SHOREWOOD – When a brewery runs dry, it’s often because the business isn’t profitable, people leave the community or congress enacts an amendment to the country’s founding document.
But rarely does a brewery run dry because the community drinks all the beer – but that’s what happened to Will County Brewing in early April.
Less than a month after the Shorewood-based brewery opened, it was forced to temporarily close its doors to brew more beer. It will reopen April 21 for a “Grand Opening 2.0.”
“We are stuck in an endless loop of brewing just enough beer for you to keep drinking it all .... So, rather than try to open with two beers, we are closing the doors instead,” the brewers said in a Facebook post Tuesday.
Jamie Albert, co-owner and brewer at Will County Brewing, said he’s never heard of this situation happening in the brewing world, despite the brewers buying 24 additional kegs and five fermenters to keep up with demand.
“Some people say it’s a good problem, but it’s still a problem,” Albert said. “ This kind of response from the community tells us there is a need for a brewery in Shorewood.”
Albert and the rest of the brewers at Will County Brewing haven’t been strangers to adapting and overcoming strange situations. The brewers lost $31,400 to a brewery equipment supplier in 2017, resulting in a lawsuit filed Dec. 26 in Stark County, Ohio.
Systech Services and its proprietors, Jason and Amanda Spurrell, were named in the suit individually. ACE Metalworks, MicroBev Systems and Final Gravity Home Brew also were named in the suit for breach of contract, fraud, successor liability, fraudulent misrepresentation, negligent misrepresentation and unjust enrichment.
In the meantime, the brewers teamed up with Dan Camp and Jason Janes from Romeoville-based Metal Monkey Brewing to start the brewing process to prepare for their opening lineup of six beers.
Albert said the brewery will return with that same original lineup later this month – Intramural Superstar Pilsner, Peach Meat Wheat, Brennus Irish Red Ale, Rocket Queen IPA, Visanthe Coffee Brown Ale and Mister Mustachio Bourbon Vanilla Porter.
“After this, we will be running at maximum capacity,” Albert said.