I was intrigued by the name when I learned about Pilot Project Brewing through my street art account on Instagram. I saw a post about a phenomenal large-scale mural on the brewery’s exterior wall by local artist Czr Prz and couldn’t wait to check it out. I believe art not only enhances a brewery’s aesthetics, but it’s also a great marketing tool for mural hunters like myself when you pair art with beer.
The Massive Whale
I immediately wanted to get up close and personal with the whale, so I headed to the patio first despite the chilly weather. My first thought was to stand back, way back, to capture this enormous beauty. Czr's work never disappoints and I admire the vibrant colors against the black background creating a three-dimensional illusion. What an outstanding asset to the brewery and neighborhood!
The Patio is Perfect
The patio is spacious and allows one to feast their eyes upon colorful art from several vantage points. It was exciting to discover a new local artist @paz_312 (Christian Paz), who has three murals for your viewing pleasure. Two murals are within the patio area and the third one is across the street. I look forward to hanging outside once the nice weather returns.
This industrial venue is fetching in every way thanks in part to the art, an abundance of plants, airiness, and cushy furniture. It's the ideal place to chill, converse, write, dream, and create. Group and solo seating is available throughout. Pilot Project is also a café serving up fancy coffee beverages and small fare, so no worries if you aren’t a beer drinker.
Who Brews Here
The tap list will arouse your curiosity with solid offerings for everyone from a handful of breweries including their own house beers. My sociable bartenders let me sample a few items that piqued my interest the most, and I wound up ordering a Cosimo (Tiramisu Stout by Brewer’s Kitchen), House Baltic (Porter), and Smile (Brown Ale by Brother Chimp). I thoroughly enjoyed all three beers -- the Tiramisu Stout was pleasantly not as sweet as one would expect, Smile had a nice coffee kick, and House Baltic was chocolatey goodness.
Just What is Pilot Project?
Pilot Project Brewing is Chicago’s first brewery incubator. Per their website, "Pilot Project was launched as a collaborative and artistically curious space to help support talented brewers in an industry with exceptionally high barriers. Modeled after the music industry, Pilot Project is our approach to fostering relentless experimentation of new beer recipes, breweries, collaborations, styles, and concepts. We are Chicago’s incubator dedicated to the art of brewing and community inspired by the craft."