Memorial Day has come and gone, and the weather is heating up. What’s more, festival season is upon us.
The 6th Annual Hyde Park Brew Fest will take place Saturday-Sunday, June 1-2. It will be held from noon to 9 p.m. in downtown Hyde Park on 53rd and Harper Ave.
Jonathan Swain, the event’s organizer, said the event started as a craft beer sampling during another Hyde Park event. Swain said he wanted to do it as a stand–alone event. After a rocky start — due to a late fall date and weather — it got its legs.
“The next year, we saw how the community really enjoyed the event,” he said. “People at the beginning of the summer break out of their hibernation.”
Once revitalization of Harpers Court took place, it helped the success of the event.
“People were able to enjoy a street festival on the South Side like you have on the North Side,” he said.
Swain described the event as the unofficial kick-off to summer. He said it’s a time for good music, great people, and great food and drinks. He said it is a great time for fellowship and getting reacquainting with friends.
“When the summertime comes, that’s when people get to see people they might not always see out. People look forward to seeing people they haven’t seen in a while,” he said.
Some of the best local and regional breweries will be on hand at the two-day event. Local breweries such as Vice District Brewing, Argus Brewery and Old Town Abbey will join Jolly Pumpkin and Revolution Brewing, which is one of the largest breweries in the state of Illinois.
“You’ll have stall warts. There’s also a great Asian brewery, Saboo. There will be all different types of folks,” Swain said. “We like to highlight more local breweries.”
There will also be some ciders and meats to sample.
“Even if you don’t drink beer, Maker’s Mark is our title sponsor. And we’ll have bars on the street,” Swain said. “It’s not just an event for beer drinkers. It’s also an event for people who like good music and great food.”
Musical acts include DJs Biz Markie, Terry Hunter, Clark Kent and Mad Skillz. There will be performances by Terisa Griffin and Estelle.
Swain said Dave Just curated the musical line up. He said he brought Just onboard because of his experience.
“Every year he’s been putting up a really great line-up,” Swain said. “We really like to focus on DJs — the skills of DJs. [It’s] an art and we really enjoy highlighting that art.”
Swain credited the Hyde Park Chamber of Commerce with being a partner for the event each year.
“When you do a festival in the community, it impacts the community,” he said.
Swain said he and his group are as happy putting on the event as people are attending it.
“The response we’ve received about the event…we just look forward to folk coming out,” he said. “Eat, drink and be.”
The event is free to the public, but beer sampling tickets cost $25 for 10 tickets and $40 for 20 tickets. For more information, visit hydeparkbrewfestcom.