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Northbrook Brewfest Expands Ticketing, Maggie Speaks to Headline The Event


Northbrook Brewfest Expands Ticketing, Maggie Speaks to Headline The Event

The people spoke and the Northbrook Park District listened.

“We received feedback over the years that adults in the community want adult-focused activities,” said Katie Kotloski, Recreation Division Manager of the Park District. That’s why they have scheduled Northbrook Brewfest 2021 on Oct. 16 at Village Green Park, in association with the Village of Northbrook. The event is open to ages 21 and older only.

Apparently, this was the right adult activity because the event was nearly sold out at press time.

Joseph Mullarkey Distributors located the 15 breweries that will participate. “They know what beers are trending,” Kotloski explained. “And they make sure they have a variety of beers to everyone’s palate, interesting beers for more adventurous palates, and some of the gold standards that everyone enjoys.”

Breweries participating include Two Brothers Brewing Co., Brickstone Brewery, Sierra Nevada Brewing Co., Firestone Walker Brewing Co., Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, Sketchbook Brewing Co., Smylie Brothers Brewing Co., Alarmist Brewing Co., Revolution Brewing Co., and Rogue Ales, plus five others.

Ticket prices include tasting tickets for 15 five-ounce samples.

When they aren’t sampling beers, Brewfest-goers can toss inflatable axes, make cork coasters, or take selfies in front of a backdrop. In addition, there will be T-shirts for sale, and food for sale from the Louie B. Fresh food truck. Attendees will receive souvenir glasses.

Entertainment will be provided by cover band Maggie Speaks from 2:30-5:30 p.m.

The Chicago-based band has performed around the country and across the world, including Costa Rica, Sydney, Shanghai, Venice, and Rome. They have shared the stage with such entertainers as Earth, Wind, and Fire; The Doobie Brothers; and rapper Tone Loc; among others.

The group, which was founded in 1998, currently consists of bandleader and vocalist Nicole Garza, founder and vocalist David Calzaretta, drummer Blake Cooper, bassist Shawn Sommer, and guitarist Samir Varma.

Garza, who joined the band in 2011, said she enjoys her full-time job performing with Maggie Speaks because it means “being able to play with some of my best friends and making a living doing what I love.”

The group is known for its diverse repertoire. “We play top 40 music of all genres, all decades, from Jackson Five to Maroon 5,” Garza said. Styles include rock, pop, dance, funk, country, hip hop, jazz, Motown, R&B, and more.

Northbrook Brewfest audiences are in for a treat when Maggie Speaks performs.

“We are really good at reading our audience,” Garza noted. “But we’re also excited to play some of the newer hits that we learned for the summer. We play a little bit of everything that we think the audience wants to hear.”

To provide safety from COVID, the event is completely outdoors and will be spread over a large area to accommodate the expected 500 people. “We’ll be asking people to mask up if they’re going to be congregating closer than three to six feet,” Kotloski said.

She concluded, “We’re really excited to bring a new type of event to the Northbrook community.”

Northbrook Brewfest 2021

When: 2-6 p.m. Oct. 16

Where: Village Green Park, Shermer and Meadow Roads, Northbrook

Tickets: $45 in advance, includes 15 five-ounce tasting tickets, plus activities and entertainment; $15 access only tickets

Information: 847-291-2960;

Myrna Petlicki is a freelance reporter for Pioneer Press.