Sometimes things happen for a reason. Starting to feel burnt out from the wear and tear of the hospitality game, Drew Fox took a trip to Belgium. The hostel he was staying at had a phenomenal wheat beer with which he fell in love. Upon returning to Chicago, Drew found it difficult to get beers that sparked that same feeling he had in Europe. It was around this time that Blue Moon started circulating and it- along with Chicago's Half Acre, started to put Drew's wheels in motion.
Fast forward a few years. With his wife's permission Drew stepped away from the food and hospitality world and dove head first into craft beer. He started home-brewing in late 2008- even getting approval from the Alcohol, Tax and Trade Bureau on a Tack Room Brewery he built behind his house. About this time he met Garrett and BJ of Pipeworks and started volunteering there. That volunteer position eventually led into a full time brewing gig.
Being the awesome people they are, the guys at Pipeworks and Spiteful allowed Drew to contract brew out of their facilities, eventually leading Drew to realize this was exactly what he wanted to do.
In 2012 a Kickstarter campaign was begun to get money to open a brewery and taproom for 18th Street Brewery to call their own. The campaign was well received and exceeded its initial goal. In the midst of brewing and bottling six different beers, 18th was able to find a home in the Miller Beach community of Gary, Indiana. A lot has happened since that trip to Belgium and the end of the Kickstarter campaign, and we're happy to now have a home where we can brew, bottle and serve fresh, local beer.
The kickstarter campaign video. Thanks to Mark Skala and Skalawag Productions.