Vice District owners report steady progress at brewery, taproom

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Vice District owners report steady progress at brewery, taproom

February 17, 2017 - 00:16
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  The brew house, left, and several 30-barrel fermenters 
  have been installed as work continues on the Vice 
  District brewery on Dixie Highway in Homewood. 

  (Photos by Eric Crump/H-F Chronicle)
 

Vice District Brewing owners Curtis Tarver and Quintin Cole are excited about progress at their new facility in downtown Homewood.

A spring opening is expected for both the Vice District brewery and taproom, to be located at 18022 Dixie Highway.

  Ron Spitzer, crew foreman 
  for Corcoran Fabricating 
  and Design, checks a 
  fermenter on Friday.

 

Carver told the Homewood-Flossmoor Chronicle the build-out work on the interior is moving along nicely. Renovations to the building include a 15-barrel brew house in addition to a taproom that will be open to the public.

“We are working on getting the barrels, kegs and cans in place,” Tarver said. “We anticipate that we will be able to start brewing in mid- to late-April.”

He added that the brewing process takes approximately six weeks. Once it is finished, Vice District can set an opening date for the taproom.

The taproom will have “at least six to eight” different styles of beer ready when it opens, Tarver said.

“We learned from opening our Vice District Brewery in Chicago that we need to have a larger variety of beers ready when we open the door to the new business,” he said.

When Vice District opened for business in the South Loop a couple of years ago, Tarver said there was so much business in the first week that the taproom was down to just two different types of beer.

“We heard from our customers about it and they weren’t happy,” he said. “We don’t want that to happen in Homewood so we are making sure we are prepared on opening day.”

Tarver said the purpose for the Homewood location is two-fold.

“In addition to having the taproom where people can stop in for a beer, we will have a place where we can produce beer which can be distributed to other bars and restaurants." 

In an article about the proposed Homewood facility published in Crain’s Chicago Business last year, Cole stated that the new brewery would more than quadruple production for their business. He estimated the South Loop location produced about 800 barrels of beer in 2016. He said the Homewood facility will be able to make about 4,000 barrels upon launch and expand to about 10,000 barrels in the future.

Tarver added that their early planning for Homewood included visiting nearby drinking establishments, such as Grape and Grain and Lassen’s Tap.

“We wanted to get acquainted and explain our plans and make sure we were all on the same page,” he said. “The other business owners have been great about what we are planning and hopefully we will be able to distribute our specialty beers to them.”

“We have had a great response from the village administration, also. Working with them has been amazing. We are just so excited about the possibilities of this new phase for our business. We wish we could get the project moving quicker, but everything just takes time and we want everything to be right.”