Loosen Up With Summer Libations in Lake County 2021

“In the summertime, when the weather is fine,” we loosen up with summer libations in Lake County.

While we do love enjoying all of the coasters, Ravinia Festival, community festivals, boating expeditions, shopping options and bodies of water during this time of year, we also like to kick back and relax with a cold one.


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The Lake County Libation Trail options for our marquee season are sure to pique your interest. We make our own here in Lake County. So take your taste buds out for a treat as we recline, relax and loosen up with summer libations in Lake County.

The Libation Trail Vinos

Glunz Family Winery in Grayslake

Summer Libation: De La Costa Sangria

When you’re active during the summertime, it’s the dream of many (including this author) to enjoy the fruits of vino in a can. This dream is a reality as Glunz Family Winery and Cellars have this berry concoction in an aluminum can format! Sangria, in an aluminum can, is a life-saver.

Lynfred Winery in Wheeling


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Summer Libation: 2020 Riesling

Riesling is one of the most sought-after grapes globally, originating in the Rhine region of Germany. Columbia Valley in Washington has perfected the growing of the grape to its climate. The summer libation shows a superb balance of ripeness and acidity. The palate contains pineapple, honey, pear and peach. The is of sweetness, with a crisp and refreshing finish. The Wheeling winery chilled beverage sits at 11.9% and pairs wonderfully with Asian food, ginger chicken, tuna sashimi, appetizers and potato chips.

Pazzo di Vino in Highwood


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Summer Libation: 8 a.m. Rosé

This wine drinker’s Rosé is crisp and slightly fruity. Fuller in body than one would expect from such a bright-looking wine, the Lake County Libation Trail’s newest vino partner has this drinkable is crushed, fermented and bottled right in the city of Highwood. This wine is made by lightly crushing (on the Friday Night of Pumpkinfest until 8 a.m. Saturday morning) whole berry Grenache grapes. This wine is outstanding when sipped cold. The seedlings used for this wine spend their childhood in Lodi, California, until they become adults and head to the southeast Lake County city.

Valentino Vineyards in Long Grove

Summer Libation: Valentino White Port 2014

Outlook: Their white vino has a beautiful deep golden color and has an aromatic bouquet. This sweet dessert wine is barrel-aged for four years. It pairs exceptionally with fruits, cheeses, chocolate-dipped strawberries, cheesecake or just a nice glass by itself. The port tastes great chilled or at room temperature.

Vigneto del Bino in Antioch

Summer Libation: Epic Rosé

A complex semi-dry rose’ style wine with a complex blend of Brianna, Somerset, and Frontenac wines. The unique composition of this wine presents aromas and flavors of pineapple, citrus, strawberry and red current and a hint of spice.

The Libation Trail Spirits

Copper Fiddle Distillery in Lake Zurich

Summer Libation: Queen of Hearts Mulé with Copper Fiddle Vodka


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The chaser is not necessary like the royal madam did in Alice in Wonderland. The summer libation concoction is made with homemade vodka, blood orange and lime juice. The flavor will reign supreme this summer, like being dealt triple queens on the flop with a queen in hand.

North Shore Distillery in Green Oaks

Summer Libation: The World Traveler with North Shore Distillery Gin No. 11

With COVID-19 regulations loosened up, this is the perfect moniker for a drink post-pandemic as we plan to make our road trips this summer. This cocktail utilizes simple syrup made with an intriguing floral green tea, cornflower, marigold and rose petals. The floral and citrusy libation is splendidly paired with the abundant fresh juniper notes and fresh lime.

Oppidan Spirits in Waukegan


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Mr. Fitz with Oppidan Botanical Gin

Mr. Fitz is an English teacher, a coffee shop owner and renowned author…in the world of the hit show “Pretty Little Liars.” But, in the world of pretty little Waukegan, Oppidan Spirits has a Mr. Fitz of their own. This cocktail gem is made with two ounces of Oppidan Botanical Gin, three-fourths of an ounce of fresh-squeezed grapefruit, three-fourths of an ounce of St. Germaine liqueur and simple syrup.

28 Mile Distillery will reopen its doors in July

The Libation Trail Suds

Black Lung Brewing Co. in Round Lake Beach

Summer Libation: Left Fork Kentucky Common

“You know you’re in Kentucky when you can visit Paris, London, Versailles and Florence all in one day.” The Lake County Libation Trail’s newest partner Black Lung has created a brew with flaked maize, black malts and ancient kveik yeast. This light-bodied brew contains a fragrant malty aroma and strong flavor that goes down dry. The 5% suds rates 19 on the IBU.

Bosacki’s Brewery in Mundelein

Summer Libation: Strawberry Lager


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“And nothing to get hung about. Strawberry Lager forever.” While strawberries are sort of in a shortage with the lack of rain in the spring, The Mundelein brewhouse announces the triumphant return of its berry lager. This refreshing, crisp, clean finish lagers sit at an Alcohol By Volume (ABV) of 5.2% and rates 18 on the International Bitters Unit scale (IBU).

Buffalo Creek Brewery in Long Grove

Summer Libation: Farmer’s Illegit Daughter

Saisons originated in the Wallonia region of southern Belgium during the 19th century. Meaning ‘season’ in French, Saisons were typically brewed during winter months and stored until summer months when they were given to farmworkers as a form of hydration when water wasn’t suitable for drinking. Mike’s Saison is true to nature but brewed all year long.

Half Day Brewing Co. in Lincolnshire

Nira Bay Hard Seltzer 


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Hard seltzers are the biggest libation trend in the last few summers. So the Lincolnshire brewhouse decided to take a crack at the current low-calorie adult beverage and knocked it out of the park. This seltzer is dry and crisp. The drink contains a thirst-quenching flood of black cherries makes this a pleasant addition to any day.

Harbor Brewing Co. and Harbor Brewing Co. Lakefront Craft Biergarten in Winthrop Harbor and North Point Marina

Summer Nights IPA


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“Tell me more, tell me more, was it love at first sight?” The Winthrop Harbor biergarten along Lake Michigan…literally and figuratively with this brew. This New England India pale ale recently released at the harbor is loaded with Idaho 7 & Ekuanot Hops. The adult beverage citrus bomb registered at 7.3% ABV.

Light the Lamp Brewery in Grayslake

Summer Libation: Strawberry Blonde


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“A present from you Strawberry letter 22. The music plays I sit in for a few,” said Shuggie Otis. The blondie over there is a looker of the bunch. The Grayslake sudsery, for the first time, is canning this brew gem, and starting Saturday, July 3, they will have them for sale in its aluminum state. So don’t wait too long to get over to Light the Lamp because it is anticipated that Strawberry Blonde will sell out quick. The adult refreshment is brewed with pilsner, pale wheat, flaked wheat, Citra hops and of course, our favorite red berry with the messed-up hairdo. The Light the Lamp libation is 5% ABV.


Mickey Finn’s Brewery in Libertyville

Summer Libation: Hefe Weizen

The Libertyville brewery’s favorite brew of the vernal equinox months. This German-style ale is brewed with 60 percent wheat malt and 40 percent malted barley. This award-winning suds libation is uniquely highlighted by light fruit, banana, clove and vanilla taste. The Hefe Weizen, which is 5.5% ABV, is best served in a 22 oz glass. Gudenteit Hefe Weizen and Gudenteit summer!

Nightshade and Dark’s Pandemonium Brewing in Waukegan

Summer Libation: The Aesthetics of Being Lost

“Half of the fun of travel is the aesthetic of being lost,” – Ray Bradbury. The Ray Bradbury-themed Waukegan suds factory introduces its new summer brew. This brown ale is jam-packed with Hawaiian macadamia nut honey thinned out to give a refreshing crisp lightness and finishes with a touch of nuttiness. The light brown bubbly adult refreshment is 5.8% ABV.

Only Child Brewing Co. in Gurnee



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That child is a real problem. Toddler tantrums are the cherry on top of your day. So for those lovely nights, your mini-me isn’t falling asleep. Only Child Brewing Co.’s Tantrum is their Bavarian-style hefeweizen. The German 5.1% ABV beer has a signature banana aroma. The fruity, crushable, effervescent ale will really get you summer feels while drinking down spring uplifting sips. Just remember to watch out for the Jenga tower.

Phase Three Brewing Co. in Lake Zurich

Summer Libation: Double Nectar Sour Ale


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How much nectar is too much nectar? I think we should make it a double. The Lake Zurich brewhouse this sour ale is obscenely fruity packed with pineapple, passionfruit and strawberry. True summer bliss sits at an 8% ABV.

Ravinia Brewing Co. in Highland Park

Summer Libation: Flight of the Rooster

Cock-a-doodle-doo has new meaning with the Flight of the Rooster Saison. Utilizing New Zealand Nelson Sauvin hops, this brew obtains a sauvignon blanc palate. This brand of suds has 25 IBUs and is perfect for warmer months. The 7.5% suds will continue the age-old question; “what came first, the chicken or the egg?”

Roaring Table Brewery in Lake Zurich

Summer Libation: RT Pale Ale

Pales are just so darn refreshing during the summertime. This adult beverage has a “flashback Friday” vibe as the Lake Zurich brewhouse took a crack at an old recipe with a new chuggable spin on this one. The hops are strong with this one, and the flavor is rich with a crystal malt body. The Roaring Table Pale Ale is a 5.7% ABV.

Side Lot Brewery in Wauconda

Summer Libation: Chêne doré 


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The French translation to the Wauconda brew is “Golden Oak.” So it makes plenty of sense that the Chêne doré is a strong Belgian golden ale with that oaky aesthetic. The Side Lot Reserve Series, 8.5% libation, finishes off with a Chardonnay-esk taste. Also, a part of the Side Lot Reserve Series is the Big Summer Blowout Imperia IPA and the High Society Sour Berliner Weisse.

Tighthead Brewing Co. in Mundelein

Summer Libation: Pitcher of Nectar IPA


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Outlook: The Mundelein brewhouse recently released the Pitcher of Nectar in can format, and now it’s back! The New England IPA stands at a 7.3 percent ABV. You’ll definitely get the Georgia/Southern hospitality feel as you dip your taste buds into a frothy peach beverage.

Wright’s Brew & Bistro inside Lincolnshire Marriott Resort

Summer Libation: 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. Did you know that bees have five eyes?

Wild Onion Brewery in Lake Barrington

Summer Libation: Pineapple Misfit IPA

Everyone’s favorite Lake Barrington 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.

Zümbier Brewery in Waukegan

Summer Libation: Mile 15 Hazy & Lazy


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The Waukegan Lake County Libation Trail partner and the Lake County Forest Preserves have created a beer called Mile 15 Hazy & Lazy. The New England India Pale Ale dons its name from Independence Grove’s hiking and biking location along the Des Plaines River Trail. The Libertyville preserve challenges libationers to find marker 15 on the Overlook Trail Loop and snap a photo. The hazy beverage NEIPA has a mild bitterness, with great hops. The aroma and flavor of the Waukegan suds include azacca, cashmere and el dorado. The July 2021 Libation of the Month is served at Independence Grove’s newest addition to the Craft Beer Garden that sits in place of the beach area now. This brew is limited-time only, so get it while it’s lazy.

For more information on the Lake County Libation Trail and their summer libations, continue here. To learn more about what’s going on this summer in the land of lakes, click here.



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