Come A-Wassailing Your Way with Lake County Holiday Libations 2021

Deck the halls with growlers and sifters, sip, sip, sip, sip, sip, sip, sip, sip, sip!

‘Tis the holiday ‘saison’ to be ‘mulled-y’ as the Lake County Libation Trail is making SPIRITS bright. Many of these participants on the trail have prepared holiday libations to capture their interpretation of the season in liquid format.

These Lake County artisans of suds, spirits and vino have all of the festive feels for visitors during the brisk winter times.

There’s a lot of family time, shopping, and stress that comes along with the holiday season. Sometimes you just need a break. These Lake County makers have received the message as creators pack a special holiday punch through the good, bad, and tough times. If you haven’t indulged, now is the time. Holiday Your Way on the land of lakes’ libation trail.

Here we come a-wassailing your way with Lake County Holiday Libations.

Black Lung Brewing Co. in Round Lake Beach

Curb Check Carrott Cake IPA

Tis’ the season to drink dessert brews! The Round Lake Beach brewhouse, in collaboration with Lovin Oven Cakery in Antioch, created a carrot cake influenced India pale ale. The holiday and “What’s up Doc!” concoction is made with Madagascar bourbon vanilla beans and is 6.5% alcohol by volume (ABV).

Bosacki’s Brewery in Mundelein

Cranberry Lager

This 4.7 percent ABV lager-pale brew is introduced to the s in November for Thanksgiving and Christmas. The naturally carbonated fruity lager contains a subtle tartness due to the melody of Bosacki hops and cranberry. The Cranberry Lager provides you and the family with a beautiful complement to appetizers and dinner entrees. The brewery is for carryout and alfresco style from Thursdays-Sundays.

Buffalo Creek Brewing in Long Grove

Holiday Pils

Just in time for the holidays, this Long Grove pilsner is the distant cousin of the 360 Pills that the Lake County Libation Trail partner serves year-round. This variant is a limited-time release during this season greeting period that is infused with cranberries and blood oranges. The 4.5% ABV drink rates 45 on the International Bitterness Unit scale (IBU).

Copper Fiddle Distillery in Lake Zurich


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Fyren Gin

Pronounced “Fire Engine,” this unique style of gin packs a punch. The spicy libation uses a full serrano pepper in each bottle which has been charred, roasted and cut by hand. Fyren Gin is the perfect companion for cocktails such as bloody marys, martinis and more. If you’re looking for the perfect winter warmup, this is the libation for you. Fyren Gin perfectly accompanies cucumber, basil, tonic water, simple syrup and more in their featured cocktail, Lake Zurich Fire Department.

Glunz Family Winery and Cellars in Grayslake

Vin Glögg

This vino warms the soul during the wintertime. The 13% alcohol by volume concoction contains a half dry red wine, while the complementing percentage is port flavor. Vin Glögg is jam-packed with cinnamon, cardamon spices, and it also includes an orange peel taste. The Grayslake adult beverage is intended to be served warm.

Half Day Brewing Co. in Lincolnshire


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Barrel-Aged Warrior Paint Imperial Coffee Stout

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. is open for outdoor dining on their fantastic patio and for pickup daily serving growler refills and four packs.

Harbor Brewing Co. in Winthrop Harbor


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Stoke IPA

The holiday celebrations will be overly stoked with this libation. Constructed in partnership with Chicago yeast makers, Omega Yeast provided the “cosmic punch” strain. Stoke is a double dry-hopped 5.9% ABV IPA brewed with Saaz, azacca and El Dorado.

Light the Lamp Brewery in Grayslake


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Panama Red

Wouldn’t we all love to go someplace warm after the holiday season? Get a taste of Panama with the Grayslake brewpub’s imperial amber ale. The 8.6% ABV is brewed and dry-hopped with Amarillo, centennials and strata. These craft beer now comes in six-packs while supplies last. The Lake County Libation Trail partner just turned nine years old.

Liquid Love Brewing Co. in Lake Zurich

We All Scream

Don’t slip on the banana peel because this beer is sweet like Santa’s meal. The innovative Lake Zurich brewpub just released its banana split-inspired sour ale. The adult beverage is a concoction filled with banana and sweet cheery purées, cacao, vanilla and ice cream cones. Four packs are available online and in the taproom.

Lynfred Winery in Wheeling 

Christmas Red & White

This treat is served for vino fans annually at the Wheeling mainstay. The Christmas Red and White Spiced Wines are mulled libations jam-packed with aromas of cinnamon, cloves and gingerbread cookies. The red drink obtains a tad more cinnamon, while the white has a bit more cardamom spice. The red and white are a perfect complement to chocolate cranberry and coconut oatmeal cookies.

Mickey Finn’s Brewery in Libertyville

Santa’s Magic

This strong Belgian ale in Illinois’s oldest brewery has a light body, but the flavor is spicy, and the aroma has a sophisticated scent of spice and fruit blend. The Libertyville brewery’s most popular seasonal ale contains honey and dark Belgian candy sugar. The seven percent ABV magic in a glass can be compared to Chimay and Duvel’s similar tastes. Mickey Finn’s is open for takeout and on their patio.

Nightshade and Dark’s Pandemonium Brewing in Waukegan


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A Far Away Guitar Double IPA

In very Bradbury fashion of the Waukegan brewpub, Nightshade and Dark’s Pandemonium Brewing releases a new double IPA donning the name of one of the Greentown griots periodicals. This malty brew is equipped with Vienna malt, many hops, Chinook, Citra, Vic Secret and BRU-1. The hazy beer is fruity and yet bitter with hops for days.

North Shore Distillery in Green Oaks

Third Coast Rum

The “Fresh Coast” is the best coast – we’ll, especially if you don’t like salt in your water. This yo-ho-ho and a bottle of rum has been aged for six years in bourbon barrels. The libation has a cherrywood finish which accentuates the fruit tones. The 40% ABV/80 Proof drink tastes exceptional on the rocks and can be utilized in numerous cocktails. The drink is a perfect holiday gift and will be in a bar and store near year in the new year.

Only Child Brewing Co. in Gurnee


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Don’t Tell Mom the Baby Citra’s Blood Orange

It’s never good to tell mom that the baby Citra died, especially since it’s season greetings time. The Gurnee brewery has another version of this beverage with a blood-orange flavor. The mango version of this double India pale ale stands at an 8% ABV.

Oppidan Spirits in Waukegan


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Barrel Reserve Old Tom Gin

The 45% ABV Barrel Reserve Old Tom Gin is the first spirit in Oppidan’s Experiment Collection. The Waukegan distillery reimagined their standard gin by adding a smoke element and barrel aging. The grapefruit peel was smoked over pecan wood, giving a nice smokey candied pecan note to the gin. From here, the gin was aged for three to five months in a combination of new and used cooperage to give a nice round oak flavor without dominating the spirit. The tasting notes are juniper, maple syrup, cinnamon, grapefruit peel, candied ginger and pecan.

Pazzo di Vino in Highwood


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Old Vine Zinfandel, Lodi

This amazing wine is born from 105-year-old vines! You can taste the subtle maturity of the vines when you drink this velvet beauty. Deep, rich, smooth, and juicy. This 14.5% ABV wine was aged for 18 months in French Oak.

Phase Three Brewing Company in Lake Zurich


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Just Use Your Wings

“Teacher says, every time a bell rings, an angel gets his wings,” said Zuzu from “It’s a Wonderful Life.” Just Use Your Wings is a 7.5% ABV Pacific Northwest double India pale ale perfect for the holidays. The Lake Zurich brewers utilize sweet honey malt and toasty Munich malt on top of an otherwise simple grain bill that has been hopped with a classic trio of “C” hops. The beverage consists of cascade, centennials and chinook, complimented by notes of pine, lemon zest and lemongrass.

Ravinia Brewing Co. in Highland Park

John Dough Gingerbread Stout

John Dough’s run-in with Grandma’s little darlings didn’t quite go as planned. Seems his gingerbread birthday suit and holiday aroma causes kids of all ages to run at him with wide-open mouths and screams of glee. The Highland Park brewpub trust this Gingerbread treat will cause you to do the same… his days are numbered! The 8.5% ABV dessert brew rates at a 20 IBU scale.

Roaring Table Brewing Co. in Lake Zurich

Brunch Vibes White

So what do you pick to eat in that awkward time span between breakfast and lunch as your stomach stirs restlessly, awaiting your decision? Do you go the route where your plate is doused in maple syrup and other sweet glorious treats? Do you pack on the protein complemented with salty delights? Whatever way you brunch, you get vibes from this Roaring Table Brewery white. This tart Saison is an experiment packed with sauvignon blanc fermentation, passion fruit and apricot purée. The 8.5$ ABV brew is delectable and part of your balanced lunchfast or breakunch.

Side Lot Brewery in Wauconda


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Ever heard of a deer walking on two feet? This one certainly does and stands tall and stout. Kluane is a barrel-aged variant joining this Russian Imperial with their renowned Distinguished Gentlemen Brew. The concoction sits in a maple syrup barrel to add that subtle breakfast-y flavor. The Wauconda beer sits at a 13.5% ABV and is a stout. They also have these cool igloos in their backyard for a socially-distanced and warm outdoor experience at the brewhouse.

Tighthead Brewing Co. in Mundelein


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We Be Yammin’

“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/yam concoction ale. Usually served between November-February (for obvious reasons with Thanksgiving), the 6.5% ABV drink is also brewed with brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Tighthead is in the midst of celebrating its decade-old born day.

28 Mile Distilling Co. in Highwood

Debonair Bourbon Whiskey

28 Mile Distilling Company offers an award-winning, Kentucky-straight bourbon. The libation is distilled and finished in both Spanish sherry and French cognac casks and is then blended with high-rye Tennessee bourbon to create a distinct, spicy, fruit-laden spirit. The velvety package tastes like a spiced graham cracker with hints of mince pie and licorice. Aromatic overtones lean towards vanilla wafer cookies, cinnamon pastry, Bavarian cream and candied cherries. The Debonair Whiskey Bourbon leaves a delightful finish with a slight tingle.


Valentino Vineyards & Winery in Long Grove

Valentino White Port 2014 VTG

The delectable white port obtains a beautiful deep golden color and has a rich aromatic bouquet. This sweet dessert wine has been barrel-aged for four years. It pairs excellently with fruits, cheeses, chocolate-dipped strawberries, cheesecake, or glass by itself. The white port is sheer perfection chilled or at room temperature.

Vigneto del Bino Winery in Antioch


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The Marquette

This robust red wine was created from the French hybrid grape. This wine has a smooth read, pleasant aroma of berries with an oak finish. The taste is similar to a merlot flavor and is a 12.5% ABV.

Wild Onion Brewery in Lake Barrington


You’re going to need a mechanical monster to smooth out this brew. The Lake Barrington brewhouse and banquet space provide a 7.5% ABV blonde, white stout spiced with cinnamon, cardamom and orange peel. For roasted flavor, we cold steeped it in coffee and cocoa nibs. The Zamboni is available in draft onsite or 32 and 64-ounce crowler and growlers respectively.

Wright’s brew and 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. 


Zümbier Brewery in Waukegan


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Zümbier produces an extraordinary porter this time of year that is well-balanced and, with its malty body, pairs well with the cooler temperatures. After aging in barrels, this beer relays whiskey and vanilla tasting notes directly to your taste buds giving that nice warm feeling during the holidays. This drinkable treat is brewed once a year, so be sure to grab some before it’s gone.

9th Hour Brewing Co. in Lake Villa will open at the end of 2021/early 2022. For more information about the Lake County Libation Trail, continue here. To see you can go a-wassailing your way in the land of lakes, click here.

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