The Chicagoist will be launching later but in the meantime please enjoy our archives.

Birreria, A Collaboration With Dogfish Head, Planned For Eataly Chicago

By Paul Leddy in Food on Jul 10, 2013 6:20PM

Eataly New York. Photo by Mike Gebert.
As if the autumn opening of Eataly wasn’t enough for Chicago foodies to look forward to, the store will be housing the popular Birreria Restaurant that can also be found in Eataly outposts located in New York, Rome, and Bari, Italy.

Birreria is a restaurant and brewery that is a collaboration between Sam Calagione from cult-brewery Dogfish Head, Ted Musso from Birra Baladain and Leonardo DiVincenzo from Birra del Borgo. It serves fresh Italian food with creative Italian-American craft beer.

We checked in with Calagione to find out more about the concept and what Chicago beer drinkers can expect when Birreria opens.

It all started at the Salone Del Gusto slow food festival held yearly in Turin, Italy. Calagione was serving beer with DiVincenzo and Musso at the event. They got to know the Farinetti family who started the Eataly retail store group in Italy. “[The Farinetti’s] decided to partner with Mario [Batali], and Joe [Bastianich] for Eataly locations in the US,” Calagione explains. “[They wanted] to have brewpubs inside the Eataly stores with us three doing recipe, equipment design, training the brewers, and doing events.”

While Birreria will serve individual beers from the three producers, at the heart of the Birreria concept is a 5 hectoliter on-site brewhouse that will produce approximately 450 barrels annually (almost 14,000 gallons) specifically for the restaurants within Eataly.

While putting a fully functional production brewery inside an urban space can be a challenge, Calagione sees advantages as well. “[With the on-site brewery, we get] freshness and recipe creativity,” Calagione says. “We often incorporate culinary ingredients in the Birreria beers like chestnuts and thyme.” Calagione even hopes to use midwestern culinary ingredients in the Birreria Brothers branded beers and will also serve other Midwest-produced beers.

Eataly has a planned opening date in September. Calagione says that the Chicago Birreria brewmaster will be announced in about a month.