Visited on: Tuesday 19th June 2018
No two breweries are the same and most are not even similar to others and this one is certainly no exception. Here it is not so much the equipment or the beers that make it stand out as different. It is its organisation.
Its founding goes back to 2011 by Matt Ritchey and Brendan Blume when they installed a two barrel (bbls) plant at the present location, opening in 2012. Things continued for a while and then there was a major change.
It was important to have a regular outlet for their beers as they had no licence to sell on or from the brewery’s premises.
The two founders had now been joined by Kevin Caryis and they made a decision to make Begyle a community brewery. It was known as a CSB, Community Supported Brewery and was modelled on a similar CSA program which was local people supporting agriculture.
By then they obtained a licence for take-away beers and they sold 200 shares which entitled holders to have a growler (64 fluid ozs) of beer once a month. This was successful and the final piece of their jigsaw was getting a licence for sales on the premises with permission to drink there.
This naturally assisted the shareholders and established a new trade in casual visitors. The brewery has expanded and is now of 10 barrels (bbls) capacity.
We found an extensive beer menu which comprised of the following: Crash Landed (7.0%), a wheat beer, Hophazardly (7.0%), an IPA; Thunder Bunnies (5.3%), a saison; Scottie Sippin’ (6.7%)’ a apple flavoured Belgian saison; Neighborly Nitro (6.0%), a stout; Hey Now (6.0%), an IPA; Imperial Pajamas (10.2%), an Imperial stout; Dicey Riley (5.0%), an Irish Red Ale; Boat Shoes (5.0%), a Kölsch; Cryohazard (6.5%), an IPA and Nitro Flannel Pajamas (5.4%), a dry stout.
As usual we tried some of these and this is what we thought of them: Crash Landed had a medium bitter taste which is a bit odd as the beer is described as an American Pale Wheat Beer. It had Cascade and Citra hops.
Hophazardly was medium dry IPA with a bitter finish, not bad. Neighborly Nitro was a good stout that wasn’t quite dry enough. A bit more bitterness would make it superb. Cryohazard is an American IPA with a melon / slight citrus flavour, a medium after taste and a smooth body taste, very good.
There are some good beer to be had here and the pub is recommended.
Begyle Brewing Company, 1800 West Cuyler, Chicago, Illinois 60613. Tel: 773 6616963
Hours: Monday-Thursday 12.00-21.00; Friday 12.00-22.00; Saturday 11.00-22.00; Sunday 12.00-20.00
From the Loop catch the CTA Brown Line northwards and alight at Irving Park station.
Exit the station to the street and walk east along West Irving Park Road.
You will then be at the Metra overbridge. Turn left into West Belle Plaine Avenue.
Begyle is at the first corner.