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Baderbräu To Call Motor Row Home

By Chuck Sudo in Food on Dec 18, 2014 10:00PM

This space will be the new home of Baderbräu. (Photo credit: Blue Star Properties)

More good news from Chicago's craft beer community. Baderbräu, one of the original craft beer labels in town, announced plans for a brewery and taproom in Motor Row at 2515 S. Michigan Ave. Baderbräu owner Rob Sama told the Tribune's Josh Noel the building is a 25,000 square foot former plumbing company space. The brewhouse will contain a 20HL mash filter system, the first of its kind in the Chicago area. Sama also has plans for a 4,000 square foot taproom and retail establishment on the property.

A Chicago brewery has been in the plans for Sama in the two-plus years since he and Joe Berwanger revived the Baderbräu brand. In the conversations I've had with Sama, he's relayed the usual frustrations of dealing with aldermen who weren't as receptive to the idea of having a brewery in their ward, even though the explosion of smaller breweries in Chicago indicates it's a solid economic investment. It's also nice to see Sama, a University of Chicago grad, planting roots on the South Side near Motor Row Brewing, Vice Brewing, Lagunitas, Marz Community Brewing, Moody Tongue and other breweries calling the South Side home.

Baderbräu's rebirth is one of the more notable success stories in Chicago's craft beer community. Originally started by former Chicago policeman Ken Pavichevich, the brand was brewing 14,000 barrels annually at its peak, was the only American beer served at the German consulate in Chicago and the late beer expert Michael Jackson called Baderbräu the best American pilsner he ever tasted.

The brewery closed in 1997 and Goose Island brewed Baderbräu for another six years before focusing on its own brands.