Craft brews on tap at Westmont’s annual Winter Beer Fest

From craft beer lovers to those new to the craft brew trend, Westmont is inviting one and all to its fifth annual Winter Beer Fest.

The event invites attendees to enjoy local craft beers by sampling 20 4-ounce pours. This year’s event will be from 3 to 7 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 18, at Ty Warner Park, 800 Blackhawk Drive.

General admission is $50 in advance and $70 at the door, with a $10 designated driver option available. VIP tickets were briefly available but already have sold out, a sign of the excitement surrounding the event, said Luke Wyss, superintendent of recreation for the Westmont Park District.

“We did not anticipate selling out VIP tickets so early and it really shows how much residents enjoy this event,” Wyss said. “People just really enjoy their time at this event and we have such a great community of breweries participating every year.”

The Winter Beer Fest began in 2019. The pandemic forced a change in 2021, with the festival adapting to a “beer-in-a-box” delivery concept. The fest returned in-person in 2022.

Well-known breweries such as Hot Butcher and Energy City will be present this year, as well as breweries more local to the area such as Whiskey Hill. Westmont isn’t the only town represented. Participating breweries span from Tinley Park to Itasca.

“The atmosphere is very relaxed and it’s great to host in Westmont where we get so much participation from our residents,” Wyss said. “We see great interest from folks all around the greater Chicagoland area as well, and we’re happy to bring that kind of attention to our town through something as inviting as this.”

The event will feature four food trucks, including Grumpy Gator and Backdraft BBQ. Yard games will be available, giving attendees an opportunity to hang out as long as they like as they make their way through their samples, Wyss said.

“It’s about the camaraderie of being together and being able to try different craft beers,” Wyss said. “Hopefully people find something they like and they want more of it so they can visit the breweries’ location and continue to support local businesses.”