Goodbye Day Job, Hello ‘Wishful Acres’ – Local Brewery in Lena, Illinois Hits Another Milestone

Lena, Illinois — For most of us quitting that day job would be a dream come true. Making our own way in life, charting our own course and doing it our way, would be living life at its best. But when you get to quit your day job to go make beer for a living, well, other than fishing for a living we can’t think of much better than that.

That’s just what happened to one Lena, Illinois family as the husband of this family of 5 left his 15 year “out of town” commute, for the more wishful acres that lie ahead. And Wishful Acres is exactly what they did.

Wishful Acres Farm & Brewery is a small family farm and craft brewery owned & operated by Nate & Penny Peterson.  According to their website their farm began as a dream, or “wish” in the early 2,000’s.

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Living in the city of Freeport, Nate and Penny began growing with a small organic, backyard garden and home brewing beer. At the time they also began crafting their own unique beer recipes.

From there, the Petersons say that in 2009 the garden was expanded when they rented a half acre plot of farmland just outside of town. It was at that time they named their venture, “Wishful Acres Farm”, since for years they had wished for their own farm.

From those early beginnings, in 2011 they purchased their own 10-acre farm nearby and then, in 2016, the family expanded their farm business by adding their own small artisan craft brewery where they create new, exciting and unique beers. They even feature an on-site tap room & retail store that is open to the public.

the petersons wishful acres brewery lena illinois2Wishful Acres Farm & Brewery is located in the beautiful rolling hills of Northwest Illinois, near Freeport & Lena. Their farm currently grows over a hundred different varieties of vegetables, hops, micro-greens, herbs, fruits, and garden plants, all of which are 100% USDA Certified Organic.

Nate is the brewer and Penny is the farmer & business manager and together they say, “we’ve combined our passions into one business”. They were also nominated for the 2016 Farmer of the Year award.

But the big day finally comes today, Friday April 21, 2017 when Wishful Acres announced that Nate, would finally be quitting his job to work full time at the family business.

With over a decade of “wishful thinking” and 15 years on the job, Nate will now be a full-time brewer. Something the couple say he has worked towards for many years.

Today from 4-8 p.m., they are celebrating the big day by offering complimentary cake in their taproom for all the customers who have supported them over the years.


When asked how they feel about this big day, the Petersons simply said, “Wishes do come true”.

If you would like to learn more about Wishful Acres Farm, you can do so by visiting their website at The taproom, bar, and store are open Friday 4-8 and Saturday 12-8.

Tours of the farm & brewery are also available from late March through late November on Saturdays at 11:00 am, rain or shine, except during extreme weather conditions.  Each tour includes a guided walking tour of their organic farm (including hops, greenhouse, and all vegetable gardens) as well as our brewery!  The tours are guided by the owners themselves,

Wishful Acres Farm & Brewery is located at 4679 N. Flansburg Rd, in Lena, Illinois. Their telephone number is 815-990-2380

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GOODBYE, DAY JOB!!! Tomorrow is Nate’s last day at his full-time job in Rockford, after commuting there for nearly 15…

Posted by Wishful Acres Farm & Brewery on Thursday, April 20, 2017



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