The owner of Maplewood Brewing & Distillery has teased fans for years about opening a taproom at his Logan Square brewery, just southwest of Diversey and Western. Patience is a fickle thing, but here’s some good news: The taps should finally flow in November, when the Maplewood Lounge debuts. Co-founder Ari Megalis is building a bar with 14 taps that will hold his beers, whiskies, and draft beer cocktails. The taproom’s at 2717 N. Maplewood Ave. and will have 12 tables and a bar with 13 stools.
“The neighborhood was in need of a local watering hole,” Megalis said.
Handling the cocktails is Matt Frederick, formerly of the EZ Inn in Ukrainian Village. Frederick left the dive bar earlier in September to take the responsibilities of managing Maplewood’s taproom and creating drinks — many of them will feature beer mixed with spirits. Frederick is also a consultant and created the kegged drinks served at Mi Tocaya Antojeria, the critically-acclaimed Mexican restaurant from chef Diana Dávila in Logan Square.
Maplewood will try to always carry the brewery’s four core beers on tap. One of those beers is The Charlatan, which earned a bronze medal at the 2016 Great American Beer Festival in the “American-style pale ale” category. Other core brews include the Pulaski Pils, the Juice Pants IPA, and Fat Pug Oatmeal stout. The Fat Pug features dark chocolate and is the inspiration for Maplewood’s Pug Stout Whisky. Megalis founded Maplewood in 2014 with Adam Cieslak. Megalis is also the head distiller and specializes in malt whiskies. The number of cocktails on tap will vary daily.
The triangular space will be an homage to old-school Chicago bars, and there will be a TV. The space will change up, just like the rotating selections on tap. Megalis is still determining a menu, but Maplewood will serve food. They’re partnering with a local catering company, but aren’t ready to release details.
The 2700 block of Maplewood Avenue dead ends into the Kennedy Expressway where the brewery stands. Eater Chicago 38 member Owen and Engine is right around the corner, and the British gastropub was Maplewood’s first corporate account. Megalis hopes the new taproom bring more exposure to the brewery and will lead to more accounts. He also wants to offer customers unique brews not available in cans or bottles at retailers.
Check back for more information as Maplewood Lounge inches closer to an opening.
CORRECTION: The brewery was originally identified as being in the wrong neighborhood. It resides in Logan Square.