Evanston is set to become a beer destination, with three craft breweries expected to open this year.
Temperance Beer Company
Temperance Beer Company plans to start selling kegs to local
restaurants by mid- to late-August and is already in talks to have its brews on
tap at spots including Taco Diablo, Found, Farmhouse and Ward 8.
"The idea is in Evanston, it will be the hometown
beer," said owner Josh Gilbert, an Evanston native.
The brewery's huge space will allow it to grow its
production capacity under the direction of Claudia Jendron, who previously
worked as a brewer for Chicago's Goose Island Beer Co. They plan to launch a
line of canned beers by the end of the year, with one beer available year round
and four seasonal varieties. They'll also be getting whiskey barrels from local
distilleries Koval and FEW for barrel-aged beers.
Along with selling its products in stores and restaurant, Temperance also plans to open a taproom sometime between this fall and next summer. While the spot has no kitchen, drinkers will be able to order in food or snack on charcuterie plates or specialty popcorn, and Gilbert also hopes to host food trucks. The spot will have a growler filling station and sell six-packs of Temperance cans. The 2,200-square foot space will also have a beer garden and a view of the brewing equipment.
"I think it's really important when you're in a taproom to know you're in a brewery," Gilbert said.
Another place in talks to pour Temperance Beer is Smylie
Bros., which is expected to open by the end of the year at 1615 Oak St. Owned
by restaurant veteran Michael Smylie, who has worked in the kitchens of Glenview's
Cafe Lucci and the now shuttered MecaFresh in Evanston. The spot will include a
10-barrel brew house and you'll find five or six of their own beers on tap
along with more than a dozen others from the Great Lakes area. They'll also
offer a growler filling station, so customers can get their beer to go, and a
regional American menu spanning Texas-style barbecue, pizzas, charcuterie
platters, steaks and fish.
“I think Evanston has appreciation for the craft side of things, for product that’s made locally,” said Smylie, a Winnetka resident.
Debbie and Jamie Evans sold The Celtic Knot to a business
partner after operating the bar for eight years and are planning on opening
Peckish Pig at 623 Howard St. in December. Home brewer Tom Fogarty will be
making beer on site, which they'll serve along with cocktails and wines chosen
based on their experience as owners of Taste Food and Wine in Chicago.
"My husband and
I have been in this business for 30 years," Debbie said. "Between
that and Tom's beer, we should have it nailed."
The 9,000-square-foot space, built from combining five
storefronts using TIF money, will include a 3,000-square-foot enclosed patio
with a stage for live music. Debbie will design the menu of small plates meant
for sharing, focusing on organic and local produce and smoked meat and fish
made in house.
Making Evanston 'a craft beer destination'
Smylie said he's excited about the confluence of breweries
coming to the city and is already dreaming up ways for them to collaborate.
“There’s an opportunity to try and make Evanston a craft beer destination, so why not promote the breweries here and design a festival around them?" he asked. "As that movement expands, we all reap the benefits of it so it would be great to work with the other guys.”