The Ale Syndicate, Once the New Chicago Beer Co., Coming to Logan Square

By Victoria Johnson on February 27, 2013 6:33am 

LOGAN SQUARE — There's a new syndicate in town.

The Ale Syndicate, formerly the New Chicago Beer Co., has announced it will release three beers at select bars and stores by the end of March.

The brewery has been more than a year and a half in the making as the owners, brothers Jesse Edwin Evans, 34, and Samuel Evans, 29, looked for a place to open up.

They once had plans to open up at The Plant, a vertical farm in Back of the Yards, but told the Chicago Reader last April the 16,800-square-foot space there was just too big.

They found a more suitable, 6,000-square-foot space in the Green Exchange complex in Logan Square but that  won't be ready until later this year.

So in the meantime, they've been brewing up batches at borrowed breweries — the Galena Brewing Company in Galena, and Big Chicago Brewing Company in north suburban Zion.

Hence the new name, Ale Syndicate, meant to acknowledge that cooperation from neighboring breweries, as well as their philosophy going forward.

"A syndicate is a group of people who come together because they believe in the same thing," Samuel said. "We don't have a traditional head brewer. Everyone who works at the brewery are brewers themselves."

The fruits of those labors are three very different beers — Municipal India Pale Ale, Sunday Session ("a hopped-up summertime beer"), and the "8 percent, nice, dark, roasty" Richie Imperial Porter.

"We really wanted to make a beer that's big and bold," Jesse said of Richie. "Kind of like Chicago, it's nuanced and complex."

The Evans brothers originally hail from Downstate Champaign, and launching the Ale Syndicate has been something of a homecoming for them after spending six years founding and running the successful Lucky Hand Beer Company in Oakland, Calif.

Ale Syndicate's first three beers will begin rolling out at 20 "craft beer bars" around March 20, as well as select stores and restaurants, the brothers said, though they are staying mum on the specifics.

"We just kind of want people to follow us on social media and do it along with us, but suffice it say it will be the best craft beer bars in the city," Jesse said.

The Ale Syndicate also will be pouring at the Chicago Beer Festival on March 30 at Union Station.

For now, they can be found on Facebook and Twitter.

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