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SeptOberfest Begins at Beer Garden at Independence Grove

September 8, 2022 08:35 AM

SeptOberfest Begins at Beer Garden at Independence Grove

Live music, guided hikes, meet-and-greets with local brewers, and trivia are all part of SeptOberfest, which kicked off at Independence Grove Forest Preserve in Libertyville.

The Beer Garden at Independence Grove, highlighting craft brews and scenic views, will now be open with special hours from 5–9 pm on Wednesday and Thursday evenings through October 31. The beer garden will also remain open from 1-9 pm Friday through Sunday. 

An array of live music and special events are planned for SeptOberfest, weather permitting. Fire pits and free firewood, first come, first served, are available for use along the lakefront. S'mores kits are also on hand for purchase. The venue features an array of local craft beers on tap from Lake County breweries. Wine, non-alcoholic beverages and packaged snacks are also available. Beer flights and tastings will be included in the lineup this fall. 

"The beer garden has been very popular since it opened last summer," said Angelo Kyle, president of the Lake County Forest Preserves. "The venue provides a wonderful opportunity for family fun before the weather turns cooler." 

Live Music Nights (6:30–8 pm)

  • Singer, songwriter Todd Donnelly plays steel pans and percussion on September 8, and October 20.
  • Mariachi trio, Mariachi Viva Jalisco, plays on September 15 to celebrate Mexican Independence Day. 
  • National Slide Guitar Champion Kraig Kenning performs on September 29 and October 6 and 13. 
  • Vocalist, guitarist Liz Berg performs solo pop rock on September 22.   
  • JT James duet performs rock, pop and country music on October 27.
  • New this year is Karaoke Night on October 26.

Hike & Hops

  • An environmental educator will guide participants along the Hike Lake County trail at Independence Grove while pointing out nature highlights. Draft specials at the beer garden, for participants 21 and older, will be available after the walk. Registration is required for the hikes that take place 5:30–7 pm September 14 and October 12.
  • A Trivia Hunt with trivia questions takes place September 21 from 6:30–8 pm at the Independence Grove Plaza area. No registration is required for the free program.

Meet the Brewer (6:30–8 pm)

Learn about various Lake County breweries and what's behind the beer. Taste various handcrafted brews.

Trivia Night takes place 5:30–7 pm September 28 at the Beer Garden at Independence Grove. The theme for the free event is "Weird Lake County." 

Independence Grove Entrance Fee and Beer Garden Details

  • Entrance is free for Lake County residents. Nonresidents are charged $12. After Labor Day, entrance fees are collected on weekends only. 
  • For weather updates or to learn if entertainment or programs have been canceled, view status map here.
  • Plenty of casual lakeside seating is available.
  • Group rates and reservations are available at the beer garden. Email for details and pricing.
  • View all upcoming events and live music:

Pets Not Permitted

With the exception of service animals, dogs, horses and other pets are not permitted at Independence Grove.

Sponsorship Opportunities

If you are interested in learning about future sponsorship opportunities, please contact the Preservation Foundation of the Lake County Forest Preserves at 847-968-3110.


The entrance to Independence Grove is located on Buckley Road (Route 137) just east of Milwaukee Avenue (Route 21) and west of River Road in Libertyville. 

Media Contact: Dan Stearns, Superintendent of Recreational Facilities,, 847-968-3485