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Credit Card-Only Brewery And Tasting Room To Open Wednesday in West Town

By Alisa Hauser | January 10, 2017 5:03pm
 Inside a new brewery and taproom at 1725 W. Hubbard St. in West Town.
On Tour Brewing Company
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WEST TOWN — A craft brewery and tasting room in West Town's Kinzie industrial corridor just north of the United Center bustle, plans to open at 3 p.m. Wednesday, its founder Mark Legenza said.

Legenza's On Tour Brewing Company, 1725 W. Hubbard St., offers a brewery, 75-seat tasting room and separate barrel-aging room that will be open from Wednesday through Sunday weekly, accepting credit card payments only, according to the fine print at the bottom of the menu.

Legenza, a West Lakeview resident, said the decision not to accept cash is easy for a small business.

"Being a small business, taking credit cards only helps us run our business more efficiently. We don't have to deal with change on the tasting room floor, and we don't have to constantly run to the bank," Legenza said.

Cash tips will be accepted, Legenza clarified.

On Tour's location, within blocks of Goose Island brewery, Forbidden Root, Hubbard's Cave brewery, Like Minds Brewing and Une Annee Brewery, among others, was selected because it is growing and "close to so many other breweries," Legenza said.

"It gives us lots of potential to be a part of the branding of our area as a destination for breweries," Legenza said.

On Tour draws its name from Legenza's love of seeing bands live, as well as an observation coined by Bob Dylan: "Being on tour is like being in limbo. It's like going from nowhere to nowhere."

On Tour offers an opening draft list of 12 beers — including several IPAs, pilsners, browns, sours and a coffee stout, according to the drink menu where many beers are inspired by songs, like "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go Nitro."

In the tasting room, guests can taste beers on tap from a seasonally rotating menu from head brewer Mark Poffenberger and buy crowlers, which are 32-ounce cans that can be bought individually for $8 or in a pack of three for $21.

Though no food is served, On Tour Brewery encourages "BYOF," or bring your own food, and is planning to announce a food truck lineup in February.

The sunny tasting room takes up about one-third of the 4,500-square-foot industrial warehouse and offers plenty of seats on couches and tall tables, plus there are two flat-screen TVs that will play NFL playoff games as well as concerts and other events.

When On Tour's entry was announced in the fall, Poffenberger told Crain's Chicago Business that he likes to age stouts in heavily charred and toasted bourbon barrels; IPAs and saisons in gin and tequila barrels; and Belgian dark ales in port and red wine barrels.

Before On Tour, Poffenberger was with Fat Head’s Brewery in Portland, Ore., and Sun King in Indianapolis. Legenza, who will contribute to the brewing process as he oversees On Tour's operations, previously caught the brewing bug when he advanced to the final rounds of the National Homebrew Competition, in 2013 and 2015.

"The brewery is founded on a belief that brewing is more than just crafting the perfect pint; On Tour Brewing Company believes that great beer brings people together," Legenza said in a news release.

On Tour Brewing Co., 1725 W. Hubbard St.,  is open 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday; 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. Friday; 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday; and 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday. Phone: 312-796-3119.

For updates, visit On Tour's website, or follow the brewery on Facebook or Instagram.

Exterior of On Tour Brewing Company, 1725 W. Hubbard St. [Vanessa Buholzer]

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