Hopwell Brewing Co. is one of Chicago’s newest breweries in the up-and-coming, funky, hipster neighborhood of Logan Square. Also dubbed the new “hipster mecca of the Midwest,” by the Chicago Advocate, Logan Square has been going through a phase of gentrification in recent years, and the restaurant scene is exploding. This brewery is going to be yet another new storefront on N. Milwaukee Ave, a block that is currently undergoing a transition. Residents are excited to have another craft brewery within walking distance.
Revolution Brewery, another craft brewery in Logan Square is widely popular. This place offers an extensive beer list and full menu. (We’ve eaten here, and can attest to their amazing burgers and great beer ourselves).
However, Hopewell is offering an entirely different experience. Hopewell won’t be another late-night option. Instead, the owners want to tie it to experience, and have people come in and try their beer, then recognize it and order it on tap at one of their (currently 30!) partnering bars/restaurants.
We recently invaded Bar Hopewell with some fellow aliens and Chicago locals and met with Jonathan Fritz, one of three co-owners and head of distributions at Hopewell Brewing. He was kind enough to share their story, vision, and accomplishments thus far. Plus, we got to taste some of their awesome new brews.
Location: Storefront taproom in the terra cotta building at 2760 N. Milwaukee Ave, Logan Square, Chicago, IL
Ambiance: Bar Hopewell is fun, fresh and modern. Lots of light and simple touches. We love the inviting yet clean atmosphere of this bar. It’s unlike many we’ve been to. The owners wanted to design a place that they could see themselves hanging out in, someplace inviting and unpretentious.
Beer: The beer was designed with a similar idea in mind, that each and every beer is something that the owners themselves would want to drink. We thought Jonathan put it very accurately, “When you finish, you will want another.” They don’t want to hit you over the head with flavor so much as have a smooth dry finish that will make you want more beers. Our favorite was their 24:37 Red IPA. Bright, clean, and super refreshing!
Interesting fact: They use a centrifuge to filter all their beer to create a more accurate and consistent brew. “In four years”, Jonathan said, “everyone will have one.”
Sneak peak at their upcoming brews: A Black Lager and a Coffee Summer called Cold Brew (yes, we were surprised too that this name had not been taken already)
Overall vibe: We loved the simple utilitarian feeling of their taproom. It’s clean without being sterile and it has such a neighborhood-y feeling. You can bring your own food, share some pints with friends, and even bring games! (There was a game of Jenga going on when we showed up). We love that it’s become such a cool space for people to gather and just enjoy people and good beer.
About Hopewell Brewing:
So who are they? Where did they come from? This is one of the reason’s we’re so intrigued by this craft beer newcomer; We love the story about how these friends and co-owners got into craft beer and how they stuck together to live out their dream.
The three co-oweners met in college, in the small midwestern college town of Chanpagne-Urbana. They adventured out west that summer, camping and visiting some of the craft breweries that they’d heard of in their college dorms. They shared a tent, cooled their beer in nearby streams, and collected coasters from the breweries they visited. That summer, they solidified their friendship and realized their shared love of craft beer.
Many years later, co-oweners Stephen Bossu and Samantha Lee are married, and the third, Jonathan, was the best man at their wedding. After spending time in different cities, they’re reunited again making good beer all together. Their brews are rooted in tradition and also inspired by innovation. In their words, they are committed to making the beer they want to drink – unpretentious, fresh, good beer.
Special thank you to Lauren Makholm and Bill Altorfer, our fellow aliens in Chicago, for taking these great photos and for helping us drink the beer!