Before we get too far, many Sloopers will probably roll their eyes when they hear that this brewery is claiming the South Loop. Afterall, they will be open up their doors at 2515 S. Wabash which is SOUTH OF THE STEVENSON (aka 55). Definitely is a stretch to claim the South Loop, but nonetheless it's pretty damn close to our hood and is definitely worth our support.
The Tribune has some more background:
Breweries are opening at a frantic clip in Chicago, but none has quite the story behind it as Baderbrau — and that story will come full circle with the opening of a 25,000-square-foot brewery in the South Loop in 2015.
The tale began in 1989 when a former Chicago police officer launched Pavichevich Brewing Co. in Elmhurst. The flagship beer was Baderbrau, a Czech-style Pilsner that quickly became the city's go-to locally-made beer. At least it was the go-to beer for Rob Sama, who was then a philosophy undergrad at the University of Chicago.
The Chicago brewery scene was close to nonexistent in the late 1980s and early 1990s. There were a handful of brewpubs — including a young Goose Island — but for fresh bottled beer made in Chicago, Baderbrau was a cult star.
Beer historian Michael Jackson even called the beer "the best Pilsner I've ever tasted in America."
"Every beer was the same swill," Sama said. "Baderbrau was beer with some bitterness and body to it, and completely different."
Pavichevich Brewing went into bankruptcy in 1997. Goose Island wound up with the Baderbrau brand and won a silver medal at the Great American Beer Festival for it in 1998. But Goose soon phased out Baderbrau, and the brand was seemingly left for the city's historical dustbin.
Fast-forward to 2010.
Sama was married with a young child, working as a financial analyst and home brewing on weekends. He was exchanging messages with his old college roommate and brewing partner and wondered what had become of Baderbrau. He looked up the domain baderbrau.com and learned it was available.
Anyway, nice to see some more high-profile activity announce their intention to open up close to Motor Row. We've had their beers, but are looking forward to seeing their facility.
If you're counting, this is the fourth announced brewery in the area. Vice District Brewery was the first to officially open in the fall this year. Motor Row Brewery (formerly known as Broad Shoulders Brewing) has had a slow go at their build-out at 2337 S. Michigan. South Loop Brewing is currently contract brewing outside of the Sloop, but has dreams of one day opening up a brewery in the are.
All good news and good signs for beer drinkers in the Sloop!
UPDATE: Apparently Motor Row Brewery is planning on opening in January (DNAinfo):
A new brewery is getting ready to open in the South Loop next month, city officials said.
Motor Row Brewing will open in the historic Motor Row in January. The former Federal Motor Car Co. showroom is being redeveloped as part of a $2.7 million project to convert the former showroom into a brewery.
The 8,700-square-foot facility at 2337 S. Michigan Ave. will include brewing operations, distribution space and a full taproom that will open in January.
(Hat tip: JB!)