#expansion – PorchDrinking.com
Suburban Chicago’s Imperial Oak Brewing will celebrate its 6th anniversary this May, and that will be the last one as a single-location brewery. Imperial Oak will open a second location about ten miles north of its current taproom this summer; the brewery purchased Brixie’s Craft Beer Bar, a family-run bar that first opened in 1934.
Imperial Oak (Willow Springs) joins several other of Chicago’s west- and south-suburban breweries that opened in a roughly fifteen-month stretch from late 2013 though early 2015 in expanding, and in the process have grow into name-brands. Imperial Oak, Hailstorm, Pollyanna, Noon Whistle, and Werk Force have all expanded their original spaces, and some are now adding second and third locations.
Not only is Chicago’s craft beer scene seeing new breweries opening seemingly every month, but more than half a dozen breweries in the Chicagoland area have also announced expansion plans, setting the stage for a busy end of 2019 into 2020.
Breweries like Marz Brewing Co. and Ravinia Brewing Company will be opening second locations within the city of Chicago. While Noon Whistle Brewing and Pollyanna Brewing Company are expanding in the suburbs. Meanwhile, Forbidden Root Restaurant & Brewery is opening a second location in Columbus, Ohio.
Solemn Oath Brewing, located in the large and populous Chicago suburb of Naperville, has remained a stabilizing force within the broader, changing Chicago craft beer market. Since opening in 2012, the brewery has adapted to internal and external changes without ever losing its identity, nor its popularity among beer fans; that’s what good people serving well-executed beer will do for a brewery.
Solemn Oath is now ready to take the next step in its craft beer journey by expanding to a second location and joining a slew of breweries in Chicago’s Logan Square neighborhood. But first, a pop-up bar is in the works.
In an age when breweries are scrambling to battle for shelf space, one Colorado brewery is taking a different approach toward growth. Grist Brewing Company will open its second brewhouse and taproom location this Saturday just 10 miles west of its original Highlands Ranch location, near the Park Meadows Mall.
Like many large to mid-sized breweries in the country, Ska Brewing (Durango, CO) has begun eyeing the next phase of growth to keep up with the rising demands and competition in the craft beer industry. In 2017 that’ll take the form of a brewery expansion, new beers and an expanded beer garden at the brewery.
Rhinegeist had a great 2016: The Cincinnati brewery was part of the New Belgium Fat Tire and Friends Colla-beer-ation, expanded to Massachusetts and Cleveland, increased production by 80%, from 31,470 bbl in 2015 to 56,500 bbl in 2016 and grew from roughly 50 employees in 2015 to more than 200. Rhinegeist also opened a rooftop deck, the Annex and — the best part — married more than 100 couples in the new brewery.
It appears that 2017 might include the same success story. The first step involves an expansion to Pittsburgh. Folks in the Steel City can enjoy brews as early as March 6, but Rhinegeist will arrive on the 20th to help kick-off the a week’s worth of launch parties to help make it official.
Original skyline photo taken by Daniel Schwen – modified for the purposes of this story.
My first excursion to the Odell Brewing taproom occurred nearly fifteen years ago while on a trip to Colorado. Impressed would be an understatement. However, I, like many Chicagoans, had to rely on bottle hauls for a chance to enjoy Odell creations.
But not anymore.
Odell Brewing is bringing its beer from the Rocky Mountains to the city of Big Shoulders and to kick off the eastward expansion, Odell will take over the taps at three bottle shop & tasting rooms — Bitter Pops, The Cellar, and The Open Bottle.
(Edit: Other events have been added since this was first published. Those items have been added at the end of this piece.)
REJOICE! At long last, Creature Comforts Brewing Co. is making its move to expand into an additional facility in 2017 with the purpose of raising production (and possibly its footprint) in 2018. This news follows two years of steady growth as one of America’s fastest growing breweries and a zealous commitment to raise $100,000 for local community organizations. Creature Comfort’s future location of choice, the Southern Manufacturing Co. Mill, is no surprise to those who have followed the brewery over its short but influential career in Athens, Georgia.
Cincinnati’s Rhinegeist is headed for Massachusetts.
The “Ghost of the Rhine” brewery that breathed life into the old Cincinnati brewing district resides in the old Moerlein bottling plant (1895) – a facility so large it hosts motorcycle shows, dances, concerts, and wiffle ball tournaments. But, even that expansive space wasn’t large enough to contain Rhinegeist. The brewery needed to expand, and Massachusetts is where it is landing.
At less than three years of operation in their modest RiNo Taproom, Stem Ciders has quickly established themselves as the preeminent name in Denver craft cider, and now that reach is about to extend a lot further.
Header Photo Provided by Wicked Weed Brewing
Over the past five years, Colorado has become fertile ground for cultivating a thriving craft beer culture, both locally and nationally. As such, a wealth of the country’s best and brightest brands expand distribution to include the Centennial State. The most recent of which, Wicked Weed Brewing, which focuses on hoppy and wild/funky styles, who dropped close to 20 different brands throughout the Front Range earlier this week.
Ballast Point Brewing and Spirits, the 11th largest craft brewer in the United States in 2015, will invest approximately $48 million to establish an East Coast Brewing operation in Botetourt County, Virginia. This is fourth major brewery to expand towards the Old Dominion state. The most recent of which, Oregan-based Deschutes Brewery, recently announced plans to move into Roanoke around 2019. With the two locations being a mere 20 minutes away, Virginia is looking to bring craft beer tourism to new heights.
Short’s Brewing broke the news a couple weeks ago about their intentions to begin distributing outside of Michigan for the first time. They would head to Pennsylvania and Illinois within the near future, exciting many Chicagoans at no longer having to make the trek to New Buffalo, MI for their Short’s fix.
With Pennsylvania already receiving their first shipments of Short’s, many Chicago fans were anxiously awaiting their own fix. Well, it appears now that all the Illinois distributors have been solidified, and Chicagoans can expect their first taste of Short’s beers on March 4th!
Here at Porchdrinking, Pipeworks Brewing has been mentioned numerous times over the past couple years. But somehow, showcasing a Pipeworks beer has yet to happen. Granted, they’re known for their smaller batch, one-and-done beers that would sell out quickly. So by the time a beer could be reviewed, it’d most likely already be sold out, and we’d just leave you wanting.
But that will all be changing now.
Address: 3403 Brighton Boulevard, Denver, CO 80216
If you haven’t noticed the smell of malted grains emanating from Brighton Boulevard yet, you will soon, very soon. Great Divide has announced today, that their second Denver tap room, dubbed The Great …