New Chicago Beer leaving The Plant, seeks new home

For over a year, the startup New Chicago Beer Co.'s identity has been tied in to its location at The Plant, a former meat processing facility in the back of the Yards neighborhood being repurposed into a "vertical farm."

Today it's been learned that while New Chicago is still building its brewery, it won't be done at The Plant.

Co-founder Samuel Evans made an announcement via email, and through the company's blog and Facebook pages:

To our fans, friends and supporters -

After a lot of thinking and soul searching, we have decided to move out of The Plant. We can’t tell you how disappointed we are to leave our friends and neighbors in the Back of the Yards neighborhood. The vision and ambition of The Plant is unprecedented and we were excited to be part of it. However, due to unforeseen circumstances with the building’s continuing redevelopment, our launch would be pushed back if we remained.

We feel that it is our responsibility to our investors, our distributor and you, our consumers, to ensure that we continue moving forward toward launching New Chicago Beer Co. on time, as expected. We wish John Edel and everyone else involved with the project nothing but the best. We hope to be able to drink beer there in the future.

As for where we will be brewing – we are working on finalizing a location and we promise to keep you posted. No matter what, we have a plan in place that we feel confident will ensure our launch as planned later this year. Please feel free to email with any additional questions or concerns about the brewery.

At this time, know that our priority has always been and continues to be making amazing beer and getting it into your hands as soon as possible. Thank you all for your support, encouragement and patience as we move forward past this transition and toward launch.


Jesse, Samuel and the rest of the New Chicago Beer Co. team

The original plan was for  New Chicago to become a part of the Plant's self-sustaining production chain: water would be heated by methane generated by an anaerobic digester on site, which would take in organic waste from other activities. spent grain would go into the digester, or it could be used as a sterile medium for raising mushrooms at The Plant's mushroom farm. The anaerobic digester was been on the want list for other brewers in this city; while brewers in smaller towns often give or sell the brewing grains after they've been boiled to feed cattle, that option is too far away for Chicago beermakers.

A final announcement on a new location should come sometime soon. However, this follows the closing of the brewpubs Limestone Brewing in Plainfield and Flatlanders in Lincolnshire. Limestone has announced plans to reopen in Aurora's Fox Valley area, while Flatlanders has plans for a production brewery in Mundelein (to be named, confusingly enough, Old Chicago Beer Co.) and another restaurant concept. Although both brewers are believed to be close to making final location announcements, that has not yet happened.

My regular calendar updates are now being hosted at This is to allow a little more time to finish up some vital and pressing assignments. I also share breaking beer stories, specials and other notes on my Facebook beer fan page, which you see right here in this page's right rail (now with 79 likes).

Filed under: Beer Business

Tags: New Chicago Beer Co.

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