Small Market Meetings

JUL 2017

The Newspaper for Smaller Cities, Facilities and Planners.

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P r a i r i e S t r e e t B r e w h o u s e R o c k f o r d I l l i n o i s S t a t e M u s e u m S p r i n g f i e l d July 2017 39 mezzanine area that can be used, usually on week- nights, for private events for up to 200 people. Prairie Street Brewhouse Rockford In 1857, 10 years after Jonathan Peacock immigrated to America, he built his brewhouse and bottling plant on the banks of the Rock River in Rockford, Illinois. The Prairie Street Brewing Co. opened in the building nearly 160 years later, returning it to its brewing roots. Today the brick structure houses the brewery, a brew- pub, two bars, event space and residential lofts; it also has a marina and a dock. With so many different levels and rooms in the brick building, groups could hold several events there on the same day without ever using the same space twice. "It's a neat feeling when you walk through the build- ing; it feels really layered and laid out in a unique way, so you feel like you're exploring," said Nathan McDonald, creative director at the Prairie Street Brewing Co. On the main level, the 6,000-square-foot Barrel Room can seat up to 300 people for meals, and 70 guests can enjoy a plated meal in the adjacent 1,500-square- foot Malt Room. Also on the main level is the brewpub restaurant, which, along with a catering kitchen, han- dles food for events. On the lower level, the Ice Cellar is a 1,500-square- foot lounge with a copper-counter bar and 10 draft lines. Last year, the brewery opened another bar and dining area on the lower level facing the marina. The Dockside Taproom sits just off the dock and has a nice patio, McDonald said. The dock is a popular event venue for riverfront receptions and even has a stage for a live band. Typical receptions use a part of the dock that can hold about 300 people, but when the entire space is opened, such as for Dinner on the Dock events, the dock can hold about 1,000 people. Planners can also arrange to have the brewery do one of its themed, five-course, meal-and-beer-pairing din- ners for their group. Illinois State Museum Springfield The Illinois State Museum in Springfield has 13.5 mil- lion objects in its collection, so visitors never know what they might see on display. But two regulars greet and wow guests every day: the skeletons of a mastodon and a giant ground sloth. Groups can gather at the museum in designated spaces during the day or rent the entire facility for after-hours events, said Karen Everingham, interim director of visitor services. Daytime venues include the museum's 185-seat auditorium and a classroom for 40 Courtesy IL State Museum A mastodon skeleton is one of the signature exhibits at the Illinois State Museum.

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