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Metropolitan Brewing Is Scouting New Locations in Advance of Expansion

By Patty Wetli | February 21, 2013 4:02pm
 Tracy and Doug Hurst of Metropolitan Brewing are preparing to expand operations.
Tracy and Doug Hurst of Metropolitan Brewing are preparing to expand operations.
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Metropolitan Brewing

RAVENSWOOD — Metropolitan Brewing has outgrown its Ravenswood Avenue facility and is in the market for a new home, co-owner Tracy Hurst confirmed.

The brewery tipped its hand Wednesday, posting to Twitter: "Oh, just spent time today scouting locations for our new brewery. You know, nbd."

Metropolitan, founded by Tracy and Doug Hurst in 2008, currently produces 200 barrels of beer a month, including the Krankshaft, Flywheel and Generator brews. Plans are to triple, and eventually quadruple that output, she said.

"Our end goal is to be a regional Midwest craft brewery," said Hurst, defining regional as within a day's drive.

As of now, Metropolitan is only available in Cook and eight surrounding counties.

Growth was always part of Metropolitan's strategy and the space at 5121 N. Ravenswood Ave. was never meant to be a permanent home.

"This is a lease," Hurst said. "That's because we knew this would be a step for us."

But there is a limit to how big the Hursts want to get.

"We believe in serving your local market," she said.

Once Metropolitan reaches that 800-barrel capacity, any additional growth will be limited to the number of brands the brewery offers.

"We didn't get into this to be wealthy people with villas in Switzerland," said Hurst. "We're not looking to conquer the world."

Though tight-lipped about where Metropolitan might eventually land, she did promise the brewery would remain true to its Chicago roots.

"Our packaging reads Chicago," said Hurst. "It's definitely our mission, our vision to be a Chicago brewery."