of Citra and Belma hops, all swirled into a 12-ounce can. The hockey-themed Lake County Libation Trail partner can neither confirm nor deny that Constant Squeeze pairs well with breakfast. The fruit, milkshake brew concoction is available via four-pack.

Harbor Brewing Co. in Winthrop Harbor

 

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Barrel-Aged Saison 2020

Tis the season for a Saison. The Harbor Brewing Co. brew is A blend of the Winthrop Harbor maker’s 18 month & six month aged Saison. The brewers aged the beverage in oak bourbon barrels from Waukegan Lake County Libation Trail partner’s Oppidan Spirits. Also, at the end of the month, Harbor Brewing Co.’s Biergarten will reopen. The brewco partnered up with North Point Marina so you can experience these suds with a view of Lake Michigan.

Half Day Brewing Co. in Lincolnshire

 

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Cherry Vanilla Sour

“First they’re sour…then they’re sweet.” No, it’s not a Sour Patch Kids commercial. Half Day Brewing Co. brewed a stellar new adult beverage for the land of lakes warm season. This sour ale is packed full of fruit. The tartness is balanced with sweet cherry pit and aromatic vanilla beans. Huge aromas follow through the entire pour. The combination blends harmoniously, leaving you wanting another refreshing glass full of the 5.5% ABV spring uplifting sips.

Glunz Family Winery and Cellars in Grayslake


Mission Angelica

This delicious red wine has aged in oak barrels for an average of 25 years. The 17 percent ABV vino is jam-packed with butterscotch and maple syrup flavors. The award-winning beverage, including the 2018 Central Coast Wine Competition, the Grayslake winery’s fortified port wine, was awarded the “Best Dessert Wine” for consecutive years.

Copper Fiddle Distillery in Lake Zurich


Spiced Apple Brandy

The Lake Zurich distillery has been extremely busy throughout the pandemic. Besides concocting hand sanitizer for first responders, they also released a few brand spanking new spring uplifting sips. The spiced apple brandy is was aged on rye stave for three months. The Copper Fiddle libation contains vapor-infused spices with Madagascar vanilla. It’s not apple picking season yet, but you should pick up some apple brandy while supplies last.

Buffalo Creek Brewing Co. in  Long Grove


Long Grove Lager

The Historic Long Grove Covered Bridge in the historic downtown has had a rough couple of years. A few vehicles struck the national relic a few times in the last few years. That doesn’t mean the Bavarian Lake County Libation Trail partner can’t pay homage to it. The 5% ABV lager is balanced with noble hops to create a crisp and clean taste.

Bosacki’s Brewery in Mundelein

 

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Improper English Ale

“God Save The Queen!” This description of the ale should be read in a cockney accent. The 4.6 ABV English ale is made with a traditional but smoother malty taste. The palate tries to stay true to the UK’s version sans the hops found in the Yankee-styled suds. Brewed on “this side of the pond” to be a regular drinking beer with a perfect balance of bitterness and flavor.


To learn more about spring uplifting sips on the Lake County Libation Trail, continue here. To see how to mark your attendance in the Check-in Challenge during Lake County Libation Trail Week, click here.

 

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