Jacksonville and Ottawa to clash in Beer Festival competition

By Ryne Turke on August 6, 2016 at 11:56am

Jacksonville has entered into a friendly craft beer rivalry with a LaSalle County city.

Jacksonville’s second annual Craft Beer Festival is tentatively scheduled for August 6th. Jacksonville Main Street’s Sean Meek says local brewers will now be competing against some of the top brewers of Ottawa, Illinois.

“We are actually moving it to the street this year and we will have a couple of larger tents. Hopefully the home brewers will attend. I’m okay with expanding one or two groups each year. We are going to have some great craft beer brought in for the public to sample, other than the home brews. Overall, it is just a great beer festival,” says Meek.

The winner of the Small Town Showdown will earn a special trophy. Meek says each town is contributing funds for the winners to travel for free.

Meek says most of the success from Jacksonville’s Craft Brew Festival is due to the knowledge that was gathered at Ottawa’s Morel Festival.

“When we were doing the research last year, we found out Ottawa had just started doing a Brew Fest during their Morel Festival. We contacted them to see when they had discovered process-wise on the best way to do it. They invited us to be judges last year. They invited us up to be judges again and I believe it was Ottawa that mentioned a friendly competition between the two cities would be an added bonus,” says Meek.

Home brewers wishing to participate should could to the Jacksonville Main Street website for more information.