Bottoms Up! Unique Brewery and Restaurant Coming Soon to East Lake View
The 24-year-old entrepreneur behind DryHop shares the restaurant’s unique style and new way of serving up craft beer.
“You’ll never be able to come in here and get a PBR,” laughed Greg Shuff. “We will not have that. I’m sorry.”
The 24-year-old entrepreneur and Lake View resident says his new business, DryHop Brewers, will be different. Located on North Broadway Avenue near West Belmont, the 3,000-square-foot storefront is slated to not only be an upscale restaurant, but also a small-scale brewery.
Along with a brewmaster and executive chef, Shuff’s restaurant will be serving up craft beer brewed right on site, and then paired with food cooked specifically to match the beer on tap.
But that’s not what makes DryHop unique.
Shuff is taking the concept of brewery drinking back to its roots. When the restaurant opens this winter, patrons will be able to fill up 64-and 32-ounce jugs of beer to take home with them. The jugs are called growlers, and the traditional take-home treat was Shuff’s motivation to start DryHop.
“The general way it will work is you buy the growler glass at cost,” Shuff said. “I don’t make any money on it, but you fill it up with beer, take it home, drink it, but then you bring it back and we refill it. And we just do that indefinitely. That way it eliminates all the glass waste, the cardboard waste, and you get the freshest beer humanly possibly. I brew it right here, you fill it up, it’s only a couple days old, and you can’t get a better beer.“
Let Patch save you time. Get more local articles like these delivered right to your inbox or smartphone with our free newsletter. Fast signup here.
And Shuff knows a thing or two about good beer. After graduating from Purdue University with a degree in construction management, he decided to change direction and pursue a career in something he loved: home brewing.
What was once a hobby during college transformed into a career opportunity. And soon enough, Shuff was traveling to Germany to learn how to brew the perfect beer.
“I started home brewing in college at Purdue,” Shuff said. “My entire apartment was just wall-to-wall brewing equipment. It slowly grew and got kind of obsessive. … After working at Schlafly (a brewer in St. Louis), I actually went to brewing school. There is such a thing. In Germany, you can actually get your PhD in brewing. The first part of my program I actually did it here in Chicago at a school called Siebel, and then the second part of it I did in Munich.”
Shuff returned to Chicago with a new respect for brewing, ready to start a business. Excited to bring the tradition of growlers to the city, Shuff started researching how to open up multiple growler stations all around Chicago.
"The whole Lake View community seems to be really behind being local and supporting their neighbors.”
However, he hit a snag. To make the idea legally viable, each station also needed to serve food. After dabbling with the idea of opening something small like a taco stand at each station, Shuff and his team came to their senses.
“We can’t have this great beer and then this crappy taco stand tucked into a corner,” Shuff explained. “So eventually we said, ‘Screw that.’ We dropped the idea of having growler stations all around the city and decided to have the highest quality food, gastro brewpub that we could fathom. If we’re going to do food, we’re going to try and destroy food. It’s not worth doing anything else.”
After searching all over Chicago for a location, Shuff decided to open the new brewery and restaurant in the heart of Lake View. Shuff says his product focuses on craftsmanship, and he thinks Lake View embodies a community that supports neighbors.
“We wanted great foot traffic in an area where the people were excited about craftsmanship,” Shuff said. “That’s what we sell is craft products that your neighbors make. I actually live just a few blocks south on Barry, so it’s really about this neighborhood. … The whole Lake View community seems to be really behind being local and supporting their neighbors.”
DryHop is slated to open in late December or early 2013 with a menu of small plates and 10 different types of beer starting around $6 a glass. Six will be brewed right at the restaurant on North Broadway Avenue, three will be Chicago beers and one will be a “collaboration beer” that DryHop brews with another local brewer.