20 Exceptional Libations That Put the Spring in Spring – Lake County Libation Trail

As we take a look at 20 exceptional libations that put the spring in spring from the Lake County Libation Trail, we also celebrate Illinois Craft Beer Week.

Lake County is home to 13 libation trail brewhouses including the first craft brewery in the county in Mickey Finn’s.

Take advantage of all the delicious flavors that come with spring adult beverages.

Here are your 20 exceptional libations that put the spring in spring.

Bosacki’s Home Brew Microbrewery in Mundelein

Frumentum Lager

Outlook: That weird word is actually the Latin translation for corn. Brewers back in the 19th Century would add the amazing maize to add sweetness to the harsh tasting barley. This type of suds was created in the 1800s and was common for brews all the way until the Prohibition era, however, the style was forgotten. Get a taste of social studies with this 4.9 percent adult beverage with an IBU of 19.

Bosacki’s Home Brew Microbrewery, 610 E. Hawley St., Mundelein.

Buffalo Creek Brewery in Long Grove


Outlook: Chocolate and bacon. Who can say no?! This chocolate bacon stout with an ABV of 5.8 percent rated 35 on the IBU scale can be thoroughly enjoyed year-round. With the Long Grove Chocolate Festival in May and the village’s Strawberry Festival in June, this is the perfect time to complement our favorite sweet treat and an enormous berry with a little more chocolate influence.

Buffalo Creek Brewing Co., 360 Historical Ln., Long Grove.

Copper Fiddle Distillery in Lake Zurich

First Sign of Summer

Outlook: Illinois-Made drinkery offers a libation excellent for this time of year. Their mixologists call the cocktail “the First Sign of Summer.” Utilizing the Lake Zurich distillery’s Copper Fiddle Silver Rum, sippers will take 1.5 ounces of the aforementioned featured spirit, mixed with three-fourths of an ounce of raspberry syrup, a squeeze of a lime wedge, two dashes of grapefruit bitters and one-to-two ounces of Sprite. All of the ingredients must go into a shaker tin with ice. Pour that concoction into a Collins Glass and stir gently and there you have your first sign of seasonal warmth.

Copper Fiddle Distillery, 532 W. IL Route 22, Lake Zurich.

Flesk Brewing Co. in Barrington


Outlook: “The only true wisdom consists in knowing that you know nothing.” The words of Socrates… or in the words from Bill from “Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure” “So-Crates” is an extremely tart and a most excellent blueberry sour. We’ve “witnessed many things, but nothing as bodacious as what just happened” as the Barrington brewhouse created this berry-flavored 5.5 percent ABV libation. “Be excellent to one another, and party on dudes!”

Flesk Brewing Co., 200 Applebee St., Suite E, Barrington.

Glunz Family Winery in Grayslake

Mission Angelica

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

Glunz Family Winery and Cellars, 888 E. Belvidere Rd., Grayslake.

Half Day Brewing Co. in Lincolnshire

Chieftain Session IPA

Outlook: This session IPA is jam-packed with fruity citrus flavors. A generous amount of wheat adds to your taste bud adventure while it obtains a clean refreshing finish. A firm bitterness rounds out the flavor of this palatable ale. The fan-favorite brew stands at a 4.8 percent.

Half Day Brewing Co., 200 Village Green, Lincolnshire.

Harbor Brewing Co. in Winthrop Harbor


Special K Milkshake IPA

Outlook: Are you saying a brew could be a milkshake and a bowl of Special K cereal? Yes, you read correctly. This exceptional IPA is brewed with zero boil hops and is a packed with a ton of citra and mosaic hops for an incredible aroma and finish. This April 2019 Lake County Libation of the Month has a 6.7 percent ABV.

Harbor Brewing Co., 811 Sheridan Rd., Winthrop Harbor.

Light the Lamp Brewery in Grayslake

Squishee #3

Outlook: “Would you like the deposit defrayed from the cost of a jumbo cherry Squishee?” – Apu Nahasapeemapetilon. The Kwik-E-Mart delight hath returned to the Grayslake brewpub. The libation is a sour with lactose and extra mango and passion fruit. The spring-timey suds contain 4.2 percent ABV.

Light the Lamp Brewery, 2 S. Lake St., Grayslake.

Lynfred Winery in Wheeling


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The May wines of the month are released today! The New Release and White Wine Clubs will receive a tropical and fresh, 2018 vintage Viognier, made with grapes from Ripon, California. Say it with me, ‘Vee-own-yay, fun to say!’ This Rhone-style beauty was fermented in stainless steel tanks at a low temperature to capture her tropical essence. We pick up aromas of papaya, mango, honeysuckle and grapefruit. This full-bodied Viognier is round and lush on the palate with notes of honey, citrus and peach syrup. A serious contender to curry dishes, veal and spicy Asian cuisine. Feeling cheesy? Pair this Viognier with apricots and baked brie. Lynfred Red Wine Club members will be introduced to a new Lynfred blend, our 2015 Malbec-Cabernet-Syrah! 50% Malbec, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon and 20% Syrah come together in this eclectic and modern blend. Aged in American oak barrels for 24 months, with aromas of black cherry, raspberry, violets, caramel, cedar and black truffles, this wine has some serious panache! Enjoy this full-bodied red with grilled meats, charcuterie and medium-aged Cheddar. . . #wine #winery #wineofthemonth #wineclub #lynfredwinery #tastingdevinecellars @tastingdevine #🍷

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2018 Vioginer

Outlook: This white wine, pronounced “vee-own-yay” contains grapes from Ripon, California. The Rhone-style beauty was fermented in stainless steel tanks that allow the temperature to capture the vino’s tropical essence. The aromas wafting from the island wine is papaya, mango, honeysuckle and grapefruit. The libation pairs well with curry, veal, spicy eats and baked brie. Serve the 14.5 percent ABV beverage at 55 degrees.

Lynfred Winery, 971 N. Milwaukee Ave., Wheeling.

Mickey Finn’s Brewery in Libertyville

Mickey Finn’s Gudenteit Hefe-Weizen

Outlook: As the brewpub’s most popular spring/summer beer, this Hefeweizen, German-style wheat ale is fermented with 60 percent wheat malt and 40 percent malted barley. This Libertyville libation has won several awards. The Hefe is unfiltered, allowing the yeast to remain in suspension ultimately creating a hazy appearance. This unique brand of suds has notes of banana, clove and vanilla. Non-beer drinkers tend to gravitate toward this 5.5 percent ABV beverage.

Mickey Finn’s Brewery, 345 N. Milwaukee Ave., Libertyville.

North Shore Distillery in Green Oaks


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This year we’ve bottled more of our Single Malt Whiskey than ever, so we can feature it on our tasting room menu for longer. For this whiskey, we started with malted barley, which we fermented in-house, then distilled through @still_ethel. Then we filled some full-size used bourbon barrels with it – this particular whiskey is a blend of our aged barrels, the youngest of which is 7 years old, and some are quite a bit older! On the palate, this whiskey is delicious, smooth and nuanced, starting with a spice note, leading to a rush of velvety smooth malt, accents of honey and fruit, and a dry finish, with rich notes of rye spice and orange. Stop by to try it and pick up a bottle! #singlemaltwhiskey #goodwhiskeytakestime

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2019 Single Malt Whiskey

Outlook: The gin and vodka concocters released their first whiskey in 2018. This whiskey provides an excellent style and flavor profile. This rich 42.5 percent ABV libation contains malt, heather and eucalyptus. The flavor is jam-packed with honey, fruit and rye spice. The dry-finish whiskey has been blended in North Shore Distillery’s aged barrels for seven years.

North Shore Distillery, 13990 Rockland Rd., Green Oaks.

Onion Pub and Brewery in Barrington


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Misfit IPA

Outlook: The American IPA has a perfect blend of hop bitterness, aroma and malt body. Watch out because that misfit can kick with some bitterness, but it’s quite pleasant due to the centennial and Citra hops. The 6.5 percent ABV beverage also has a hint of citrus in the aftertaste. We would have featured the Drago Bourbon Barrel Aged Russian Imperial Stout, but it appears that the libation has been a hot commodity and sold out. We hope this toasted oak, vanilla-toned, coffee hinting Soviet brew will make a reappearance

The Onion Pub & Brewery, 22221 N. Pepper Rd., Lake Barrington.

Only Child Brewing Company in Gurnee

No Way José

Outlook: Pucker up, buttercup. This Gurnee Pale Ale is brewed with lime zest and agave; the perfect combination of sweet and sour. The crisp finish of this brew pairs nicely with the assortment of food vendors that the brewery brings to their tap room most weekends. This 5.3 percent Latin-themed brew was the Visit Lake County Libation of the Month in March.

Only Child Brewing Co., 130 Tri-State Pkwy., Suite 124, Gurnee.

Ravinia Brewing Co. in Highland Park

Flight of the Rooster Saison

Outlook: Cock-a-doodle-doo has new meaning with the Flight of the Rooster Saison. Utilizing New Zealand Nelson Sauvon hops, this brew obtains a sauvignon blanc palate. The 7.5 percent ABV suds have 25 IBUs and is perfect for the summer time. We have word, due to the popularity of the beverage that it is sold out, but the makers said that the rooster shouting brew will be available before spring is through. The saison was Visit Lake County’s Libation of the Month in May.

Ravinia Brewing Company, 582 Rogers Williams Ave., Highland Park.

Roaring Table Brewery in Lake Zurich

Radiation Vibe

Outlook: Staying on the Simpsons vibe with the Squishee from earlier, Homer has a radiation aura about him at times from working at the powerplant. While Homer is contaminated, this Lake Zurich brew is radiant. This 7.5 percent beer provides an aroma of peaches and apricots. The flavor of Radiation Vibe includes candied oranges and sweet malt balanced by a firm bitterness. Head to Roaring Table to indulge in this delectable American IPA.

Roaring Table Brewing Co., 739 W. IL Route 22, Lake Zurich.

Tighthead Brewing Co. in Mundelein

BA We Be Yammin’

Outlook: “We’re yammin’, wotcha-wa-wa-wa, we’re yammin’. See I wanna Yam it with you!” The Mundelein brewhouse donning a play on words from the Bob Marley song is brewed in South American rum barrels. The drink is a sweet potato ale. Usually served between November-February (for obvious reasons with Thanksgiving), the 6.9 ABV drink makes a triumphant comeback (with a bit of a facelift) for an unusually frigid spring.

Tighthead Brewing Co., 161 N. Archer Ave., Mundelein.

Valentino Vineyards in Long Grove

Seyval Blanc

Seyval Blanc is harvested late in the season and barrel aged for 364 days. The white wine has an array of flavors like a floral bouquet boasting hints of honey, oak and sweetness. At times, a natural post fermentation will occur in the bottle giving the beverage a champagne taste.

Valentino Vineyards, 5175 Aptakisic Rd., Long Grove.

Vigneto del Bino Vineyards & Winery in Antioch

The Marquette

Outlook: This robust red wine created from the French hybrid grape. This wine has a smooth read, pleasant aroma of berries with an oak finish.

Vigneto del Bino Winery & Vineyards, 42150 Crawford Rd., Antioch.

Wright’s Brew & Bistro inside the Lincolnshire Marriott Resort

Wright’s Honey Ale

The buzz around the Lincolnshire Marriott Resort is the sound of their 12-hive lodge which produces 30 gallons of honey every year. The honey is utilized to make Wright’s Honey Ale. This is the first version of the new beer for the summer season.

Wright’s Brew & Bistro inside the Lincolnshire Marriott Resort, 10 Marriott Dr., Lincolnshire.

ZümBier in Waukegan

Bramble On!

This sour brew at the Waukegan facility contains raspberry, blackberry and blueberry. The libation is named Bramble On! after the vine of blackberry and those of the wild shrub and rose family.

Zümbier Brewery, 3232 W. Monroe St., Waukegan.

To learn more about the Lake County Libation Trail and 20 exceptional libations that put the spring in spring, continue here.



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