Work Samples

Konow’s Beer Fest showcases plethora of brews


As the calendar heads into the dog days of summer, one local farm recently offered a new way for attendees to quench their thirst.

A number of people poured into the inaugural Beer Fest Saturday, July 9, at Konow’s Corn Maze, sampling 30 different beer varieties.

Christina Neitzke-Troike, event coordinator for Konow’s Beer Fest, said introducing the event to the area seemed like a worthwhile venture.

“There’s not a lot around here like [Beer Fest], so we wanted to bring it to the farm and let people try something like this,” Neitzke-Troike said. “We’ve never done anything like this before. Other areas do it, so we wanted to try it out to see how it went.”

The beers available ranged from India pales ales to seasonal summer brews, also including larger brand names like Samuel Adams and smaller local offerings like Pollyanna Brewing Company from Lemont.

Stacy Davis, of New Lenox, said she heard about the Beer Fest while listening to a local radio station that was giving away tickets, and she and her husband decided to give it a try.

Davis said she and her husband were enjoying their time spent sampling beers.

Her husband, Sean, said he’d tried roughly six beers.

“I like the wheat beer from Pollyannna,” he said, dubbing it his favorite drink of the afternoon to that point.

Stacy said she tried the Truly Spiked & Sparkling beverage and that it had been her favorite of all the selections.

Sean said between he and his wife, he’s more of the beer fan.

“I’m actually impressed she’s actually trying beers,” he said. “She normally doesn’t drink any beer.”

Rich Kowalczyk, of Lockport, said he and his wife were having a good time at the Beer Fest.

“She got me tickets for our anniversary,” he said.

Kowalczyk sipped on a brew from Revolution Brewing, Illinois’ largest independent craft brewery, and said he enjoyed the hibiscus ale.

“I love [Beer Fest],” he said. “I love trying new beers and kind of finding something else, something different. It’s better than just going and buying a random six-pack.”

Kowalczyk said he was looking for a nice, light beer to enjoy during the summer months.

“I would say every [brewer] we’ve gone [to] so far, there’s at least one beer I’ve been impressed by,” he said.

Of the various beers available at the event, Kowalczyk said there were some he had not heard of previously.

“Sam Adams has this one beer that I’ve never, ever seen before,” he said. “It’s kind of got a lemon kick to it. I’d definitely go buy that one.”

Kowalczyk’s wife, Beth, said she’d never been to a beer festival before.

“I’ve been to wine tastings and stuff, but this is different,” she said. “I like it.”

Beth said she considers herself a “big” beer fan, depending on what type it is. She added that she would be interested in attending Konow’s Beer Fest again in the future.

Neitzke-Troike said the goal of the event was to be another avenue for people to come out, socialize and enjoy all the sights and sounds on a summer day.

“[We hope] to bring people together for live music and have some beer,” she said. “We want the kids to be able to come out and enjoy the jumping hill, the spider webs, the tree house, all that stuff, while their parents can sit back and relax and have a cocktail and watch the band.”

Neitzke-Troike said Konow’s has plans to hold another festival next year, expanding it to also incorporate wine and whiskey.