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Logan Square Beer Festival a Labor of Love for Two Brew Fans

LOGAN SQUARE — Thanks to a couple of uber beer fans, Logan Square will be home to its very own beer festival.

The Logan Square Beer Festival is set to be held Sept. 21 at Logan Auditorium.

Neither of the organizers, Dave Watts, 36, and Marcus Osacky, 35, live in the neighborhood, and neither is a bartender or brewer. In fact, they both work in information technology.

They are, however, serious fans of beer — and beer festivals. So the two suburbanites decided they would put on their own fest.

Osacky's family owns the Logan Auditorium, so it was a natural choice for the festival, but Watts said they are both fans of the neighborhood anyway.

"I love going down to Logan Square," the Lake Villa resident said. "It's a great neighborhood and one of my favorite places to hang out."

It is the love of beer that truly drives them, though.

Watts said he's been to more than 30 beer festivals himself and felt well-qualified to put on a great fest. Plus, he's a home brewer.

"I know what I like, and I know what makes a good fest," he said.

The two hope to have 20 Midwestern breweries participate. So far nine — Revolution, Two Brothers, Lakefront, Wild Onion, Emmetts, Boulder, Six Point, Abita and Sprecher — have confirmed.

Tickets are already on sale for $45 to $55, which gets beer lovers 20 to 25 three-ounce samples.

There will be raffles and swag — T-shirts, mugs, etc. — to boot, and Watts said he and Osacky are encouraging breweries to bring something extra special for the festival.

"Barrel-aged or cask-conditioned, something cool and rare that you can't get at your local liquor store or local bar," he said.

Beyond that, there are still some details to be worked out and more breweries to nail down, but beer lovers can follow the progress on the festival's Facebook or Twitter pages.

The two also just launched an official website for the fest, which they hope will be the first of many.

"We're hoping if it goes successfully — which we expect it to — we're hoping to make it an annual thing," Watts said.