Inside Scoop: Q&A with John Maguire, program director for the Lake County Libation Trail
Buffalo Creek Brewing in Long Grove, IL
Q & A with John Maguire, Community Outreach and Programs Director for VisitLakeCounty.org
Q: Tell us a bit about Lake County and all it offers both visitors and residents.
A: Lake County offers the best of all worlds — located between Chicago and Milwaukee, people can see world-class cities, yet within an hour’s drive they can also be enjoying a classic, small-town Main Street experience, wandering a secluded forest preserve trail or soaring through the sky on a rollercoaster.
Bordered by Lake Michigan, and including the famous Chain O’ Lakes region, Visit Lake County packages all its natural amenities with big attractions and culture, hotels, great restaurants and diverse communities to lure guests for business and leisure. As the official tourism marketing organization for the county, Visit Lake County tells the stories that educate both residents and visitors about these destinations.
The Libation Trail evolved from the great concentration of craft breweries, wineries and distilleries that calls Lake County home, now totaling over 30 brands.
Q: What is the Lake County Libation Trail and how can people partake in February and beyond?
A: The Libation Trail evolved from the great concentration of craft breweries, wineries and distilleries that calls Lake County home, now totaling over 30 brands! February is designated as Libation Trail Month, with a “Check-In Challenge” mobile app that encourages exploration to new places. Visiting five or more different locations earns users a chance to win a cool commemorative shirt that lists all of our partners.
We highlight the wide array of flavors and themes found here all year long, including a fall promotion called Spooks & Spirits, Libation of the Month, blogs, contests and social media features.
Q: Lake County is home to more than a dozen great craft breweries. How have you witnessed the rise of the craft-beer industry in your backyard?
These talented artisans have created tasting-room experiences worth traveling for, while also serving as local gathering spots for drinks, music, food and laughs. Almost every community has their own homegrown products. Some are well-known and distributed widely, while others serve as the neighborhood tap. These beer makers keep it interesting with ever-evolving seasonal specialties.
Visit Lake County promotes these hospitality partners year-round in our marketing efforts and referrals to groups we attract to stay here, and the locals show great loyalty to their favorites. Guests will find the state’s oldest brewpub, innovative newcomers, creative collaborations and great camaraderie among the industry peers. Award-winning craft beer, fine wine and raised spirits make it an easy sell.
Q: Finish this sentence: Visiting Lake County can be… a lot of fun! For those eager to combine fine food and drink with unique attractions, we have it all. More affordable than city venues, we can package overnight stays, transportation and itineraries to include dozens of diverse experiences.