The Next Wave Breweries

The Next Wave Breweries The beer industry in Chicago – and nationwide – continues to explode with growth. The Brewer’s Association’s mid-2015 report tells the story in numbers: from 1,779 in 2011 to 3,739 total breweries in 2015. Brewery-in-planning announcements and brewery openings are now weekly occurrences. Indeed, it’s a good time to be drinking in America. That’s especially true in Chicago. Chronicling the growth of our beer scene is a task Mash Tun Journal takes seriously. Every year, we highlight emerging breweries from Chicagoland, ones we think stand apart from the many new faces on the block. We selected these breweries because we think they have the stuff it takes to become Chicagoland’s next great brewery. This year, we crossed the border to include two Indiana breweries whose beers deserve the attention of Chicagoland drinkers. Many of the Next Wave Breweries we featured were started by homebrewers who found their way to the big leagues. Some of these brewers incubated their brewery concepts at their friends’ breweries. No matter their story, they all went through hell to get a seat at the table. It’s up to you to decide how long they will last. Give these Next Wavers a try. Tell them Mash Tun Journal sent you. Devil’s Trumpet Brewing Co. Year Founded: 2014 Location: Merrillville, Indiana Run By: Steve Carter, Bob Lusin, Mark Malucinich, Chris Pearson Head Brewers: Bob Lusin and Chris Pearson Flagship Beer: My Ghetto, American IPA When the band breaks up, turn to beer. Gathering at Crown Brewing for their homebrew club meetings, Steve Carter, Bob Lusin, and Chris Pearson became fast friends. They also shared common interests other than good beer: they were all musicians and metalheads. Instead of making music together, they channeled their creativity into brewing. After garnering advice from kind beer folks at Crown Brewing, Three Floyd’s, and Revolution Brewing, the team decided on a name – named after Bob’s mother’s favorite flower – and the plan for Devil’s Trumpet was put into place. Chris tends to focus on making beer with an American influence. As such, the brewery has become known for brewing hoppy beers, like Make It a Cheeseburger IPA and Puffy Stack Black IPA. Bob’s love of barrel-aged and Belgian-inspired beers has produced offerings like Fires of Rome Wild Ale and Juggling Elephants Saison, which add to the diverse ranks of Devil’s Trumpet’s constantly rotating tap list. Count on aromatic and flavorful beers from their 3.5-bbl brewhouse. You can also count on most of their beers being named after their favorite metal songs. Available at their taproom in Merrillville, Devil’s Trumpet beer is also served at area restaurants and bars, and in 22-ounce bottles at Indiana liquor stores. – Elizabeth Garibay Imperial Oak Brewing Year Founded: 2014 Location: Willow Springs, IL Run By: Chris DiBraccio, Grant Hamilton, and Brett Semenske Head Brewer: Brett Semenske Flagship Beer: Prediction?…Pain! Double IPA Imperial Oak Brewing was born of a love of high gravity barrel-aged beers, a passion that was stoked by a bar owner’s support of homebrewing, after Brixie’s Beer Bar owner, Chris DiBraccio, began sponsoring a local homebrew club. Every second Wednesday of the month, Brixie’s Brewers came together to share homebrew, recipes, and strike up conversation about the beer. Wanting to create a place that focused on small batch and variety, Chris teamed up with Grant Hamilton and Brett Semenske, a couple of the Brixie’s Brewers. Notable beers include Prediction?…Pain! Double IPA and Frankenstein’s Daughter Saison. Focused on brewing small-batch beers, Imperial Oak is best experienced at source, their taproom. But if you want to take home some of Willow Spring’s finest, grab one of their 32-ounce crowlers (aluminum can growlers). Crank It Dank IPA, hopped with Citra, Mosaic, and Equinox, is a perfect candidate for savoring these last few days of summer.  – Elizabeth Garibay Noon Whistle Brewing Year Founded: 2014 Location: Lombard, IL Run By: Jim Cagle, Mike Condon, Paul Kreiner Brewer: Paul Kreiner Flagship Beers: Cozmo Pale Ale and Bernie Milk Stout Longtime childhood friends, Jim Cagle, Mike Condon, and Paul Kreiner went from playing tee-ball and talking about girls to playing with brewing equipment and talking about low-ABV beers. Already an experienced homebrewer and beer distribution vet, Paul rounded out his beer skillset by attending Siebel Institute. Inspired by the town whistle that blew at lunchtime – cue for an afternoon beer – the trio places an emphasis on high quality, low alcohol. Session beers are the mainstay, but sours are also becoming a staple. The draft list in the taproom is extensive and impressive, as is the space. Crowlers and growlers are available for to-go purchase. Outside their taproom, Noon Whistle’s brews can be found at over 40 bars and restaurants in Chicago and the surrounding suburbs. – Elizabeth Garibay Wildrose Brewing Company Year Founded: 2015 Location: Griffith, Indiana Run By: David DeJong, Karen DeJong, Ed Halajcsik, Kevin Krippel, Tony Nichols Brewer: David DeJong Flagship Beer: Big Sexy, American Pale Ale After frequently coming together over beers, the neighbors on Wildrose Lane began making it together. Once Dave outgrew his Mr. Beer kit, his neighbors not only encouraged him to buy better equipment, they asked him to buy them brewing equipment, too. Beers were brewed and shared. Techniques and recipes were improved. Then, the crew headed west and enrolled in Tom Hennessy’s Brewery Immersion Course. They spent time making beer at Echo Brewing Company in Frederick, Colorado in order to learn how to go adapt their homebrewing know-how to making beer on a 7-bbl system. Soon after, the quintet established Wildrose Brewing Company. You’ll find at least six beers on draft when you head to Wildrose, including their popular Big Sexy APA and Mad Cow milk stout. Be sure to check out Mornin’ James, an imperial coffee stout brewed with Bridgeport Coffee Company beans and aged in Journeyman Distillery barrels. Although the brewery focuses on pale ales and stouts, they plan to expand their portfolio with the introduction of their Oktoberfest and a fall…


October 2015
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