Hopewell Brewing Co.

Hopewell Brewing Co.Hopewell Brewing Co.
Hopewell Brewing Co.Hopewell Brewing Co.
Brewery, Bar, Beer-to-go

2760 N Milwaukee Ave
Chicago, Illinois, 60647-1337
United States | map
hopewellbrewing.com

Notes:
BEER STATS
Average:
3.75
Beers:
51
Reviews:
67
Ratings:
213
PLACE STATS
Average:
3.89
Reviews:
7
Ratings:
15
pDev:
11.57%
View: Beers | Place Reviews | Events
Reviews: 7 | Ratings: 15
Photo of Beginner2
4.18/5  rDev +7.5%
vibe: 5 | quality: 3.75 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4

A great vibe is reflected inside and out. The minimalist bar and tables with perhaps 50 chairs look out a full window wall on to what is fast-becoming Chicago's next great neighborhood; the northern reaches of the dubbed The Hipster Highway. (Nearby, several new 40+ unit apartment buildings created 1043 units have been built taking advantage of Chicago's new Transit Oriented Development code along the CTA Blue L.) This diagonal avenue is being lined quickly with restaurants and trendy stores. All this is important because breweries are now a symbol of community redevelopment, much as coffee shops were in the previous decade. Hopewell does its job well, offering fresh variety, and synergizes with the new neighborhood it serves.

I visited twice in the same week... in part because the two IPAs had an odd after-taste and I thought it might have been my mouth. The second visit proved mostly to be me... but both IPAs still had some residual chemical post-taste that I'd blame on the hops. So... I hope my reviews are fair, particularly since both flights had 5 of the six same brews. Hopewell's First Lager was quite good, but their marzen was not. OA Quality of beers is mixed; but respectable for a brewer in this spot for only one year. Their main selling point is: FRESH... and cool.

Service was fine, obviously proud of where they worked.
As for Selection, my advice below is to focus... particularly since they will soon start canning.

Since I'm giving advice... Hopewell should focus on their Belgians. I say so because they seem to be improving their yeast (based on reviews from a year ago of their Saison.) And if an American brewer can get right the Belgian-like yeast (and not just buy some from Belgium which is only the first step), then your brewery is ahead of many aspirants in the race for survival. Too many American brewers first try to compete in the much larger hop-head market; but not enough succeed in the Belgian-devotee market (obviously, people like me.) As a niche business strategy to compete among the 3,435 plus American craft brewers, think like a Belgian.

Another suggestion related to the Belgian niche.... Since reviewers don't call Hopewell's Saison "world-class", offer a world-class example to compare. This says "Hopewell wants to compete with the best." It also helps geeks like me compare and offer Hopewell even better advice. They might even have a note pad to leave opinions for the brewmaster.

OA: I was glad I walked in twice. I wish the same for you... and warmer days.

4/21/17 visited again. If you got through the above review, you shouldn't be surprised to learn that today's visit was the recap after a presentation from one of the great advocates/implementers of Chicago's TOD ordinance, Alderman Moreno. (In between his talk before a gathering of Chicagoland planners at City Hall and before we got to Hopewell, we took the Blue Line and this tour stopped at two new hi-rise buildings at the California station.)
Anyway, I stick by my earlier review above. And knowingly or not, Hopewell seemed to be following my advice. I tried two new Belgians. But for a young American brewer without decades of yeast knowledge, interpreting Belgians is a hard row to hoe (to mash metaphors.)
But, I am hopeful Hopewell will continue improving. Go visit and see if I'm right.

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Photo of Skifree772003
5/5  rDev +28.5%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

Greatest brewery in Chicago!!! Very high quality on all of the beers they brew.
Best Saison I have ever drank in my life, AND it's all I ever order now. What an amazing time to be alive and drink Hopewell beers.
Also amazing individual bathrooms.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.04/5  rDev +3.9%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 3.75

this place is awesome, so glad i stumbled in. they have a cool converted warehouse space, minimalist decor, a rather large production space it appears through a back window, pale walls and wood features, community tables, a packed bar, and a great overall vibe, clean and simple. beer first. they had seven or eight flavors working, some pretty basic styles, but both beers i had were fantastic. the cold brew was a coffee heavy brown ale with a serious caffeine kick, and the farm and family saison is a nice, if a little simple, version of the style. the beers were well made and delicious, and a few were rather creative. the beers went down way to easy. service was friendly for how busy they were, but pretty unremarkable overall. this is like a lot of other taprooms around the country really, humble, simple, quality. i enjoyed my brief time here, and would highly recommend it to others. i think they have a great thing going with the vibe and the liquid, one of the more comfortable spots around the chicago scene that i have discovered. all walks of life in here too, very cool.

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Photo of 98green
4.27/5  rDev +9.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 5 | selection: 3.75

Stopped by at 6 on a Tuesday. Large space, minimalist. 14 seat l-shaped bar, communal picnic style tables behind. Light New Age music, no TVs. Light crowd when I was there. 10 beers on offer, 5 standards an 5 rotating. Full 20 oz pours for $6 [Apr 2019 edit - now $7]. Selection was a decent range, low abv on a lot of the stuff, don't know if that was just seasonal mix or intentional [April 2019 edit - seems to be a trend; plus a trend towards “approachable” beers that don’t get aggressive in profile]. A nice chill place. I will keep my eye on this one for a future visit [april 2019 edit - 3rd trip here, so something keeps pulling me back. I think it is the cool vibe of the place. It is laid back and chill, which I prefer]

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Photo of JohnnyChicago
4.11/5  rDev +5.7%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4

Maybe the cleanest brewery I have ever been too. Quiet, personable...a little sterile, but in a good way.

It's a unique brewery; a good place to have a conversation. The beer is good; not mind-blowing, but clean, and very well made. Staff (one person) was friendly. Also the beers are cheap! $6 pints, but these are like big-ass 20oz whompers! Great spot! I'll be back a lot.

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Photo of Barnoloid
4/5  rDev +2.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

Finally checked out this new taproom after it has been open a couple weeks, it is just a 5 minute walk from my apartment so i'm surprised it took me so long.

On a saturday evening it was pretty busy. There were just a couple of seats open between the main floor, bar and window seating. Staff seems friendly and pleasant - they were happy to make recommendations.

Feel to the place is 'large industrial canteen'. Very minimalist, sort of pre-fab look to the place with high ceilings and the brewery equipment looming large in the background. It is purely a taproom not a bar so that's to be expected. Seemed to be a variety of people from the neighborhood, old and young, so that stood out as cool to me that a lot of people were coming out to check them out.

Their early offerings are a mixed bag but overall you can tell thought has been put into their range, with lagers being their forte. Have yet to try an IPA but will stop in for one soonish.

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Photo of emerge077
3.8/5  rDev -2.3%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5

Brand new brewery, it had a modern and minimal industrial decor with floor to ceiling windows on the back wall looking into the brewery space from the seating area. Bar to the left, completely windowed in front with a ledge to place beers and watch the world go by. Interesting lighting, some clustered globes above the seating area and a line of them above the bar. Behind the bar the beers were listed with plastic letters, like a signboard at a fast food place. Combined with the green and white color scheme, it was evocative of a golf pro shop. A large script logo hung high above the back bar.

Humdrum selection, but a couple I'd revisit again, the First Lager and IPA. The saison was not good, dominated by a heavily phenolic yeast strain, and a nondescript amber lager rounded out the 4 beers available. First Lager was more of a hoppy Pils with a creamy texture, and drinkable by the gallon.

Service was adequate considering the buzzing crowd. It was SRO when we arrived after 9pm on a weekday evening. Seems to fill a niche in the neighborhood, hope they can sustain the opening buzz and diversify the beer selection. They certainly have some huge fermenters with ample space to do so.

Returning here a few times, it gets pretty loud and is popular with the dog & baby set. Beers are usually good, though the seasonals can be hit or miss. Overall worth a stop but not a special trip.

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Hopewell Brewing Co. in Chicago, IL
Brewery rating: 3.75 out of 5 with 213 ratings