2 local craft breweries continue development in spite of delays

Craft beer aficianados have been eagerly awaiting the opening of two breweries in Homewood, but both have experienced unforeseen delays.

Vice District Brewing, 18022 Dixie Highway, is hoping the final hurdle will be cleared very soon.

The company, which has a brewery in Chicago's South Loop, began developing a second brewery and taproom in Homewood last year. Owners Quintin Cole and Curtis Tarver had hoped to open last fall.

However, the water service to the building was deemed inadequate to serve both brewing and water sprinkler system needs. Adding a higher capacity line will require excavation under Dixie Highway, and that part of the project has taken much longer than anticipated, Cole told the Chronicle on Wednesday.

The excavation requires approval from the Illinois Department of Transportation. After the request was submitted, IDOT noted discrepancies between its utility map and the one used in the plans.

Vice District had to hire an engineer to verify utility locations, Cole said.

A new request with updated utility map was submitted within the past few weeks, he said.

"We're hoping to hear back any day," he said, but noted that he doesn't know how long it might take for IDOT to process the request. "When you see Dixie Highway shut down, that's a good sign for the brewery."

The company has proceeded on the build out of the establishment, so Cole thinks once the water line is in the opening day should follow soon after.

"We are ready to go," he said. "Any time you do something new there are going to be hurdles. I think there were more than we expected."

Homewood's eastside brewery is also getting close to opening after clearing a number of hurdles.

Rabid Brewing, 17759 Bretz Drive, could be opening soon, according to owners Tobias Cichon and Raiye Rosado, but after a long process developing the brewery and taproom, they are reluctant to announce a specific date.

They have had a booth at the Homewood Farmers Market on Saturday mornings and Wednesday evenings most of the summer to give prospective customers a taste of their wares.

Both Vice District and Rabid Brewing were approved to receive business incentive funding from the village.

Owners of both businesses have expressed appreciation for the support they have received from village staff throughout the process.

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