Best Fall Libations of 2019 in Lake County

Ditch the pumpkin spice, and sip some of the best fall libations the autumn season has to offer.

Why not? Take a trip down the Lake County Libation Trail and take your taste buds on a journey to flavor country.

Lake County is home to delicious suds, vino and spirits with the autumn theme we all know and love.

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. Lake County, enjoy the best fall libations; nay, the most exceptional Illinois libations!

Bosacki’s Brewery in Mundelein


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So many beers, so little time. #libertyvillefoodie #libationtrail

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Beers: Oktoberfest

Outlook:  The Oktoberfest is a lager obtains a toasty flavor, but the finish aftertaste leans on the dry side. The Bavarian Marzenbier-style matches the style of a German Oktoberfest beer but is mildly hoppy. Oktoberfest rates an 18 on the international bitterness unit scale (IBUs) and has a 5.3 percent ABV. Be sure you stop by Bosacki’s inaugural Oktoberfest on October 6 as the Mundelein party features the release of this libation, and is highlighted by polka by Lindy Johnson and eats from Pierogi Jo’s.

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

Buffalo Creek Brewing Co. in Long Grove

Beer: Marrvelous

Outlook: This is the beer that started it all. Mike Murr, the Long Grove brewpub owner, was challenged by his friends to create German Kölsch. Don’t test Murr’s competitiveness. He researched the style and played around with the recipe until he found perfection. Mike’s Kölsch is German in nature, but is unfiltered and has a caramel color with a slight cloudy character. This brew has 5.1 percent ABV and rates 21 on IBUs

Buffalo Creek Brewing Co. in Long Grove.

Copper Fiddle Distillery in Lake Zurich

Cocktail: Orange You Glad?

We didn’t say banana, but you have to be excited about the Orange You Glad concoction the Lake Zurich distillery has created. With the help of the Copper Fiddle Gold Rum (1.5 oz), the drink ingredients include four mint leaves, an orange slice, one-half lime, a half-ounce of simple syrup, soda and three dashes of bitters. Cheers; bottoms up!

Copper Fiddle Distillery, 532 W. Illinois Route 22, Suite 110, Lake Zurich.

Flesk Brewing Co. in Barrington

Darth Tater IPA

Outlook: The Barrington brewhouse is “altering the deal. Pray they don’t alter it any further.” The New England India pale ale is load with juicy and delectable Idaho 7 hops. The unique hazy IPA has a unique taste like that of Anakin Potato before him. Drink up this 4.9 percent ABV beverage, you rebel scum!

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

Glunz Family Winery and Cellars in Grayslake

2017 Dusi Vineyard Zinfandel

Outlook: The 2017 Dusi Vineyard Zinfandel is an absolute classic Zin.  The color of this 100% Zin is beautiful, dark garnet red.  Aromatically, it has tons of dark cherry and berry with hints of cedar, cinnamon.  On the palette, this zin is singing.  It is bursting with juicy fruit flavors and is delightfully balanced with acidity.

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

Half Day Brewing Co. in Lincolnshire

Beer: Barrel-Aged Warrior Paint Imperial Coffee Stout

Outlook: The Barrel-Aged Warrior Paint Imperial Coffee is taking a victory lap through the Lincolnshire brewing company. The 11-percent ABV stout is brewed with Mexican coffee beans from Bannockburn’s Newport Coffee House. Beautiful aromas of molasses and coffee waft from this libation and the scents are paired with hints of oak and vanilla.

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

Harbor Brewing Co. in Winthrop Harbor

Beer: Raspberry Milkshake IPA

Outlook: Harbor Brewing Co.’s “milkshake brings all the boys to the yard, and they’re like, it’s better than yours.” This fruity milkshake India pale ale has a soft touch of raspberry with added sweetness from the lactose.

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

Light the Lamp Brewery in Grayslake

Beer: Suerte

Outlook: Good luck not falling in love with this brew! Suerte (meaning luck in Spanish), is an irresistible Mexican Lager recently released by the Grayslake brewery. The suds are fermented cool and lagered to perfection. The 4.6 percent ABV Cerveza is delectable with or without a wedge of lime. This beer is perfect for the upcoming Dia de Los Muertos celebration.

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

Lynfred Winery in Wheeling

Wine: Oktoberfest White

Outlook: The Oktoberfest is a sweet white table wine that impersonates a German-style blend. The Rhineland drink has a palate of pear juice and cinnamon and is perfect to with German pub eats like bratwurst, potato salad and Bavarian pretzels.

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

Mickey Finn’s Brewery in Libertyville

Outlook: Oktoberfest Lager

Outlook: The Oktoberfest is a 6.2 percent beverage that celebrates Bavaria. The Libertyville German-brew has a sweet malt crisp and goes down nicely with October cuisine. It’s got a nice copper color and it’s on tap for a limited time starting in mid-September.

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

North Shore Distillery in Green Oaks

Cocktail: Pinkerton Man

Outlook: As we wave farewell to summer, cocktail advocates can rejoice with the Green Oaks libation. The Pinkerton Man is a refreshing autumn-resque beverage containing the distillery’s Gin No. 11 complemented with one ounce of pear juice, three-fourths of an ounce of fresh lemon juice and a half-ounce of rosemary simple. The concoction is shaken with ice and strained into an ice-filled Collins glass. The herbaceous cocktail is at perfection with an additional lemon twist or rosemary sprig.

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

The Onion Pub and Brewery in Barrington


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Warm Days & Cool Nights must mean Pumpkin Ale Season!

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Beer: Pumpkin Ale

Outlook: “There are three things I’ve learned never to discuss with people: religion, politics, and the Great Pumpkin.” – Linus Van Pelt. Celebrate the harvesting season with the Lake Barrington’s orange fruited ale. This crisp ale brewed with spices has hints of pumpkin pie and a rich, malty aroma. The Pumpkin Ale rates at 21 on the IBU scale and is a 5.4 percent ABV libation.

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

Only Child Brewing Company in Gurnee

Beer: Don’t Tell Mom The Baby Citra’s Dead

Outlook: It’s your regular horror tale as we visit this double India pale ale from the Gurnee brewery. There are two versions to the story of where the Only Child baby Citra passed away: Professor Fruit, in the bar with the Citra DIPA mango and Colonel Melon, in the brewery with the Citra DIPA pineapple. Both have an eight percent ABV chance they committed the crime. Don’t tell mama, but we want to know if video killed the hoppy star.

Only Child Brewing Co., 1350 Tri-State Pkwy., Suite 124, Gurnee.

Ravinia Brewing Co. in Highland Park


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GOOD MORNING!!!….. Let’s answer the age old question today….Which came first…The Rooster, The Drunken Rooster or the Egg?…The only way to find out is to come on in and enjoy our new Brunch Menu!!…The Taproom opens today at 10:30 AM….Adult beverages begin flowing at 11:01 AM. Bears game today at noon…..$5 Pils and $6 Bloodys…Hawks play tonight (I know, I know…) at 6 PM. You’re Sunday is covered!!!…Now get down off that ladder, stop putting the holiday lights up and get over here and really enjoy your Sunday!!!…You deserve it!! #raviniabrewing #sundaybrunch #chickenortheegg #beardown #chicagobears #sundayfunday #laddersaredangerous #drinklocal #craftbeer #independentbrewery #illinoiscraftbeer #instagood #beersofinstagram #highlandpark #ravinia #hawksareplayingbad #happyweekend

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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 any season.  The Highland Park brewpub’s 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

Beer: Tuba Solo! IPA

Outlook: 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. Visit Roaring Table as they celebrate their second anniversary September 21.

Roaring Table Brewing Co., 739 Illinois Route 22, Lake Zurich.

Tighthead Brewing Co. in Mundelein

Beer: Mundeleiner

Outlook: “I got twenty-five cans in my knapsack, crossing out the wick-wack
Puttin up my name with a fat cap” – KRS One. Whether you’re a tagger or a mural painter, this session lager commemorates the recent mural that went up in downtown Mundelein. It’s just east of Park Street Restaurant. The Mundeleiner also welcomes the end of summer as we head to our annual oranging and browning of Lake County. The Mundelein beer home has these adult beverages canned and ready to send out as they celebrate the village.  The extra pale lager contains 5 percent ABV and rates 28 on the IBU scale. The taste is crisp and refreshing with grainy sweetness balanced with a single-hop variety.

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

Valentino Vineyards Winery in Long Grove

Wines: Serval Blanc and Dechaunc

Outlook: 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. The Dechaunc is a French pinot noir. The burgundy beverage showcases tastes of raspberry and elderberry and is perfectly paired with red-sauced dishes, grilled lamb and turkey.

Valentino Vineyards, 5174 Aptakisic Rd., Long Grove.

Vigneto del Bino Winery in Antioch


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Nothing to wine about 🍷 🍇

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Wines:  Frontenac Gris and Sweet Gris

Outlook: 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. The Sweet Gris is a combo of honey and tart apple flavor that’s a delightful treat for the autumn season.

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

Wright’s Brew and Bistro inside Lincolnshire Marriott Resort

Beer: Five Eyes Honey Ale

Outlook: Viva La Honey! Lincolnshire Marriott 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. Not to mention it is National Honey Month, but these black and yellow geniuses harvest the honey onsite at the Lincolnshire resort’s apiaries. This cream ale contains a pilsner malt that providing a grainy sweetness while the fermented honey sugars. This refreshing brew has a crisp and light taste with subtle floral notes. Did you know that bees have five eyes?

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

ZümBier in Waukegan

Beer: Oktoberfest Bier

Outlook: This traditional fest beer used with noble hops is featured in the Waukegan brew houses tap from September 20-October 6. The sudsery will release their Lauren Imperial Porter aged rye whiskey beer on December 7. ZümBier also plans to host a few other autumn-esque beers before the season ends. Make sure you attend one of their themed nights: Vinyl Record Nights on Wednesdays, Trivia Night on Thursdays, Foodie Fridays and Sunday Recovery Day where they highlight their renowned Michelada (bloody Mary).

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

For more information on the Lake County Libation Trail and more of the best fall libations, the land of lakes has to offer, continue here. 

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