Chicago’s Newest Brewery-Make Mine A Metro!
Posted by Bob Skilnik on July 25, 2008
Last year I had the opportunity to meet Doug and Tracy Hurst, first at a beer and food pairing at Rock Bottom in Chicago, soon after at Hopleaf where the pair were pouring some of their homebrewed beers, and finally at a beer dinner at Goose Island, Clybourn where I was asked to say a few words about whatever new book I was pushing at the time. I don’t remember what they were pouring at the beer and food events; age and too many beers might have me not quite remembering the most accurate of details.
What I do remember is that Doug and Tracy are as nice as old hell, easy to talk to and filled with the kind of youthful enthusiasm for adventure that I lost years ago (actually, I tell people I have 2 more big adventures left in me and I’ll know what they are when I meet them).
Being the fatalistic beer and brewing historian that I am, this sour attitude of mine, based on my long and involved studies of what’s worked in the world of local beer and what hasn’t in Chicago’s long brewing history, had me doubtful when the Hursts told me they wanted to start a micro in Chicago. I think I sort of gave them the kind of look you give a friend when they say that they only have 3 months to live, and then mumbled something like “Good Luck” to both of them and shook my head and walked away. Crazy kids!
Well thank God that youth is wasted on the young because pushing aside the slim odds that I foresaw in someone trying to start another micro in Chicago, I just clicked on a link to the Chicago Reader, and there they were, standing next to “…a double-decker Craftsman toolbox retrofitted with a tap” and as happy as clams. It looks like they’re on their way.
As an alumnus of the Siebel Institute of Brewing Technolgy (Class of 1991), I was back at their Goose Island “campus” some years ago to do a story about Siebel’s move to GI at Clybourn. It was the second class to go through the new location and Doug was there attending. Even then, he was talking about his dream of opening up another Chicago brewery. While I don’t make it into Chicago as often as I used to, I seem to keep crossing paths with one or both members of the Hurst family everytime I do, and each time, they told me that a brewery was in their future.
Here’s the opportunity for readers to cross paths with them too, or at least their beers. While their Metropolitan Brewing is still a work-in-progress, they are making their way around the area, promoting their beers. Lagers seem to be their thing, and that’s great with me since lagers are the historical connection between the pre-Prohibition beers of the old Midwest and contemporary offerings like their Dynamo Copper Lager, Flywheel Bright Lager, Iron Works Oktoberfest and Generator Doppelbock. These lagers are rounded out with the additions of an Alt and Koelsch. All German, all the time I guess.
Look for them to appear “…at your local restaurants, pubs, and liquor stores in November, 2008,” says Doug.
So please, get out there and give them your support, and better yet, your business, and make them part of the continuing history of beer and brewing in Chicago. I can hardly wait!