Last year, while traveling around the Chicago suburbs talking to brewers, bar owners, distributors, and beer geeks of all varieties, I noticed something; I kept hearing some of the same comments, questions, and stories from many of them. Chief among these was loud and clear: there seems to be a lot more focus and attention on craft breweries and events in the city than in the suburbs.
Something hit me while I was hearing and processing all of this feedback. Suburban breweries and beer drinkers alike face many common issues, and there’s a huge opportunity for brewers to learn from each other, including their city-based brethren, as far as what’s working, what’s not, and ways to work together to keep the Chicagoland beer scene moving in the right direction.
So, I went to work on what has become the Illinois Suburban Brewers Summit, an event organized by Nevin's Brewing Company in Plainfield and our Ale to the ‘Burbs group. For the uninitiated, we started as five individual beer websites based in the suburbs who collaborated on a monthly series about breweries and beer destinations, but have since expanded to more of a grassroots movement to help share news about beer events and even organize some of our own. Beyond Subbeerbia, our members include Kevin Bastian of Pour Man, Eric Woodruff of Blah Blah Beer, Ryan Williams of Suburban Brew, and Don DiBrita and his Beer Dogging clan. This summit never would have happened without each of their help.
I’ve Heard Enough. Take Me to the Tickets: