LITTLE VILLAGE — What started as two brothers whipping up beer on an apartment balcony has evolved into Little Village’s first brewery.
After working together for years at Verizon Wireless, brothers Steve and Brian Miller figured they had the sibling work thing nailed down.
“The way that brothers are able to argue and then get past it in like two seconds is really important. Brian deals with my outbursts very well,” Steve Miller, 28, said laughing.
When they first started looking for a space last year, the two happened upon a 4,000-square-foot warehouse at 3223 S. Kolin Ave. The price was right and Steve Miller said support from 22nd Ward Ald. Ricardo Munoz sealed the deal.
While the two brothers wait for their final brewing permits to come in, the brewery’s interior looks more like a 10-year-old boy’s room, strewn with skateboards and hockey sticks and living right up to its “SlapShot” name.
Steve Miller said the city’s beer community has been welcoming to him and his brother. For him, Chicago’s 30 breweries mean 30 partners.
“The brewing industry is so much different than corporate life. When you’re working in corporate America, you’re taught to hate your competitors,” he said.
With a little brewing help from Westmont-based Urban Legend brewery, the brothers were able to test out their first beer, a lighter honey malt brew called “Honey You’re Blond,” at Beer Bistro, 1061 W. Madison St., earlier this month. They sold four kegs of the stuff in three hours.
They also plan to brew a hefeweizen called “The White Stuff” and an ale with peanut butter hints aptly titled “Stick to the Nuts.”
Abdul-Aziz Hassan, president of the homebrew club The Little Village Cerveceros (Brewers), said his organization has been waiting for a place like SlapShot to come along.
“It’s great because we usually have to go to Bridgeport and neighborhoods on the North Side.” he said. “There’s a lot of young people and a lot of young professionals in Little Village looking to enjoy craft beer.”
The Millers say they hope to be brewing onsite by the end of this month and they have a tap house in the works for spring. Until then, you can find the brothers’ beer most Fridays at Beer Bistro’s two Chicago locations and at the Urban Legend brewery.