Let's talk about another event in which an extreme local beer in unveiled once a year. This one is not as intimidating or hard to get to as Dark Lord Day, although it may be a little hard to find.
This Saturday, June 18, is the Hop Juice Festival, at Warrenville's Two Brothers Brewing Co. From Noon until 11:00 p.m., the Bros will be tapping their annual release of Hop Juice Double India Pale Ale, a beer with 9.9% alcohol by volume, and 100 IBU's of Northwestern hops. They say the human palate can't really discern much more than 100 IBU of hop bitterness, so this is about as much beer as you might need.
HJF, if I may be so familiar as to use initials. takes place at the parking lot of Two Brothers brewpub, 30W315 Calumet Avenue West, Warrenville, IL. Hey, I live around here and I still can't figure out the address numbers, so I'll just say find your way to the intersection of US 59 and Butterfield Road; get on the frontage road that pops up just past the northwest corner, turn at the first right (Barkley), then past Youghal Rd. to Calumet on the left. Chances are the party will be easy to find on the end of that block.
It's the third annual Hop Juice Festival. Admission is free, and includes the opportunity to buy drafts of Hop Juice, other Two Brothers beers, and a number of guest beers from other local brewers. Food will also be sold, most likely in the form of encased meats and accessories. The tap house will be open only to holders of VIP tickets, which sold out earlier at $65.
Besides the yearly Hop Juice, you'll have the chance to try an HJF exclusive: Hop Juice Black. This slightly more aggressive dark version of the Hop Juice will be available in extremely limited amounts. June 18th will be your only opportunity to purchase 22 oz. silkscreened bottles and taste it on draft throughout the event. A full list of Two Brothers and guest beers to be available should be posted before the event at the link above, or Two Brothers Facebook page.
There's also live music during the day:
- 12:30 - 2:30 p.m. Bubbly Creek Bluegrass
- 3:15 - 5:15 p.m. Tangleweed
- 6:00 - 8:00 p.m. Michael Heaton Band
- 8:45 - 10:45 p.m. Family Groove Company
The brothers, Jim and Jason Ebel, will also be judging a homebrew competition leading up to HJF. Winners will be announced at 3:00 p.m., and the winning brewer will get a chance to have their recipe brewed for sale at the Tap House.
Proceeds from the event will go toward the Make-A-Wish Foundation® to grant a wish within the brewing community: Four year old Emma's wish is to meet the Disney princesses. The Two Brothers crew hopes to able to announce they will be granting her wish the day of the festival.