NORTH CENTER — Half Acre has been one of the biggest success stories among Chicago's homegrown craft breweries — too successful at times.
Almost immediately after opening at 4257 N. Lincoln Ave. in 2008, the brewery began experiencing growing pains.
"A big choice lay ahead because the long-term needs of our brewery would necessitate growth beyond our walls," the company said Monday, as it announced its expansion to a second brewery in Bowmanville.
Founder Gabriel Magliaro and his team now have "room to breathe and think for a while," according to a statement posted on Half Acre's website.
Half Acre has purchased property at 2050 W. Balmoral Ave., which should be built out and production-ready by October, Magliaro told the Tribune.
The new 60,000-square-foot site — compared with Half Acre's current 13,000 square feet — will take over brewing of Half Acre's most popular beers. The Lincoln Avenue location, which will retain its taproom, will serve as an incubator for experimental, small-batch creations, according to the Tribune.
"The scale of the site will remove constraints that have uncomfortably driven our brewery," the company stated in a news release. "The expansion process won't be fast, but we can now remove many questions and begin to mold the future into the exact shape we feel is best."
Magliaro founded Half Acre in 2006, producing its original lager via a brewery in Wisconsin. The North Center brewery opened in 2008, and the adjacent taproom followed in 2012.