Made In Chicago: Une Année Brewery

Rob Hart
March 16, 2020 - 10:00 am

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- A brewery that started in the West Loop is now increasing its footprint in the Northwest suburbs.

The Une Année Brewery is opening its new tap room and kitchen on Grosse Pointe Road in Niles.  The new facility replaces the old tap room that was located near Golf Mill.

The original opening day was scheduled for March 19, but owner and general manager Jerry Nelson said the opening date was moved to last Saturday in order to get ahead of the wave of mandated closings meant to halt the spread of COVID-19.  Nelson tells WBBM Newsradiothat customers will still be able to buy beer to-go through a side door.

Nelson started the brewery on Hubbard Street just west of Downtown in 2013.  One of their beers, Hubbard's Cave, is a tribute to their original location.

He caught the home brewing bug while serving in the military.

"I started home brewing back in 1995, when I was in the Marines in California," Nelson said.

He kept up with his hobby after he left the military.  The brewery was the off-ramp from his day job as an architect.

"I wanted to get out of that 9-5 job and have my own thing," Nelson said.

Une Année Brewery
WBBM Newsradio/Rob Hart

Une Année is part of a vibrant local brewing scene that supports labels both large and small.

"We have a good community here. A lot of good beer is made in Chicago," he said.

The brewery, kitchen, and tap room represent a $2 million investment.  Nelson said he can't believe he was able to turn his passion into a business.

"It's kind of crazy.  I always envisioned getting bigger over time, and now that we are in this bigger brewery it's kind of surreal," Nelson said.