Several breweries from across the state will compete during a new attraction at this year's Illinois State Fair.
The winning beer will be known as the Official Bicentennial Craft Brew. And only one of eighteen participating breweries will get to make it, after fair-goers cast their votes during opening weekend.
Heidi Brown-McCreery-- who is director of the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency and part of the Illinois Bicentennial Commission--says this is a unique opportunity for Illinois residents to influence a year-long celebration, honoring the state's 200th birthday in 2018.
"[It's really exciting] that the people of Illinois who come to enjoy the fair will actually get to have a say in what will be the official beer of the bicentennial," she says.
Event sponsors include the Illinois Department of Agriculture, the Illinois Craft Brewers Guild and the Associated Beer Distributors of Illinois. They hope the competition helps promote the state's growing craft beer industry and helps showcase Illinois.
"We think it's a great marriage of what the fair brings...in terms of the entertainment and tourism...but as well of the representation of the number one industry in Illinois, which is agriculture," Brown-McCreery says.
Governor Bruce Rauner will announce the winning brew the first Sunday afternoon of the fair.
The state's long-year bicentennial celebration is slated to to run from December 3, 2017 to December 3, 2018. A line-up of state-wide events can be found at Illinois200.com.
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