Latest Arcade Brewery News
May 9, 2016
Open external links in tabs Logan Square's Ale Syndicate Learns To Share With 3 'Mini-Breweries' by Ben Kramer in Food on May 9, 2016 9:40 am Photo provided by Ale Syndicate. In his book Being and Nothingness, Jean-Paul Sartre dismisses the idea of hidden realities, meaning worlds we cannot see past physical objects. When it comes to Ale Syndicate , the winner of our Chicagoist Beer Bracket, the philosopher is disproven. Peeking through the brewery’s windows, you can see tanks, hoses, and anywhere from 5 to 30 people working at a time. These people, however, don’t all work for Ale Syndicate. The building on 2601 W. Diversey Ave. is home to the likes of Arcade Brewery , Around The Bend Beer Co , and Karetas Brewing . The brewery is a multi-cellular organism, held together in one man-made body. This highly active and shared environment is made possible through "Alternating Proprietorship. " Alternating Proprietorship, or Alt Prop for short, is a system which allows individual breweries to brew inside one building, while the building is owned by a single brewery. Ale Syndicate’s co-founder Sam Evans describes the situation as, “entire mini-breweries, legally speaking, inside another brewery.” The “mini-breweries” have their own federal licensing, accounts, and fermenters. Arcade, Around The Bend and Karetas all develop their own recipes, buy their own grain, and tune the water chemistry to their liking. The only thing they don’t have is their own brewhouse or bottling line. This is where Ale Syndicate steps in. Aside from the building, they own the brewhouse and the bottling line, which they share with the others. While Arcade, ATB, and Karetas don’t pay rent to stay in the space, they do pay to use the brewhouse. Photo provided by Ale Syndicate. The idea for Alt-Prop came through simple exploration. Brothers and Ale Syndicate Founders, Sam and Jesse Evans discovered the system a few years back, when they were trying to start up their own brewery. Once they talked about it with friends Chris Tourre and Lance Curran, founders of Arcade Brewery, they asked if they would be interested in an Alternating Proprietorship. Arcade agreed, so the Evans went after it. “We were the first in Illinois to get this license,” recalls Sam Evans. For Arcade, “It made sense to us to get started in that way,” remembers Chris Tourre. “It’s a good way for us to get started with lower capitalization, but at the same time being able to work and feed off one another’s knowledge and help and physical labor, and good’s.” The experience level of each brewery is different. Some people have worked with this type of equipment, in this type of environment, for years, while others have never done anything like this outside of their basement. The environment promotes and fosters growth, as well as teaching others the business aspects of running a brewery. The Evans brothers have helped Around The Bend with patents for beer labels, and helped to set up accounts, but they don’t take credit for the brewery’s success. Referring to ATB owner Dan Schedler, Jesse Evans says, “I just gave him enough to be dangerous.” Photo provided by Ale Syndicate. With all of these breweries under one roof, setting up brew days ahead of time is crucial. “We have a very complex brewing schedule,” says Sam Evans. “With machinery, we all reserve ahead of time. Scheduling is pretty important when we’re all sharing the same equipment.” “Some of the guys, Byron, the Head Brewer for Ale Syndicate,” says Tourre of Arcade, “he sometimes just prefers to come in in the evenings, like brew throughout the night, stuff like that. Have less people getting in his way.” Sometimes things get double booked, but Tourre says there are backdoor conversations where both parties can, “figure out ways to help each other out so nobody has to get their production screwed up, or anything delayed.” “If they need to get something out the door,” he adds, “we can usually figure out a way to make it happen.” At this moment, four breweries operate inside the building on 2601 W. Diversey Ave. (including AS). Two breweries, 350 Brewing Company and 51st Ward Brewing, have brewed there in the past. Currently, there’s as a partnership between Metropolis Coffee and Ale Syndicate, where Metropolis picks and roasts the beans for “Metropolis Cold Brew Coffee” , which Ale Syndicate cold brews and bottles. While there’s no word of any new breweries moving in, there is a new project currently underway for the Ale Syndicate building. “A full built out taproom,” says Sam Evans. “For right now, it’s going to be all the beer Ale Syndicate produces. But we’re also working on the ability to sell the Alt-Prop beer as well.” Currently in the permitting phase, the hope is to have the taproom open later this year. Contact the author of this article or email firstname.lastname@example.org with further questions, comments or tips.