The good times roar with beer, lagers, ales and more at Brookfield Zoo’s third annual ZooBrew, set for Aug. 9-10.
Bringing out the party animal’s inner kid with a visit to the zoo, the 21-and-over beer-tasting event features over 60 craft beers from more than 25 breweries, some of which are season brewer picks and are not typically found in the local grocery store.
“We wanted to created a different event here at Brookfield Zoo to get a different demographic to come out,” said Julia Enderle, Brookfield Zoo’s onsite marketing coordinator. “With craft beer being so popular, we thought why not do a beer-tasting event within the grounds of the zoo. So it’s a little different than just going to your normal street festival. You can actually walk around and see animals and also try all of the beers.”
The two-days of festivities also include live music and a silent auction where guests can bid on items from the participating breweries, such as specialty brews, beer tenders, coolers and other novelty items. On Saturday, Chicago ’90s cover band According to Sarah will perform and on Sunday Chicago-based Stache will rock out to the ’80s. Hungry guests can also purchase food to pair with beverages.
“Everyone has a lot of fun,” said Enderle. “A lot of people that come here, will come up and say, ‘wow, I haven’t been to the zoo since I was little on a field trip.’”
The event, which sold out last year, has grown steadily. Over 2,000 attendees are expected this year. A new VIP ticket this year includes an exclusive beer garden and early admission to the ZooBrew tent with unlimited access throughout the evening. It also includes free parking, all day admission to the zoo, exclusive sampling of select specialty brews in the VIP beer garden and featured samplings of beer and food pairings, three ounce samples from more than 60 beers, and a ZooBrew T-shirt.
To promote safety, the VIP designated driver ticket is also available, which includes the same perks as the VIP ticket, but substitutes beer with unlimited soft drinks.
“I love that the event is growing and I hope that it continues to grow and people come out and have a good time.” Enderle said.
The celebration will be held rain or shine. Proceeds raised from the event, according to Enderle, will go to the Animal Care and Conservation Fund.
“It’s an opportunity for people before they have kids to come out and see the zoo and then get Brookfield Zoo in their minds, said Enderle, “so when they do start families they can come out.”
Brookfield Zoo, First Avenue and 31st Street, Brookfield
5-9 p.m. Aug. 9 and 10
General admission tickets $45 in advance, $50 day of event, $35 for zoo members and include free parking, all day zoo admission and ZooBrew tent entry and tastings.
VIP tickets are $75 in advance, $85 day of event, $65 for zoo members and include parking, all day zoo admission, VP Beer Garden, tastings and other perks.
Designated Driver tickets $25, do not include any beer.
Tickets and information at www.CZS.org/ZooBrew