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Vice District Brewing And The South Loop Craft Beer Revolution

By Melissa McEwen in Food on Jul 28, 2014 6:00PM

The future location of Vice District Brewing Co. (image courtesy Vice District Brewing Co.)

Is the South Loop Chicago’s latest beer destination? Vice District Brewing Co., which will be located at 1454 S. Michigan Ave, hopes so. They will officially open their doors on Friday, Aug. 22., one of several beer-centric businesses opening soon in the area including the re-vamped Villain’s, Motor Row Brewing, and South Loop Brewing.

Brewmaster Charlie Davis, Co-owner Quintin Cole, Co-owner Curtis Tarver II (image courtesy Vice District Brewing Co.)
Like many people opening beer businesses these days, owners Quintin Cole and Curtis Tarver II, both native to North Kenwood, started out homebrewing. Tarver says “we had a neighbor who homebrewed and we enjoyed his beer. We started wondering how a beer would taste with this or that. Next thing we knew our basements were full of brewing equipment, more than our wives would like. We knew we wanted to do something, it went from a hobby to a passion to an addiction. At first we were almost joking around, but people would tell us our beer was good. We joined a homebrew club, put together plans, and really became more serious about it. Oh and our wives gave us an ultimatum about our basements.”

And Vice District Brewing Co. was born. It’s not named for the vice of filling your basement with more and more homebrew equipment. “We definitely wanted to be in the South Loop and wanted to make sure when we came to the neighborhood we played homage to its history and character. The South Loop used to be the ‘Vice District’, it was a place where people let their hair down” says Tarver.

They brought in professional brewmaster Charlie Davis, formerly of North High Brewing in Columbus, Ohio. Tarver says they aren’t going to focus on a specific style, but says they are “brewing a porter right now, which will on tap when we open. We also have ESB, IPA, ales, seasonal lagers. Oktoberfest, and winter stouts in the works” that Charlie is “is very fond of German styles, some lagers, primarily ales.” They’ll have ten different beers flowing through their tap lines and take-hope growlers available. They won't have a kitchen, but encourage people to bring food from other local businesses and hope to have food trucks park outside.