Old Chicago Beer Company*, the brewing operation spun off from the former Flatlander's Restaurant & Brewery in Lincolnshire, has snagged a Goose Island alumnus as its new brewmaster. Owner Russ Sher made the announcement this morning in an e-mail to the Chicago Beer Society listserv:
OLD CHICAGO BEER COMPANY is proud to announce the addition of Todd Britt as Brewmaster and Head of Brewing Operations. Todd has always been fascinated by craftsmanship, from something as simple as building a birdhouse to renovating a home. Several years ago at college he realized home brewing was another "craft" fascinated him. Soon he would be volunteering at Rock Bottom and finally a brewing position with Goose Island Brewpubs. He helped revive the brewery in Wrigleyville while gathering up a few awards in the process, specifically at The BTI World Beer Championship and The Festival of Barrel Aged Beers. Though he enjoyed his time at Goose Island, he looks for to the challenges this new endeavor brings.
OLD CHICAGO BEER COMPANY is located in Mundelein, Illinois and will operate purely as a contract brewer. Its initial capacity will produce up to 3000 barrels per year with growth to over 7500 barrels by the end of year one. The brewery is still in its build out phase and expects to brew by early to mid-June 2012.
Flatlander's was one of the earliest brewpubs in Lake County, operating for 16 years before closing in January. A Daily Herald article in the closing had Sher noting that the restaurant's space was too large, especially in the current economic downtown.
The restaurant had announced plans to open under the name "Entourage" at 101 Hawthorn Pkwy. in Vernon Hills. It would continue to sell Old Chicago's beers under the Flatlanders brand.*(Not to be confused with Chicago Beer Co., which is building a production facility somewhere in town, New Chicago Beer Co., the brewery opening soon on the South Side, the former Chicago Brewing Co. that operated 10 years ago, the Chicago Brewing Co. brewpub in Las Vegas, or the Old Chicago beer bars franchised by Rock Bottom.)