21 Lake County Libations To Ignite Your Fall Feels

Ditch the pumpkin spice, and sip 21 Lake County libations to ignite your fall feels. Lake County is home to delicious suds, vino and spirits with the autumn theme we all know and love.

These adult beverages come at the perfect time, as all through November, the land of lakes is running its Lake County Libation Trail Check-in Challenge. Cheers to Lake County Libation Trail Month!

Every season these masons of brew, spirits and wines continuously blow our minds with the options they offer at their speakeasies. Celebrate the season the right way by tasting a wide variety of adult beverage flights. Especially during a public health crisis, libation aficionados should drink local to support your local makers.

Here are 21 Lake County Libations to Ignite your fall feels! Salud! Prost! Kan-pie! Let’s drink to our health!

Zümbier Brewery in Waukegan


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New cans drop Friday #freshbier

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Maui the Trickster Milk Stout

“What can Zümbier say except, ‘You’re welcome. For the tides, the sun, the sky.'” This demi-god, trickster who has the heart of Te Fiti, is a rum barrel-aged chocolate coconut milk stout. Named after the Disney legend that hails from Tonga and/or Samoa, is a 6.1% Alchohol per volume (ABV) brew packed with cacao and loads of toasted coconut and aged in the rum barrel. The Waukegan brewhouse serves it in a 22-ounce bottle format or via tap.

Wright’s Brew and Bistro inside Lincolnshire Marriott Resort

Five Eyes Honey Ale

Viva La Honey! The Lincolnshire Marriott Resort teamed up with other Lake County Libation Trail participants, 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?

Wild Onion Brewery in Lake Barrington

Hop Slayer Double IPA

Make it a double! The Lake Barrington brewery provides a bright and fresh imperial IPA brewed a ton of hops and has a citrusy flavor. The skull-branded suds stand at a whopping 8.2% ABV and rates 100 on the International Bitterness Unit scale (IBUs). The imperial Indian pale ale is light in amber color with notes of grapefruit and tangerine zest. You can taste the malt presence, and the hoppy beer has a sweet taste. The Wild Onion Brewery beverage is served in a 10-ounce draft or taken home for later consumption in a 32-ounce crowler.

Vigneto del Bino Winery in Antioch


“I like to drink wine more than I used to. Anyway, I’m drinkin’ more.” The semi-dry red table wine is a robust beverage created from a French Hybrid grape called Marquette. The vino is smooth going down and contains a pleasant aroma of berries with an oak finish. The Marquette has similar features to the Merlot. The 2009 planted berry concoction contains a 12.5% ABV. The Antioch vineyard and winery is hosting outdoor tastings periodically and providing curbside service.

Valentino Vineyards in Long Grove

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

Longsnapper IPA

The Monsters of the Midway have a winning record through six weeks of COVID-world pigskin. Celebrate “Club Dub” with former Chicago Bears special teamer and current NFL analyst Patrick Mannelly as he partnered up with Tighthead Brewing Co. in Mundelein to create Long Snapper IPA. The longest-tenured Bear’s suds has ample base, and Vienna malt accented by caramel notes from Karastan and Munich malts. Designed on Mannely’s favorite beer styles, this IPA stands at 6% ABV and contains 40 IBUs.

Side Lot Brewery in Wauconda

Tone Deaf India Pale Ale

The Bars & Tone IPA has a little sibling named Tone Deaf India Pale Ale. The brew is made with hemp hearts, cascade, Simcoe and experimental Medusa hops. The American IPA contains a 6% ABV and was submitted to the Great American Beer Festival. The Wauconda brewery serves this delicious ale via the 16-ounce draft in house and by pick-up with a four-pack to go. Side Lot never skimps on the can artwork as their aluminum stories are always novel.

Ravinia Brewing Co. in Highland Park

Four Shore Belgian White Ale

The rabbit on the can and the beer just know how to spread love in the craft brew world. The Belgian-style white ale is a camaraderie offering as they collaborated with Roots Pizza in the Ukrainian Village neighborhood in the Windy City. The suds palette features orange, coriander, wheat and barley tastes. Obviously, the Four Shore is complemented by pizza. The brew is 4.5% ABV with 13 IBUs.

Oppidan Spirits in Waukegan

Four Grain Straight Bourbon 

The Four Grain Straight Bourbon Whiskey is a combination of bourbon’s major grains: corn, wheat, rye, and malt. The mash bill is 68% corn, 14% wheat, 9% rye and 9% malt. Crafted to optimize the balance between the sweet, silky mouthfeel from wheat with the spiciness of rye. At 100 proof, it will stand up in any of your favorite cocktails while remaining smooth and enjoyable as a neat pour.

Only Child Brewing Co. in Gurnee


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What else is there to do on a rainy day? #drinkyourbrownies

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Ruckus & Riots

The name Ruckus & Riots commemorates the Gurnee brewpub’s fifth anniversary and speaks to the civil unrest in the past few months. The adult beverage is stout dessert in a glass. The suds obtain a bouquet of roasted malts with char, oak, vanilla and bourbon characteristics. The Gurnee maestros also infused the barrel-aged brews with fudge brownies and Madagascar bourbon vanilla. The bourbon barrel-aged brownie batter stout is on tap and canned. The 13% ABV brew was September 2020 Lake County Libation of the Month.

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

Helen Loomis Waits 

“Bill Forrester and Douglas head downtown in Bill’s car to get some ice cream. Bill orders old-fashioned lime-vanilla, and Miss Helen Loomis, age ninety-five, overhears and commends him on his choice,” – an excerpt from Dandelion Wine written by heralded City of Progress author, Ray Bradbury. As you can imagine, the new Helen Loomis Waits Sour is a lime and vanilla flavor. This delectable drink is a must-have during the fall season.

Mickey Finn’s Brewery in Libertyville

Can I Kick It? IPA

Malik the Five-Foot Freak and Kamaal the Abstract were in a tribe from the boulevard of Linden that quested through the 90s, and they made their legendary breakout track “Can I Kick It.” Commemorating a song that still slaps to this day, the seven percent, double dry-hopped IPA brewed in the hazy New England IPA style. Mosaic, Citra, El Dorado and Simcoe hops paint layers of citrus, tropical fruit and grapefruit pith. Oats and wheat give a smooth mouthfeel as the backdrop. “Can they kick it? Yes, they can.”

Lynfred Winery in Wheeling

Spiced Apple Wine

Apples and autumn go together like peas and carrots. The seasonal vino is aged with natural cinnamon and star anise. The fruit utilized for the wine is Gala and Honeycrisp. The palate is apple pie, apple cider, anise candy and sweet baking spices. The white wine is a perfect pair with fall fare and is a 7% ABV.

Light the Lamp Brewery in Grayslake

Still Single Belgian-Ale

This most eligible bachelor/bachelorette brew still doesn’t have a date, but it recently took home some hardware at the 2020 Great American Beer Festival. Alas, the solo suds remains “Still Single.” The American Belgo-style ale that just notched a bronze finish in the national fest (silver medal in 2019 for their session beer Lite It) is 4.4% ABV. According to the Grayslake brewpuck masters, the Belgian ale is complemented by lonesome TV Dinners, long strolls along the shore….with your feline friend, tacos for just one and frozen pizza in bed. The brew is served via full pour, half pour, taster glass or take-home 32-ounce crowlers and 64-ounce growlers. Light the Lamp Brewery is open for outdoor sips, indoor gulps and curbside pickup.

Harbor Brewing Co. in Winthrop Harbor

I Think Her Name Was Amber? Ale

“Whoa-oh. Amber is the color of your energy…” well, we think that was her name. In partnership with North Point Marina, Harbor Brewing Co. opened the land of lakes first beer garden as Phase 3 commenced in May. The ongoing venue called Lakefront Biergarten has live music, eats and your favorite Winthrop Harbor brewhouse suds. Just in time for autumn, Harbor is canning its “I Think Her Names Was Amber? Ale.” The malty, amber and caramel-flavored brew clocks in at a 6.5% ABV. The Harbor Brewing Co. facility is closed, but the Biergarten at North Point Marina is where all of the action is happening.

Half Day Brewing Co. in Lincolnshire


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Maple Bourbon Barrel Aged Iron Horse Porter Release 10/22!! Get a 4-pack of 16oz cans for $19.99!

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Maple Bourbon Barrel-Aged Iron Horse Porter

The Iron Horse isn’t the little engine that could. This maple bourbon barrel-aged porter is the locomotive that will. Aged in these barrels for six months, the renowned libation is being released in can format by the Lincolnshire brewhouse. The delectable beverage is coffee infused and has an ABV of 6.4%. Have a meet and greet with the entire family with flights of the aforementioned maple bourbon barrel-aged porter, the Nitro Coffee-Infused Iron Horse Porter and the original Iron Horse Porter.

Glunz Family Winery and Cellars in Grayslake


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Giving the Estate Cabernet a little air during the afternoon pump over.

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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


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 legendary 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 spirit is the August 2020 Libation of the Month.

Buffalo Creek Brewing in Long Grove

Candy Corn Ale

That little glass dish on grandma’s full of that yellow, white and orange sweet treat has been concocted into an adult beverage that we’ve all been yearning for years. Today, the Long Grove brewpub, in celebration of National Candy Corn Day and Halloween, is releasing a small batch of their Candy Corn Ale. Made with real candy corn with a combination of a silky cream ale, this libation has accents familiar to marshmallow, vanilla and buttery caramel-like flavors to produce a hauntingly delicious 6.3% ABV brew. It also contains a score of 18 on the IBU scale.

Bosacki’s Brewery in Mundelein

Scotch Ale/Wee Heavy

The Scotch Ale/Wee Heavy is the perfect year-round libation in the land of lakes for a brisker forecast. The autumn-tinted, sweet-flavored ale, which may be a bit overweight, is rated 20 on the International Bitterness Units scale. Due to the higher ABV content, the Mundelein brewery limits customers to only two of the pints in one visit. The brewery is open indoors and alfresco style from Thursdays-Sundays. Suds sippers must wear a mask when entering the building. The brewhouse is also running small batch Saturdays to-go. The ale was the October  2020 Lake County Libation of the Month.

For more information about the Check-in Challenge, click here. For more than 21 Lake County libations to ignite your fall feels, continue here. To see all of the breweries, distilleries and wineries events, click here.

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