203. Brew Fest Turnout Surpasses Rainy Day Expectations


Despite what appeared to be gloomy skies throughout the morning on Saturday, the rain stayed away bringing another cause for celebration to Barrington’s 11th Annual Brew Fest.

Barrington Brew Fest, 2014
Barrington Brew Fest, 2014

And – judging by the people we encountered – brewers, food vendors and guests had a beer-filled blast!

Barrington Brew Fest, 2014
Barrington Brew Fest, 2014

From the tent tables to the admission booth, we have an army of Brew Fest volunteers to thank for coordinating all the fun…

Barrington Brew Fest 2014 Volunteers
Barrington Brew Fest 2014 Volunteers

Plus, the event wouldn’t happen each year if it weren’t for the countless hours put in by organizers Bryan McGonigal of McGonigal’s Pub and Joyce Palmquist of the Barrington Area Council on Aging.

Brew Fest is a major fundraiser for BACOA every year.  Together, Barrington Brew Fest and the Barrington Area Council on Aging’s “Aged to Perfection” wine tasting event in September raise over $90,000 that make up a huge portion of BACOA’s annual operating budget.  Executive Director Joyce Palmquist says these funds cover the cost of many BACOA initiatives for Barrington area seniors, including caregiver assistance programs and Meals with Wheels.

Barrington Area Council on Aging Executive Director Joyce Palmquist Volunteering at Brew Fest
Barrington Area Council on Aging Executive Director Joyce Palmquist Volunteering at Brew Fest

McGonigal’s Pub is Brew Fest’s “Grand Brewmaster Sponsor” so we asked owner Bryan McGonigal for his take on this year’s turnout.

How would you describe the turnout at Brew Fest 2014?

“The turnout was very good considering the rainy weather forecast, which actually closed down Taste of Chicago for the day. We were lucky enough to have absolutely NO weather issues and everyone at the fest enjoyed themselves.”

Barrington Brew Fest, 2014
Barrington Brew Fest, 2014

What is it that keeps the Brew Fest crowds growing year after year?

“With 48 craft beers on tap during Brew Fest, people come for the variety plus the people, the music and the overall atmosphere.  Inevitably, it’s mainly about the beer and the brewers.  If we keep getting a great variety and can get a mix of new and old favorites every year, that makes the beer lovers very happy.”

Barrington Brew Fest, 2014
Barrington Brew Fest, 2014

Were there any highlights that made this year’s event particularly special?

“The main highlight was an expanded VIP tent that offered significant amenities to those who chose to purchase VIP tickets.”

Post - Barrington Brew Fest 2014 - Photo by Liz Luby for 365Barrington - 24
Barrington Brew Fest, 2014

What do you think this event brings to Barrington?

“The event brings people to Barrington that may normally not visit, which gives the Village great exposure. This really is a fantastic community, and with some top-notch entertainment options available (such as the “Grand Brewmaster Sponsor” McGonigal’s Pub), we hope that these people will come back to town even when there aren’t any festivals!”

For more info about this annual beer-lovers event that takes place in downtown Barrington’s north Metra parking lot, visit BarringtonBrewFest.com.  And enjoy these scenes from Brew Fest, 2014…


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