The Map Room

Revisting Mercenary Brewery & Distillery

Revisting Mercenary Brewery & Distillery

LOGAN SQUARE, CHICAGO

It's been just over seven months since we last stopped into Mercenary Brewery & Distillery. Back in July '14, founders Adam Cieslak and Ari Megalis, were just getting started on the Illinois' first brewery - distillery combination. This was a brewery without a production beer and a distillery without a Still. Needless to say, there was a long way still to go.

Adam and Ari have been busy since the summer. Half a year later we can walk into the top bottle shops through the city and see their distinctive white labeled bottles of Charlatan Pale Ale or Fat Pug Milk Stout adorning the shelves. They also have a shiny new Still as the centerpiece of their rapidly expanding Logan Square brewery.

A Righteously Good Chat with Church Street Brewing

A Righteously Good Chat with Church Street Brewing

ITASCA, IL

It’s inevitable, after any homebrewer’s first successful batch of beer, they begin to hear that voice that says "you could do this for a living."  For some, that voice gets drowned out by other ventures bidding for their time.  For a few, that voice gets louder and louder until it consumes every waking moment.  Soon enough, your nights are occupied with drawing up plans for your brew system, scoping out the neighborhood for that ideal location, coming up with a memorable name, and perfecting the delicious beer you are about to spread to the masses.  For Church Street Brewing Co.’s Joe and Lisa Gregor, that’s exactly what happened after Joe’s son decided to buy dad some homebrew equipment.  Little did he know how that small gift would alter his parents’ lives in the next few years.

Chicago Craft Crawl #1: Damen Avenue

Chicago Craft Crawl #1: Damen Avenue

The Chicago Craft Crawl ("CCC" as we'll dub it) is the start of an ongoing series that we will use an excuse to check out some of Chicago's best neighbourhoods – and drink some fantastic beer along the way. To kick off the series, we chose to drop in at some of Chicago's favorite craft beer haunts, with the help of the #50 Damen bus. The CTA's Damen Avenue bus is like an express ride to some of Chicago's finest drinking establishments. Damen and it's surrounding blocks've got it all, with quiet tree-lined residential streets harboring dozens of gems tucked just off its corners.