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Plainfield Beer Fest First To Feature Home Brew Under New State Law

(File Photo)

(File Photo)

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PLAINFIELD, Ill. (STMW) – The Midwest Brewers Fest in Plainfield this Saturday will be the first event at which, under a recent change in Illinois law, homebrewers will be allowed to offer samples of their beers, the Elgin Courier-News reports.

According to the fest organization’s vice president, Kevin Herbst, the state issued the first-of-its-kind permit to the Midwest Brewers Fest Monday.

“It’s great to have them all be able to offer samples. It seems that even in the last three years, more and more people are brewing at home or at least know someone who is a homebrewer,” Herbst said.

The event in Plainfield Riverfront Park, 24321 Lockport St., is in its third year and had homebrewer clubs offering samples at its initial event. However, the state began cracking down on such, starting in April, 2012 when Peoria International Beer Festival organizers were told by the Illinois Liquor Control Commission that as clubs’ brewing equipment is not regulated and their beer is not taxed, they could not share such brews at the festival.

So last year in Plainfield, homebrewers were present giving talks and demonstrations but not giving out their beer.

Last fall, 26 homebrew clubs or shops across the state that are part of the Illinois Homebrewers Association began working with State Rep. Keith Farnham of Elgin in putting together a draft of legislation, with members of the Plainfield Ale & Lager Enthusiasts (PALE) coordinating the effort. Farnham became aware of the matter from members of the Silverado Homebrew Club of St. Charles.

In July, Gov. Pat Quinn signed into law the measure, which allows the clubs to offer samples of their beers, under certain stipulations, at festivals and events both public and private across Illinois.

PALE will have a selection of 10 homebrew beers available during the festival, with the selection changing each hour. Styles will include a saison, a barrel-aged Imperial Russian Stout, an American wheat, a cherry/Chipotle speciality beer, a maple porter, and in keeping with the name of the club, a variety of pale beers including some American Pale Ales, Double IPAs, an India Pale Ale, and the 2013 PALE House Recipe winner “Shattered Glass IPA”, brewed by Bill Cartwright.

More than 50 regional craft brewers will serve about 200 different beers, including Two Brothers from Warrenville and Aurora, and the Village Vintner Winery & Brewery in Algonquin.

(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2013. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)