Native of Bucktown's Pipeworks Opens Brewery in Lake View
Spiteful Brewing could be one of Chicago’s smallest brewers, and they’re ready to take on the local craft beer scene after studying at Bucktown's Pipeworks Brewery.
At the corner of Ravenswood and Bertau avenues where Lake View, North Center and Ravenswood meet lies what could be one of the smallest official breweries in Chicago.
And starting next week, it’ll officially be pumping out beer.
Spiteful Brewing is the product of three years of hard work and sacrifice for longtime friends Jason Klein, 30, and Brad Shaffer, 29. After meeting more than 15-years ago during a childhood hockey game, the Buffalo Grove natives are taking their friendship to the next level by opening a small business – 380-square-feet, to be exact.
“I moved back to Chicago three years ago after living in Boulder, CO,” said Shaffer, who learned tricks of the trade while working at Pipeworks Brewing in Bucktown. “I was unemployed, and Jason wasn’t happy with his job. We thought about opening a bar together, but that didn’t make any sense. So we just said, ‘Let’s do it. Let’s open a micro brewery.’”
"...we want to be a part of this neighborhood. We want people to say, ‘Oh yeah, this was brewed right over there.’"
The duo have been prepping the space on the North Side for roughly a year, acquiring the license with the City of Chicago and sinking almost $100,000 into brewing equipment to start their small-scale operation.
But small isn’t something Klein and Shaffer are worried about. The two plan to introduce Spiteful Brewing to the surrounding communities by reaching out at events and getting involved with neighbors.
“We would have loved to be a part of the Ravenswood Art Walk, but we just didn’t have beer in time yet,” said Klein. “…Because we’re so small, we want to be a part of this neighborhood. We want people to say, ‘Oh yeah, this was brewed right over there.’ I’m just excited. This is a proper brewery, it’s just smaller, and we’re ready to go.”
Spiteful Brewing will have three or four beers they always plan to brew, like a double IPA and stout, while creating seasonal beers to keep the business interesting. However, they say things can easily change based on what locals love considering they are so small.
If everything goes according to plan, he first round of 22 oz. bottles will be ready by Thanksgiving.
And staying local is something the brewers plan to bring to the next level. From selling to local retailers like the new store Bottles and Cans on Lincoln Avenue to the way they bottle the beer, the phrase “neighborhood brewery” has never been more fitting.
“We’ll bottle them literally right here, too,” Shaffer said. “We’ll have counter-pressure fillers, so there will be four spigots with one guy filling and one guy capping. It’s all hand done. Then we’ll pull up my Explorer, load them up and go around selling them.”
The beer will run anywhere from $8.99 to $11.99 for a 22 oz. bottle, a price they say is the going rate for craft beers found at any local liquor store.
Now, the only thing left to do is wait for a few more pieces of equipment and for the gas company to install a new meter. Klein jokes that when everything’s installed, it’ll be time to start old-fashioned brewery tours.
“People keep asking if we’re going to have tours,” Klein laughed. “All you have to do is walk in the door. ‘Here’s the tour. Not much else to see.’”