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2015 Press Coverage:
"Oak Park Micro Brew and Food Review"
"What to eat and drink in Chicago this week"
"Oak Park Micro Brew Review draws big list of breweries"
"Craft beer fest draws thousands to downtown Oak Park"
"One recipe, 59 local brewers, tons of good beer: ReplicAle"
Cassandra West, Communications Director, Seven Generations Ahead
4,500 at the Oak Park Micro Brew Bask in Craft Beer Heaven
August 18, 2015, Oak Park, IL— The number of breweries signing on for the Annual Oak Park Micro Brew Review in downtown Oak Park continues to grow. Ninety-two breweries, the most ever — primarily from Illinois and the Midwest — provided 4,500 craft beer lovers with samplings of nearly 400 unique beers at this year’s Review on Aug. 15.
Micro Brew Review — produced by Seven Generations Ahead and the Illinois Craft Brewers Guild — again included the extremely popular “ReplicAle” feature of the Guild, which engaged 59 brewmasters brewing American Saisons with their particular variations on tap for attendees could taste and compare.
Shortly before the main event got underway, a rainstorm blew through Oak Park, but the brief downpour didn’t dampen the spirits of the 4,500 craft beer enthusiasts who came from 216 ZIP codes, including multiple cities throughout Canada and the United Kingdom.
The event — made possible by the generosity of the Illinois Craft Brewers Guild — mainly supports the sustainability work of Seven Generations Ahead. The Guild also retains some of the proceeds to support their work in promoting the craft beer industry in Illinois.
“Micro Brew 2015 was a great example of how fun sustainability can be,” Jen Nelson, Zero Waste program manager, said. “Thanks to the zero waste team of volunteers, more than 4,000 attendees and 10 restaurants successfully composted 7,000 pounds and recycled over 700 pounds! What a great way to keep these resources from heading to a landfill!"
All told, the 8th Annual Oak Park Microbrew was the largest-zero waste craft beer festival in the Midwest, and remains one of the highest quality and beautifully located craft beer festivals in the region.
Co-producers Seven Generations Ahead and the Illinois Craft Brewer’s Guild are pleased to report the following:
➢ More than 4,000 beer tasters attended the Micro Brew Review plus an unspecified number of additional visitors who did not drink beer (designated drivers, friends of attendees, other visitors).
➢ 92 craft brewers from Illinois and beyond served more 200 different beers. Visit www.sevengenerationsahead.org/microbrew for list.
➢ More than 600 attendees participated in the ICBG’s ReplicAle Project Reception, which featured a record-setting 59 brewers who showcased their unique approach to brewing Saison.
➢ More than 250 volunteers contributed their time by filling vital roles.
➢ Attendees used 8,000 plates, 5,000 eco-utensils, and 9,000 napkins that were all compostable.
➢ Approximately 80 percent of all waste generated at the festival was diverted from landfills.
➢ Compostables (and recyclables) collected at the event were hand sorted by dedicated volunteers and hauled away by Waste Management Inc., which implements the food scrap collection service in Oak Park.
➢ No plastic water bottles were served — all replaced by continuously refreshed serve-yourself water coolers using reusable tasting glasses.
➢ Proceeds from the event contribute significantly to the ongoing work of Seven Generations Ahead in its efforts to build healthy, sustainable communities and schools throughout the Midwest.
Other event highlights included:
➢ From the Metra Station overlooking North and South Marion Street, Chicalba bagpiper, Luke Cunningham, signaled the taps to pour by playing to crowd cheers on Marion Street as the main event kicked off at 3 p.m.
➢ Delectable food offerings from Mancini’s Italian American Bistro, Maya del Sol, The Kinderhook Tap, The Heritage, The Khyber Pass, Puree’s Pizza & Pasta, Marion Street Cheese Market, G.H. Cretors Popcorn and Maple Leaf Farms (Indiana).
➢ Musical offerings from DJ Dan Brice, Tank & the Beez, The Marquis Brothers, Meadowcroft, Johnny Alletto, Lake Side City, No Love for Linus, Falling Stars, The New Normal, The London Gentlemen, The Accidentals, Under Cover, The Greydowns, The 9 Spot and The Velvet Jimis.
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Oak Park Micro Brew Review Sponsors
Goose Island Beer Co., WBEZ 91.5, Country Malt Group, Best Malz, White Labs, Burton Conry Architecture Design, Black Rock, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Whole Foods Market, AAA Rental Center, Downtown Oak Park, Marion Street Cheese Market, Maple Leaf Farms, G.H. Cretors Popcorn, The Barrel Run, Chiro One, The Kinderhook Tap, Blue Prairie Group, Two Brothers Brewing, Northwestern Mutual, The Beer Shop, The Noble Kinsman, Consolidated Printing
What is a Zero Waste Event?
The planning committee, volunteers and vendors worked diligently to make the Oak Park Micro Brew Review a Zero Waste event. Thought was put into everything that would be needed to host this event, and efforts were made to reuse existing materials; source recycled content, recyclable or compostable new materials; and prevent waste from ending in the landfill. All of the food scraps, plates, napkins and spoons were composted. Patrons helped make this event a Zero Waste success by utilizing the Resource Recovery Stations to dispose of used items. Each station had four receptacles for different waste categories: Compostables, Recyclables, Liquids, and Landfill. Volunteers were located at each station to assist with the sorting process and to answer any questions.
For future reference: Zero Waste isn’t just for events. This practice can follow you to your home and business. With a little extra effort, you can begin to move toward zero waste. Contact Seven Generations Ahead if you would like to learn more:
About Seven Generations Ahead
Founded in 2001, Seven Generations Ahead’s mission is to promote the development of ecologically sustainable and healthy communities. Visit www.sevengenerationsahead.org to learn more.
About The Illinois Craft Brewers Guild
The Illinois Craft Brewers Guild is dedicated to promoting the development and expansion of the craft beer industry in Illinois. Visit www.illinoisbeer.com to learn more.