With Kinslahger Brewing, Beer Shop, Oak Park Brewing Company, Two Brothers Social Tap, Wild Onion Tied House and several other brew-centric businesses in the works, Oak Park is turning into a beer lover’s destination.

But it all started 10 years ago with a little street festival – about 500 people turned out for the first one in 2008 – known as the Micro Brew Review.

The festival celebrates its 10th anniversary this weekend – again running along Marion Street between Lake and Pleasant streets – showcasing more than 200 craft beers locally and from across the country from more than 80 brewers.

The festival, which runs from 3 to 7 p.m. on Aug. 19, is a fundraiser for Seven Generations Ahead, an Oak Park-based nonprofit that focuses on environmental sustainability issues.

Gary Cuneen, executive director of Seven Generations Ahead, said the event aims to create zero waste requiring food and beer vendors to use materials that are either recyclable or compostable.

Seven Generations also provide water filling stations in place of plastic bottles and have volunteers posted at compost and recycling receptacles to help fest goers make sure nothing goes to the landfill, Cuneen said.

Those strategies have resulted in making the event roughly 95 percent waste free.

Although Oak Park is turning into a beer-lovers mecca, it wasn’t always that way in the village.

Cuneen said when they launched the event 10 years ago, the village was concerned the fest might get out of hand.

“When we started the fest this was brand new to the village, and there was a lot of hesitation and fear about how an event like this would play out in Oak Park,” Cuneen said, adding that police have commented every year on how orderly the event has been.

The festival is more than just beer, though.

Attendees will be treated to several food vendors, a mix of live bands and those with VIP passes will have access to specials at indoor venues at the fest sponsored by Carnivore Oak Park butcher, Beer Shop, Two Brothers Social Tap and Beyond Properties Realty Group.

The bands include: The Accidentals; Falling Stars; Blue Horse Blue; DJ D Brice; Righteous Acoustic Sound Party; Tank & the Beez; Cardinal Harbor; Hollywood Bitch; Lakeside City and DC Millionaire.

It also is the second year the Micro Brew Review is holding its Hop Challenge contest, where 20 brewers will offer their top American pale ale for a chance to win the “the Stanley Cup” of the microbrew event – a trophy that gets passed from one winner to the next, Cuneen said.

Advance tickets to the event are $55, and VIP and Hop Challenge tickets run $90 and $65 in advance. A limited number of tickets will be available the day of the festival for $65.

For more information, visit: https://sevengenerationsahead.org/oak-park-microbrew-and-food-review.

CONTACT: tim@oakpark.com

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