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Wisconsin's Terrible Laws Drove This Brewery To Open In Chicago

By Melissa McEwen in Food on Aug 12, 2015 7:00PM

"After months of promising big news, the cat is finally out of the bag! First photo from inside our Chicago production facility opening in September of 2015!" (via Like Minds)

A patchwork of weird and mostly unnecessary liquor laws make opening a brewery a challenge anywhere. But James Beard award-winning chef Justin Aprahamian found it especially hard in Wisconsin. When it came to opening a new brewery in the state, as the Journal Sentinel reports, state officials effectively told him, "you can take this thing to Illinois."

The issue stemmed from the fact he owns a liquor license for Sanford Restaurant in Milwaukee and state law bars the owner of a brewpub or brewery from holding other liquor licenses. This in a state under the rule of presidential hopeful Gov. Scott Walker, who has portrayed himself as a business-friendly conservative—but maybe not for some small businesses?

But their loss is our gain, as Aprahamian plans on opening Like Minds Brewery in a former Goose Island storage facility at 1800 W. Walnut St., according to Crain's. The brewery is slated to open next month. They'll serve food as well as beers like their coffee stout and cucumber pilsner.

We're also still waiting on our own Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner to sign a law that would prevent similar snafus relating to brewpubs and breweries in Illinois. He's got three weeks left to sign it.

[HT Guys Drinking Beer]