Two new microbreweries to open this year in Huntley
Two new microbreweries are gearing up to open in Huntley this spring/summer in what are now vacant buildings.
Sew Hop'd Brewery, a microbrewery/taproom, plans to begin brewing operations this month, with opening set for April. It will be Huntley's first microbrewery, located at 1 Union Special Plaza, west of Route 47 and three blocks north of Main Street and downtown.
Renovations also are expected to begin soon for Villa Park-based More Brewing Company's new brewery and restaurant at 13980 Automall Drive off Freeman Road -- formerly a Chevrolet dealership -- on the village's south side. The company plans to begin brewing in late spring and open by late summer, according to company officials.
Union Special, which has been operating in Huntley since 1949, is the oldest, largest and the one of the last industrial sewing machine manufacturers in the country. Its owners -- craft beer enthusiasts Terry Hitpas, Tom Bartel and Lance Lamb -- are part of the owner/investor group funding building and site improvements to accommodate Sew Hop'd Brewery.
The brewery will be housed in a renovated, 2,700-square-foot vacant space within the former Borden Dairy section at the southeast corner of the manufacturing plant. It will include a taproom seating 80 people and an outdoor patio seating roughly 40 customers. Patrons can purchase craft beer produced in the taproom for on-site consumption or take it to go in controlled containers. Owners plan to host tastings there and distribute craft beer to local restaurants, village officials said.
The taproom will offer prepackaged food items, such as breadsticks or cheese, and patrons will be allowed to bring in food. Sew Hop'd also is working with local eateries that can deliver to its patrons on-site. The venue will have live music in a kid-friendly environment, village officials said.
More Brewing's Villa Park brewery/brewpub restaurant is owned by brothers Sunny and Perry Patel and head brewer Shaun Berns. It produces roughly 5,000 beer barrels.
The Huntley site will be the company's second production facility, and owners also plan to open a brewpub in Bartlett.
The company will lease the roughly three-acre Automall site for its taproom and renovate the existing roughly 25,000-square-foot building that served as the former dealership's showroom and service department. Roughly 11,000 square feet will be dedicated to production operations and 14,000 square feet for a taproom/brewpub restaurant.
The taproom will include a full kitchen, special events area for private dining, a big outdoor patio and an additional 3 acres of open space south of the building for large special events with overflow parking. The production side will include a brewhouse, fermentation and conditioning vessels, packaging line and a barrel room where beer will be aged in whiskey barrels.
More Brewing has won numerous brewing awards, including best in show at the Chicago Festival of Barrel Aged Beers.