Aurora’s Hop Juice Fest features Jayhawks
By Annie Alleman For Sun-Times Media May 24, 2012 9:28AM
Hop Juice Festival
♦ June 1-2
♦ Two Brothers Roundhouse, 205 N. Broadway, Aurora
♦ Tickets, $5
♦ (630) 393-4800
Big changes are in store for the fourth annual Hop Juice Festival.
Presented by Two Brothers Brewery of Warrenville, The event moves to Two Brothers Roundhouse in Aurora and expands to two days. It will be held from 5 to 11 p.m. June 1, and noon to 11 p.m. June 2.
“We just acquired the Roundhouse in June, so we want to showcase what we just bought. And it does definitely hold a lot more people,” said Rachel Sosnoski, marketing manager. “We have a lot more to it. More bands, more local food, more local art, and we’re trying to do no waste. This is a zero waste event. All of the garbage produced is going to either be composted or will be items that are recyclable.”
The cups beer is served in will be biodegradable and corn-based.
Speaking of beer, Two Brothers will provide four brews, including Hop Juice, Hop Juice Black, Dog Days Dortmunder Style Lager and their flagship beer, French Country Ale Domaine DuPage.
“There may be a few other specialty beers,” she said. “This is our 15th anniversary, so we’re re-releasing 15 beers that we’ve made in the past, just as a thank-you to our fans and the market. So we may have a couple of those on (tap).”
Additionally, they’ll have beer from local breweries and other beer carried through Windy City Distribution.
Music will be a big draw of the fest, and includes the Freddy Jones Band, Hoss, the Michael Heaton Band, Hurricane Reggae Band, The Right Now and The Jayhawks.
“I think everybody is really excited about the music — that’s what we’re hearing,” she said.
Food will be organic or sustainable as well, she said.
“Most of the food that we have at the two restaurants is organic or sustainable, so we’re going to be providing that food for the event as well,” she said.
Saturday’s events include the ArtBar, featuring works by local artists from noon to 4 p.m. Hosted by Lisa Gloria, the ArtBar is a curated collection of more than 15 local contemporary artists and local cultural groups. They will be presenting their own works as well as limited-edition prints, jewelry and other items made for Two Brothers and the Hop Juice Festival.
“Local artists are going to have the opportunity to show their works, and as well have been asked to do at least one art piece that is hop or beer related,” she said. “They are all going to be displayed for purchased.”
Clearly, the Hop Juice Fest has become much more than just a brew fest.
“There’s much more to it. There’s the whole organic, no waste component; plus the music and the whole art scene, and getting people together to converse about what’s going on in the beer world,” she said.
It will be an educational weekend, as well. Most of the brewers will be pouring, so consumers can ask questions about the brewing process and what they’re drinking.
“I think that’s the whole purpose of this event,” she said. “Everybody talking amongst each other and sharing fun facts and spreading the word about good craft beer.”
Saturday’s events include the announcement of the winner of Home Brew Competition also. The winner gets the opportunity to brew their recipe and see it on tap at the Tap House and Roundhouse.
Tickets to the Hop Juice Fest can be purchased ahead of time online, or at the gate. Monies raised from the event will benefit the Make-A-Wish Foundation and other charities. The festival takes place rain or shine, and children are welcome.