Four new breweries are joining the beer scene.
Introducing Argus, 5 Rabbit, New Chicago Brewing Company, Pipeworks.
This new brewery in Back of the Yards (1400 W 46th St) is the result of a serendipitous confluence of complementary forces: Jesse and Samuel Evans, brothers with a history of sustainable beer-making in search of a brew space, and the Plant, a 100,000-square-foot former meat-processing plant that was in search of a brewer tenant as it slowly converted into a vertical vegetable and tilapia farm, and food business incubator. The brewery will be on the Plant’s first floor, and like everything there, it will be entirely self-sustaining. An anaerobic digester will allow New Chicago “to treat our food waste, including our grain…with bacteria, collect the natural gas that comes off of it,” and use that to power the brewery, Jesse says.
But while the Evanses are committed to sustainability, Samuel says “what we want to focus on most is that we’re a true Chicago beer.” The boys were among the founders of Lucky Hand Brewing Company, which touts its beer as “true California” (they’re no longer involved in the business); here in Chicago, they’re hoping to stake a claim with big, bold, hoppy ales made with local ingredients. Chicago is “the seventh-ranked city in the nation in craft beer sales right now,” Jesse says. As the third-largest city, “we should be the third-largest craft beer market—if not the second or first.”—David Tamarkin
New Chicago Brewing Company hopes to introduce its brand with a launch party March 4, 2012.