Best Fall Libations of 2023 in Lake County

By: Stephanie Wylie 09/21/2023

As the vibrant hues of summer gracefully give way to the warm and earthy tones of autumn, our taste buds eagerly anticipate the arrival of fall libations. Join us on a delightful journey through Lake County Libation Trail. And don’t forget to join us for the Spooks and Spirits Check in Challenge. Simply check in at five or more trail stops between October 1-31 for a chance to win exclusive prizes. Stay tuned for details! So grab your favorite sweater, pull up a chair by the fire and let's raise our glasses to celebrate the flavors of fall!

Side note: Be sure to visit the Beer Garden at Independence Grove for SeptOber Fest where Visit Lake County, the Lake County Forest Preserves (LCFPD) and 95 WIIL Rock will do a series of radio remotes. The LCFPD venue features many of the Lake County Libation Trail participants. 

Black Lung Brewing Co. in Round Lake Beach and Fox Lake 





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Oktoberfest (Lager - Amber)

Brimming with all the traditional German grains and enhanced with the delightful notes of fuggle and tettnang hops, this amber bier boasts a nutty aroma and a full-bodied taste that'll transport you to the heart of Bavaria. At 5.9% ABV, Black Lung's Oktoberfest is as fresh as it is flavorful. Raise your stein, savor the rich heritage and immerse yourself in the magic of Oktoberfest with each sip of this exceptional brew!

Black Lung Brewing Co. 2217 N. Illinois Route 83, Round Lake Beach and 115 Nippersink Rd., Fox Lake. 

Bosacki's Brewery in Mundelein





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Oatmeal Stout

Bosacki's Brewery invites you to indulge in the perfect embodiment of fall with their seasonal Oatmeal Stout. This stout delivers the quintessential flavors of roasted grain and chocolate. What sets this stout apart is its subtle sweetness and mouth-smoothing quality, characteristic of a true Oatmeal Stout. At 5.3% ABV, it offers a touch more depth than your average session stout while maintaining a balanced IBU of 21. For the ultimate sensory experience, Bosacki's Brewery will be serving this stout on a nitrogen system, ensuring each sip is velvety and rich.

Bosacki’s Home Brew, 610 E. Hawley St., Mundelein.

Broken Tee Brewing Co. in Highwood





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Dew Sweeper (Coffee Lager)

Prepare to embark on a flavor journey with Dew Sweeper, a delightful Coffee Lager that's as refreshing as invigorating. With a moderate 4.7% ABV, this light lager is a harmonious blend of beer craftsmanship and the delicious Cold Brew Coffee from our neighbors at Tala Coffee Roasters. Dew Sweeper entices your senses with rich coffee notes that linger from the very first sip to the satisfying finish. The enticing aroma of coffee greets you on the nose, inviting you to savor each sip of this exceptional brew.

Broken Tee Brewing Co. 406 Green Bay Rd. Highwood.

Buffalo Creek Brewing Co. in Long Grove





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Apple Cider Saison

Get ready to embrace the season's flavors as Buffalo Creek Brewing unveils its latest creation, the Apple Cider Saison. This delightful brew blends the rich tradition of a French Saison with the crisp essence of hard apple cider, making it the perfect beverage to welcome the apple harvest season and celebrate Long Grove's Apple Fest. Don’t forget to check out their Trick or Treat beer flight, available October 27. The flight features their Candy Corn Ale, Peanut Butter Cup Stout, Jolly Farmhand Ale and Little Boo.

Buffalo Creek Brewing Co., 360 Historical Ln., Long Grove.

Copper Fiddle Distillery in Lake Zurich





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Ol’ Carmel Corn

Copper Fiddle Distillery presents their delightful fall creation, the "Ol' Carmel Corn" Whiskey Cocktail. This enticing concoction features their exquisite Copper Fiddle Bourbon, blended with a rich Carmel corn syrup, barrel-aged bitters and actual caramel corn. It's a sip of fall that perfectly captures the season's essence comfort and warmth. Don't miss your chance to experience the magic of "Ol' Carmel Corn" at Copper Fiddle Distillery.

Copper Fiddle Distillery, 532 W. Illinois Route 22, Suite 110, Lake Zurich.

Glunz Family Winery and Cellars in Grayslake





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Mission Angelica

The Glunz Family Winery and Cellar’s Mission Angelica is a testament to time, having gracefully aged in oak barrels for an impressive average of 25 years. A symphony of butterscotch and maple syrup dances across your taste buds, delivering a harmonious blend of sweetness and depth. What makes this wine truly remarkable is its impeccable balance, where the luscious flavors are complemented by a subtle touch of acidity, creating a sensory experience like no other.

Glunz Family Winery & Cellars, 888 E. Belvidere Rd., Grayslake.

Half Day Brewing Co. in Lincolnshire





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Fall Margarita

Don’t forget to try Half Day Brewing’s Apple Cider Margarita, a delightful twist on a classic favorite that's sure to become your new fall tradition. This delightful libation marries the zesty kick of tequila with the comforting sweetness of apple cider, creating a harmonious blend that's perfect for the season. The cinnamon garnish adds a fragrant twist, infusing each sip with warm, aromatic notes.

Half Day Brewing Co., 200 Village Green, Lincolnshire.

Harbor Brewing Co. at North Point Marina, Lake Villa and Winthrop Harbor





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Buffer Zone (Wheat Beer – Dunkelweizen)

Experience the perfect blend of tradition and innovation with the Buffer Zone Wheat Beer, a Dunkelweizen by Harbor Brewing Company in Lake Villa. This German-style ale, boasting a moderate 5.2% ABV, is a testament to expertise and flavor. A harmonious symphony of ingredients comes together to create this exceptional brew. It starts with a hearty portion of wheat, followed by a carefully selected mix of Vienna, Munich, CaraVienne and CaraMunich malts. To elevate the experience, Hefeweizen Ale Yeast is introduced, infusing the beer with distinctive flavors and character.

Harbor Brewing Co. 136 Cedar Ave., Lake Villa, Harbor Brewing Co. Lakefront Biergarten, 701 North Point Dr., Winthrop Harbor and Harbor Brewing Co., 811 Sheridan Rd., Suite A, Winthrop Harbor.

Light the Lamp Brewery in Grayslake





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Get ready to savor the spirit of Oktoberfest with Pucktoberfest! This traditional German-style Marzen, with a robust 6.2% ABV, captures the essence of the season in every sip. It's the perfect brew to celebrate the festivities and the flavors of fall. Prost!

Light the Lamp Brewery. 2 S. Lake St., Grayslake.

Liquid Love Brewing in Buffalo Grove





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Flying Mermaid Island (Sour – Fruited)

Liquid Love Brewing introduces "Flying Mermaid Island," where passion fruit takes center stage! This time, the spotlight is on the vibrant notes of passion fruit, expertly blended with the tropical delights of pineapple, mango and creamy coconut. As the fall weather approaches, Flying Mermaid Island serves as a delightful reminder of the sunshine we'll miss. This tropical sour is your ticket to a palate-pleasing adventure, offering a creamy body thanks to the coconut infusion. Each sip's sweet and tart symphony strikes a perfect balance, making it a sensory experience like no other.

Liquid Love Brewing, 1310 Busch Pkwy., Buffalo Grove.

Lynfred Winery in Wheeling and Highland Park





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Spiced Apple Wine

Explore Lynfred Winery's rich German heritage with their unique Spiced Apple Wine. This exquisite creation is a beautiful fusion of tradition and innovation, as they've aged the apple wine with natural cinnamon and star anise. With a blend of 100% Red Delicious and Fuji apples, sourced from Prosser, Washington, this wine offers a glimpse into the flavors of the Pacific Northwest. As you pour a glass, you'll be greeted by a mesmerizing color, a harmonious blend of yellow with golden hues. The aroma is a symphony of apple, flowers, cinnamon, honey and anise.

Lynfred Winery. 971 N. Milwaukee Ave., Wheeling and 1823 St. Johns Ave., Highland Park.

Mickey Finn's Brewery in Libertyville





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Pretzel Logic

Micky Finn's Brewery is back with a seasonal masterpiece that'll have you raising your glass in celebration of fall. Introducing "Pretzel Logic," a Festbier that's set to become your new autumn favorite. Unlike traditional Oktoberfest brews, Pretzel Logic offers a lighter, slightly hoppier profile that's sure to pique your taste buds' interest. This Festbier boasts a malty, cracker-like body, a satisfyingly dry finish and just the right amount of noble hop character to provide the perfect balance. This Festbier is a tribute to fall in every pour!

Mickey Finn's Brewery. 345 N. Milwaukee Ave., Libertyville.

Nightshade and Dark's Pandemonium Brewing in Waukegan





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The Autumn People

At Nightshade and Dark's Pandemonium Brewing, they're masters of crafting beer that captures the essence of the season. This fall, they invite you to experience the enchantment of autumn with their exquisite creation, "The Autumn People," a Marzen Style Oktoberfest. Immerse yourself in the rich malty flavors and captivating copper hue of this brew, accompanied by a subtle hint of caramel. With a perfectly balanced 5.4% ABV, "The Autumn People" promises a delightful journey through the crisp days and cozy fall nights.

Nightshade and Dark's Pandemonium Brewing. 216 W. Clayton St., Waukegan.

9th Hour Brewing Co. in Lake Villa





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Nature Walk (American Pale Ale)

Take a walk on the wild side with Nature Walk Pale Ale by 9th Hour Brewing in Lake Villa. This American Pale Ale, with a moderate 4.7% ABV, is a true ode to the local landscape. What sets this brew apart is the infusion of spruce tips gathered just down the road at Richardson’s Tree Farm in Spring Grove. This unique touch imparts a distinctive piney and earthy flavor profile, offering a delightful departure from the ordinary.

9th Hour Breiwng (located inside Harbor Brewing Co.), 136 Cedar Ave., Lake Villa. 

North Shore Distillery in Green Oaks





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Fall Fitzgerald

North Shore Distillery welcomes the season of falling leaves and crisp breezes with their exquisite creation, the "Fall Fitzgerald" cocktail. Prepare your taste buds for a delightful journey through layers of flavor as fruit, spice, honey and botanicals harmonize in a truly delicious concoction. Each sip is a testament to the mastery of blending these autumnal elements into a cocktail that captures the very essence of the season. So, whether you're raising a glass to the changing leaves, sipping by the fireside, or toasting to new beginnings, North Shore Distillery's "Fall Fitzgerald" promises a taste of autumn you won't want to miss.

North Shore Distillery, 13990 W. Rockland Rd., Green Oaks. 

Oppidan Spirits in Waukegan





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Four Grain Straight Bourbon

Oppidan Spirits invites you to savor a masterpiece of bourbon craftsmanship with their Four Grain Straight Bourbon Whiskey. This exceptional creation is a harmonious blend of bourbon's major grains: corn, wheat, rye and malt. With a carefully crafted mash bill of 68% corn, 14% wheat, 9% rye and 9% malt, it offers a symphony of flavors that truly stands out. Crafted to perfection, this bourbon optimizes the delicate balance between the sweet, silky mouthfeel derived from wheat and the captivating spiciness of rye. At a bold 100 proof, it's a spirit that confidently holds its own in any cocktail, yet remains smooth and enjoyable when savored neat.

Oppidan Spirits. 220 W. Clayton St., Lot C Waukegan.

Phase Three Brewing Company in Lake Zurich





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Affy Tapple Peanut Caramel Ale

Phase Three Brewing is back with their much-anticipated fall brew, and it's an absolute treat for the senses. Welcome "A Bushel of Apples," a delectable golden ale born from a delightful collaboration with Affy Tapple. This 6% caramel apple peanut golden ale has all the cozy, autumn vibes you've been craving. Inspired by the timeless fall indulgence of a caramel-dipped apple adorned in crunchy peanuts, this brew is a taste of the season in every sip. But that's not all there is to love about "A Bushel of Apples." Phase Three Brewing is keeping the tradition of giving alive by donating $1 from every single 4-pack sold to Gigi's Playhouse, spreading the warmth of community alongside the warmth of this exceptional fall brew.

Phase Three Brewing. 932 Donata Ct., Lake Zurich.

Ravinia Brewing Company in Highland Park





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Pumpkin Altbier

Ravinia Brewing, in collaboration with Chicago’s Brewer's Triangle—comprising Cosmopolitan Brewing, Ravinia Brewing and Maplewood Brewing—presents a true autumnal delight: Pumpkin Altbier. Crafted with meticulous attention to detail, this English altbier is an embodiment of the fall season, made with real pumpkins to capture the essence of the harvest. This pumpkin altbier is a celebration of the Brewer's Triangle's passion for brewing excellence and innovation.

Ravinia Brewing Company. 582 Roger Williams Ave., Highland Park.

Roaring Table Brewing Co. in Lake Zurich





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Vienna Lager (Kellerbier)

Roaring Table has taken the art of crafting beer to new heights by using the finest floor-malted German Munich and Vienna malts to create this delightfully toasty, rich and crisp amber lager. Their Kellerbier is a lager that boasts a depth of flavor that's as inviting as it is satisfying.

Roaring Table Brewing Co. 739 W. Illinois State Route 22, Lake Zurich.

Tighthead Brewing Co. in Mundelein





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Old Kaya Dog

Tighthead’s Barrel-Aged Old Kaya Dog is an American-style barleywine is a testament to craft and patience, created with massive amounts of barley malt, American hops and ale yeast to produce a brew that's nothing short of extraordinary. Encounter hints of light fruit and the gentle warmth of alcohol. What sets this barleywine apart is its journey through time, aging gracefully in oak barrels for an entire year. During this transformation, it takes on new dimensions, infusing notes of vanilla, coconut, dark fruit and the subtle essence of oak. Tighthead Brewing Co. 161 N. Archer Avenue Mundelein.

Tighthead Brewing Co., 161 N. Archer Ave., Mundelein. 

28 Mile Distilling Co. in Highwood





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Espresso Martini

Prepare enjoy the flavor of 28 Mile Distillery's Elf Butterscotch Bourbon Whiskey in this espresso martini. This exquisite creation weaves a tapestry of blended flavors, where the enchanting allure of butterscotch meets the timeless elegance of whiskey. It's the perfect companion for those cherished moments after dinner or as a night-cap, promising a sensory experience that's truly beyond compare.

28 Mile Distilling Co. 454 Sheridan Rd. Highwood.

Valentino Vineyards and Winery in Long Grove





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Valentino (Seyval Blanc)

Valentino Vineyards invites you to savor the artistry of their Seyval Blanc, a Late Harvest White Wine that has been lovingly barrel-aged for a full year. With its captivating golden hue and a bouquet that delights the senses with floral notes, hints of honey, oak and a touch of sweetness, this wine is a true masterpiece. Each sip of Seyval Blanc promises a journey of taste that's as rich as it is refreshing.

Valentino Vineyards. 5175 Aptakisic Rd., Long Grove.

Vigneto Del Bino Vineyards and Winery in Antioch





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Sequoit Red

Vigneto Del Bino invites you to immerse yourself in the rich tapestry of taste with their Sequoit Red wine. Crafted with precision and passion, this red wine is a beautiful blend of Frontenac, Sabrevois and St. Croix grapes, resulting in a harmonious fusion of flavors that's simply exquisite. You’ll sense an alluring aroma that weaves together the sweetness of strawberries, the depth of cherries and the vibrant notes of red currants.

Vigneto Del Bino. 42150 Crawford Rd., Antioch.

Wild Onion Brewery and Banquets in Lake Barrington





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Pumpkin Ale

Pumpkin Ale It's time to raise your glass to the harvest season with Pumpkin Ale from Wild Onion Brewing. Crafted with care and precision, Pumpkin Ale is a crisp and flavorful delight, expertly brewed with a blend of spices that evoke the essence of a freshly baked pumpkin pie. Each sip offers a journey through layers of autumnal spices and a rich, malty aroma that will warm your heart. With a balanced 5.2% ABV, this brew is the perfect companion for those crisp autumn evenings and gatherings with friends. It's a taste of fall you won't want to miss!

Wild Onion Brewery and Banquets, 22221 N. Pepper Rd., Lake Barrington.

Wright's Brew and Bistro in Lincolnshire





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Five Eyes Honey Ale

Try Wright's Brew and Bistro, nestled within the picturesque Lincolnshire Marriott Resort, reintroduces their beloved classic, Five Eyes. This cream ale derives its name from the honey harvested straight from the resort's on-site beehives, infusing it with a touch of local charm. What makes Five Eyes truly special is the collaborative expertise behind it, a partnership with Tighthead Brewing Co. in Mundelein. Together, they've created a brew that captures the essence of the region, blending flavors seamlessly to create a unique cream ale that's both refreshing and distinctive. Join us at Wright's Brew and Bistro and discover what all the buzz is about. Don't miss out on the chance to indulge in Five Eyes – a brew that's truly the bee's knees!

Wright's Brew and Bistro (located inside the Lincolnshire Marriott Resort), 10 Marriott Dr., Lincolnshire.

ZümBier in Waukegan





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Liberty Call IPA

ZümBier proudly presents Liberty Call India Pale Ale, a tribute to those who work tirelessly at sea and on land. In every sailor's life, "Liberty Call" are the two most anticipated words, and this beer embodies the spirit of well-earned respite. With a blend of Bravo, Centennial, Cascade, Columbus and Simcoe hops, Liberty Call IPA is a testament to the dedication and hard work of those who serve. This beer works just as hard as you do, providing a refreshing and flavorful escape from the daily grind.

ZümBier Brewery. 3232 W. Monroe St., Waukegan.

For more information about the Lake County Libation Trail, click here. To find information about the Spooks and Spirits Check-in Challenge, continue here. To view all the Lake County Libation Trail events occurring this fall, click here.

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