Last week, Chicago’s first contract brewery began making beer on the Near West Side. Great Central Brewing Co. opened their facilities. The 4,000-square-foot taproom at 221 N. Wood St. even looks like it’s coming along faster than the expected summer opening date. Look for an early- to mid-2017 opening, according Great Central reps.
Because it’s a contract brewer, the room will allow visitors to enjoy fresh, draft beer made on premises from a variety of brewers. Great Central’s first class of contract brewers are all from Chicago: Maplewood Brewery and Distillery, Begyle Brewing Co. and Like Minds Brewing. Local breweries are a plus, but Great Central plans on working with breweries from across the country. Contract brewing allows brewers to focus on beer production without needing to own all the sometimes-costly equipment.
Management envisions the tasting room as a space for beer launch parties and other special events including beer-paired dinners. Beer served in the room will be in limited quantities, giving breweries a chance to experiment in small batches. Great Central will even pour a few beers they brew themselves. Los Angeles-based designer Jillian Kliewer is designing the space.
The Near West Side is crowded with brewers, including Goose Island and On Tour Brewing. Great Central plans on only furthering that reputation. Stay tuned for updates.