Structured Development LLC and Burnt City Brewing have completed District Brew Yards, the nation’s first brewery collective with a pour-your-own beer hall. Located in a repurposed warehouse at 417 N. Ashland Avenue, in Chicago’s West Town neighborhood, the taproom preserves the concrete floors, exposed brick walls, Douglas fir beams and other original design features of the 18,000-square-foot, bow-truss style building.
The redevelopment is part of a burgeoning brewing district located adjacent to the Fulton Market District, less than a mile northeast of the United Center and four blocks from the CTA’s Ashland/Lake station. It is easily accessible via the Kennedy and Eisenhower expressways. Structured Development led the conversion of the former photography studio in partnership with Burnt City, whose beers will be featured in the brewery along with those of Around the Bend Beer Co. and Bold Dog Beer Co.
“Partnering with District Brew Yards allowed Structured to bring our expertise in adaptive reuse to West Town with an innovative project that celebrates the vintage charm of the neighborhood’s historic warehouses while embracing Chicago’s status as the brewing capital of the U.S.,” said Mike Drew, founding principal of Chicago-based Structured Development.
Burnt City and partner breweries Around the Bend Beer Co. and Bold Dog Beer Co. each have a dedicated, self-service tap wall that, in addition to pouring 10 of their beer varieties, showcases their respective brands. In addition, a “Fourth Wall” includes 10 guest taps reserved for established brands and emerging names that will make special varieties in-house. Brew Yards also houses a retail shop and two original murals.
“We have an opportunity to have more fun making beer than ever before,” said Ben Saller, head brewer of Burnt City. “What we’ve built at the Brew Yards is basically a playground for experimentation and pushing boundaries.”