After spending nearly a year flirting with the idea of opening a brewpub in Chicago, Schlafly has instead decided to begin distributing it’s beer to the city. The brewery announced the news in its monthly newsletter Thursday. Beers from the St. Louis brewery have long been available across Illinois, except for Chicago and the suburbs — until now.
Schlafly Communications Director Troika Brodsky tells Guys Drinking Beer it was that brewpub exploration that convinced them to expand into Chicago. “Once we began a public dialog about our desire to have a presence in Chicago, we were blown away by the amount of positive feedback and encouragement from beer drinkers across the region,” said Brodsky. “The conversation that took place both online and off once we started talking about Chicago in earnest really helped to fast track things.”
Brodsky says they haven’t completely ruled out a “pilot brewery” in Chicago sometime down the road but that’s off the table for now.
Schlafly will be teasing Chicago with its pumpkin beer out of the gate. I included it in a pumpkin beer roundup three years ago and found it to be heavy on the pumpkin pie filling, graham cracker crust and whipped topping — putting it on par with Southern Tier Pumking and Dogfish Head Punkin. Schlafly will also send along a limited amount of its Christmas Ale next month. However the full rollout won’t come til next year.
In 2015 Schlafly’s staples — like its Pale Ale, Dry Hopped APA (a personal favorite) and Kölsch — will be shipped to Chicago. No word yet on if some of their large format releases or Can Sessions will follow.
Schlafly inked deals with five distributors in the Chicago area to distribute their beers. The wholesalers include: Blue Ribbon Products in Joliet, Central Beverage in Broadview, Skokie Valley Beverage in Wheeling, Schamberger Brothers in Villa Park and Fred W Losch Beverage in Lake Villa.