Logan Square’s collection of breweries continues to grow with the addition of Pilot Project (2140 N. Milwaukee Ave.), which opened Aug. 16. This innovative brewery incubator provides a platform for small scale brewers looking to launch their products.
While Pilot Project will offer its own brand of beer, its founders, Dan Abel and Jordan Radke, aim to showcase beverages from start-up and homebrewers. As Abel shared with the Chicago Tribune, the goal of Pilot Project is to help less established brewers build a following and eventually grow into “fully-fledged businesses.”
Photos: Tom Vlodek
Abel drew upon his experience in the music industry for Pilot Project, citing the relationship between recording studios and musicians as his inspiration. Just as recording studios allow multiple artists to exercise their craft, the Pilot Project welcomes various brewers to practice theirs.
The brewers featured in the taproom are hand-selected, according to Abel.
“Currently, word of mouth has traveled far enough to provide us with a great selection of potential brewers and breweries,” he told LoganSquarist. Pilot Project’s inaugural class will share twenty-four taps and consist of four outfits: Brewer’s Kitchen, Pilot Project’s own brand; Tethered Vines, which introduces wine elements into its beer; Ørkenoy, a Nordic-style brewery; and Luna Bay Booch, which produces hard kombucha. And be sure to mark your calendars for Sept. 27: Pilot Project is hosting Luna Bay Booch’s official brand launch.
But Pilot Project isn’t only for the beer drinkers. The taproom opens at 7 a.m. during the week (8 a.m. on the weekends) and offers coffee and espresso, as well as pastries from Mindy Segal and Aya Pastry, until 4 p.m. Other bar snacks are available until 9 p.m.
Pilot Project is in good company in the community, with breweries like Maplewood, Hopewell, Revolution, and Middlebrow to call neighbors. When choosing a location, Logan Square was a clear frontrunner.
“For us, it was important to be where the action is happening,” Abel said. “Launching in Logan provided the most real market test for us and the brands we incubate. If we aren’t available where the action is we’re not offering a true-to-form representation of what the craft industry looks like in Chicago (or other metropolitan areas). Not to mention, we all just love Logan in general.”
And in true Logan Square fashion, Pilot Project is kid-friendly and the patio is dog-friendly. What better way to enjoy these last fleeting days of summer than trying some new brews on a new patio?
Featured photo: Tom Vlodek