Only Child Brewing Co. moving to Gurnee business park, latest on craft beer scene

  • Kristina Kovarik

    Kristina Kovarik

Updated 5/22/2015 7:05 PM

Gurnee has been tapped as the new location for a microbrewery that started in Northbrook.

Ben and Amanda Rossi's Only Child Brewing Co. will become the latest entry in Lake County's craft beer scene. The business, which distributes to local retailers, will open ahead of the village's inaugural craft beer festival that'll funnel most of the proceeds to help Gurnee American Legion Post 771 stay afloat.


Village board members at a meeting Monday approved the liquor license that'll let the nearly 2-year-old Only Child operate in a business park at 1350 Tri-State Parkway.

With the move under way from Northbrook to Gurnee, Only Child's new and expanded location will have a tap room for customers adjacent to production equipment, Ben Rossi said. Only Child won't have a food menu, but it will offer a popper for fresh popcorn.

"I think it's a great time to be a craft beer drinker and enthusiast," Rossi said.

Gurnee Mayor Kristina Kovarik said as the village's demographics shift and more Millennials -- those born from the early 1980s to the early 2000s -- wind up in the suburbs, officials must be open minded about embracing a business that typically may not have been considered for an office park. She said Only Child already is on board for the inaugural Legions of Craft Beer festival Saturday, Oct. 3, under a tent in a Gurnee Mills parking lot.

"It's kind of fun and exciting," Kovarik said of Only Child, "and we want them to be successful."

Only Child Brewing will enter the Lake County craft beer scene in July or so, officials said.

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Black Belt Brewery, a similar operation, is expected to open this summer in a Lake Zurich. business park with a tap room but no food menu.

In Lincolnshire, officials announced last month the Half Day Brewing Co. will operate in the Village Green Shopping Center, on the northeast corner of Milwaukee Avenue and Olde Half Day Road. Unlike Only Child and Black Belt, Half Day will have a food menu.

Half Day is expected to open in September in the space where Flatlander's Restaurant and Brewery operated from 1996 to 2012.

Established Lake County craft beer operations with production equipment and tap rooms include Tighthead Brewing Co. in Mundelein and Light the Lamp Brewery in Grayslake. Mickey Finn's Brewery in Libertyville has been a longtime player with a food menu and craft beer.

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