Rock Island’s Bent River Brewing Company will compete against several other Illinois craft brewers in a quest to be named the Official Bicentennial Craft Beer.

The Governor’s Office of the Illinois Bicentennial, in partnership with the Illinois Department of Agriculture, the Illinois Craft Brewers Guild and the Associated Beer Distributors of Illinois, will present a craft beer competition at the Illinois State Fair in Springfield on Aug. 11-13. 

Rock Island’s Bent River Brewing Company is one of the craft brewers to have accepted an invitation to compete.

“To compete with a beer brewed for our 20th year is another great venture in 2017,” Bent River Brewing Company Director of Marketing and Advertising Sophia Aley said. “I believe our beer, like Uncommon Stout, and our fans are second to none. We’ve had an incredible 20 years.”

To highlight the robust craft beer industry and “Illinois Made” products, Illinoisans will be able to celebrate the 200th birthday of the state with an Official Bicentennial Craft Beer.

“We are excited to have Illinois brewers from across the state represented in this competition,” said Lisa Post, director of events and programs for the Bicentennial Office.

Craft brewers from Evanston to Alton and Rock Island to Chicago will showcase one of their signature brews, all vying for the chance to be selected to brew the Official Bicentennial Craft Beer. The winner will be determined by a vote of State Fair attendees who sample the offerings and a panel of craft beer experts.

“An Illinois Bicentennial craft beer will be an exciting offering to all craft beer lovers,” said Danielle D’Alessandro, executive director of the Illinois Craft Brewers Guild. “We are thrilled to highlight our vibrant Illinois craft beer community through this opportunity.”

The Illinois Bicentennial Craft Beer Competition Tent is located inside Gate 1 in the Happy Hollow area.

Illinois was recognized as a state on Dec. 3, 1818, and the official Illinois Bicentennial will be celebrated in 2018, with events planned across the state on Constitution Day on Aug. 26, 2018, leading up to the grand birthday celebration at the United Center on Dec. 3, 2018.

Municipalities and organizations that are planning Bicentennial activities between Dec. 3, 2017, and Dec. 3, 2018, can apply for endorsement by the Illinois Bicentennial. Visit the “Participate” page at for more information and to submit an application for endorsement.

Brewers who are scheduled to participate:

718 Brew Café, Metropolis
Aleman Brewing Company, Chicago
Bent River Brewing Company, Rock Island
Blue Nose Brewery, Hodgkins
Brickstone Restaurant & Brewery, Bourbonnais
Church Street Brewing Company, Itasca
DESTIHL Brewery, Normal
Engrained Brewing Company, Springfield
Excel Brewery, Breese
Forge Brewhouse, Sycamore
Hand of Fate Brewing Company, Petersburg
Miskatonic Brewing Company, Darien
Myths & Legends Brewing Company, Westmont
Noon Whistle Brewing, Lombard
Old Bakery Beer Company, Alton
Peel Brewing Company, O’Fallon
Pollyana Brewing Company, Lemont
Rolling Meadows Brewery, Cantrall
Sketchbook Brewing Company, Evanston
White Oak Brewing, Normal