Craft brewery approved in Lake Zurich

  • Mark Abraham, one of the partners behind Black Belt Brewery, which just received approval from Lake Zurich on a special-use permit, says the company will start by brewing one flavor of beer initially.

    Mark Abraham, one of the partners behind Black Belt Brewery, which just received approval from Lake Zurich on a special-use permit, says the company will start by brewing one flavor of beer initially. Bob Susnjara | Staff Photographer

 
 
Updated 10/7/2014 6:37 AM

Drinkers will have another local option now that the Lake Zurich village board has approved a startup craft brewery operation.

Black Belt Brewery will join Copper Fiddle Distillery on Lake Zurich's adult beverage landscape. Village board trustees Monday night voted 6-0 in favor of granting a special-use permit allowing Black Belt to produce beer.

 

Coincidentally, the village board vote came four days before Lake Zurich's inaugural craft beer festival at Paulus Park. The beer bash will run Friday and Saturday.

Beer production may begin in February, provided the necessary equipment arrives soon from Europe.

Black Belt will primarily brew beer for distribution to liquor stores, bars and restaurants. Sampling and retail sales will be allowed in a section of the craft brewery in a business park on Donata Court.

"We'll start out by brewing one flavor of beer and we'll focus on that initially," Mark Abraham, one of the partners behind Black Belt, said after the village board vote. "We'll have a small 15-barrel system, so we'll be able to brew 15 barrels of beer at a time. ... Our production will be one day a week, and as our sales grow, we'll be able to increase the number of days per week that we brew beer."

Abraham, an Island Lake resident, said Black Belt will be sold in cans -- not bottles to start. He said canned beer is more acceptable today.

"As far as taste goes, in most taste tests, beer will win from a can as opposed to a bottle. And that pretty much is due to light pollution. So no matter what color the bottle is, it's still going to let some light in even if it's dark. So for us, putting it in a can is not only going to be better for the environment, but also be better for the flavor of our beer."

Hawthorn Woods residents Jose Hernandez and Fred Robinson, with the help of their families, offer gin and bourbon different from the major brands at their craft distillery on Route 22 in Lake Zurich. Copper Fiddle, which opened early this year, has a tasting and retail area.

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