Craft Beer Icon Ballast Point to Open Chicago Brewpub May 15
Ballast Point Brewing Company, a pioneer in the craft beer movement in San Diego with a 20-plus-year history of supporting the art of homebrewing and developing high-quality, innovative, award-winning beer, is opening a brewpub in Chicago’s Fulton Market District. The highly anticipated brewpub is set to officially open May 15.
Founded in 1996 by a small group of homebrewers, Ballast Point is one of the nation’s leading craft breweries known for its award-winning hop forward flagship Sculpin IPA and a simple mission: make better beer. The Chicago brewpub will serve as Ballast Point’s Midwest research and development brewery, serving specialty and local beers to guests. This marks the first Midwest location for the brand, with locations in Southern California and one in Daleville, Va. Invested in the long-term growth of the brand, there are also plans underway to open an additional location in Orange County’s Downtown Disney District at the Disneyland® Resort later this year.
“We are humbled and excited to bring our Ballast Point Tasting Room & Kitchen to Chicago,” says Marty Birkel, President of Ballast Point. “With its impressive craft and culinary scenes, it seemed natural to build a brewpub in Chicago’s Fulton Market District and we look forward to sharing our love of craft beer with old and new Ballast Point fans alike.”
The 12,000 square-foot brewpub (212 N. Green St.) features an on-site three-barrel brewing system, a restaurant, and, opening later this summer, a rooftop bar. The main tap house seats 250 guests and boasts several semi-private and private spaces available for meetings and events of various sizes. The 38-seat bar offers more than 100 tap lines offering forty to fifty different beers, including R&D beers only available in Chicago. At the helm of the on-site brewing program will be Chicago Brewing Manager, Keith Faught, whose love and enthusiasm for craft beer will shine through the locally produced beers available to guests in the brewpub.
Ballast Point is committed to quality, from selecting raw materials, to the brewing process, finished product and beyond. The brewery is well-versed in brewing on a large and small scale; in fact, Ballast Point has a well-established R&D program in its Southern California facilities that encourages innovation and experimentation, which will also be evident in Chicago’s on-site brews. Ballast Point’s dedication to the craft is clear in its quality testing, which includes 300-plus touchpoints throughout the brewing process.
“The Chicago brewpub will serve everything from our award-winning, hop-forward, flagship Sculpin IPA to the tart and tangy Sour Wench,” says James Murray, Vice President of Brewing, Ballast Point. “Innovation is part of our DNA, and we’re always experimenting with new flavors, making sure we have a brew for every guest.”
Guests will appreciate a localized menu of brewpub grub, curated by Ballast Point’s Corporate Executive Chef, Colin MacLaggan, and new Executive Sous Chef, John Diaz, who will be on the ground in the Chicago kitchen. Chicagoans can look forward to a selection of modern American dishes, seasonally inspired and designed to pair well with the vast selection of Ballast Point beers on tap.
Set in the culinary mecca that is Chicago’s Fulton Market District, the brewpub will offer a mix of San Diego menu staples and innovative flavors that Chicagoans love. Sourcing the best possible ingredients, including steroid and antibiotic-free proteins, line-caught fish and local produce when available, the menu will boast items like the Baja-Style Fried Fish Tacos and Chicago-exclusive items, including the Habanero Sculpin IPA Bratwurst. Open daily for lunch and dinner, the brewpub will feature counter service for guests and a one-of-a-kind brewery ambiance.