Once very much a dry town, Evanston now boasts multiple breweries and distilleries that are making award-winning brews.
623 Howard St., Evanston
Restaurant and brewery Peckish Pig opened in March 2014 after Debbie and Jamie Evans had been approached by the City of Evanston about the Howard Street Revitalization Project.
“I have always loved a challenge,” Debbie says. “The development of Howard Street was an added bonus to opening something new. Being a business that could be involved in the transformation and improvement of the city was a really big selling point.”
Debbie says they wanted to create a cozy environment with great beer and great food. The menu changes seasonally and features items like Free Range Boar Tacos, Duck Confit Mac & Cheese, Maple-Habanero Chicken Wings and The Amazing Kale Burger.
“I have lived in Evanston for 22 years and love the diverse community and the support small businesses receive here,” Debbie adds. “I want to be a part of my community and add to it to make it a better place for everyone to live.”
Today, Peckish Pig’s most popular beer is the India’s Panic Attack, the first beer produced at the brewpub.
“[India’s Panic Attack] has always been on tap and people know it by name now. We have won a couple of awards for our beers and we take much pride in the fact that the food is something that keeps our guests coming back.”
Learn more and find upcoming events at thepeckishpig.com.
Sketchbook Brewing Company
825E Chicago Ave., Evanston
Sketchbook founders Shawn Decker and Cesar Marron met through the Homebrew Club in Evanston. After realizing they both had been contemplating opening a brewery, Sketchbook was founded in November 2014.
“For me it was a chance to do something local in the community,” Decker says. “Sustainability was a big issue as well. This idea of a local, sustainable brewery that’s connected to the local slow food movement, this green food movement, and obviously connected to the community in general, dedicated to really fresh beer that’s made locally.”
Sketchbook’s Tap Room also reflects the mission to be community focused as it’s designed to be a place to come together. There are no TVs and music is kept at a low volume so you can always converse with the people you came with or meet other local beer lovers.
“That’s really important to us,” Decker, an Evanston resident of 35 years, says. “And we always have at least 12 beers on tap, so it’s a good opportunity to come in and try a bunch of different things.”
Popular Sketchbook beers include Orange Door (IPA), Snowy Owl (Rye-Amber Ale), Back-Alley Abbey (Belgian Dubbel) and No Parking (Session Pale Ale).
Learn more about the CSB membership program, tours, Trad Tuesdays with acoustic live music and more at sketchbookbrewing.com.
2000 Dempster St., Evanston
After the financial crisis in 2008, architect Josh Gilbert needed to find a new passion. In 2013, after moving back to Evanston, Gilbert put two and two together: As a home brewer, he enjoyed making beer, and Evanston didn’t have a brewery.
“I wanted to be in Evanston because I had that hometown connection, but also since Evanston had this tortured history with alcohol, that made it even more special to be the first brewery in Evanston.”
In the summer, one of Temperance’s most popular beers is Greenwood Beach, a blonde ale with pineapple. Their Gatecrasher (IPA) has won a gold and silver medal at the Great American Beer Festival, and Might Meets Right, an imperial stout, is also a popular pick.
“[Temperance] can be a little hard to find,” Gilbert says, “but once you get here it’s a comfortable, fun environment that is open and welcoming to everyone.”
Learn more about upcoming events, brewery tours and more at temperancebeer.com.
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