Off Color Brewing

We brew beer. Sometimes we do other stuff, but not as well.

THE BREWERY

At some point John and Dave were born. They did other stuff for a while and then they figured out they were better at making beer than at the other stuff. So that's what they do now. They met while both studied at the oldest and most respected brewing school (of the two...and by the brewers that went to the one) in the US, the Siebel Institute, in 2008 and the brewery was envisioned while they both interned at Metropolitan Brewing afterwards. Most of Off Color's business plan is based off of Doug and Tracy at Metro knowing what they're doing, so you should go buy some of their beer too. After cutting their teeth at larger breweries, the two somehow convinced enough otherwise-very-smart-people to invest enough money for them to buy some big shiny things to make their own beer in. So that's what they do now.

EQUIPMENT

Brewhouse: 20 bbl Newlands two vessel brewhouse Tanks: 1 x 60 bbl Acer fermentor 2 x 60 bbl ABT fermentors 1 x 20 bbl GW Kent fermentor 3 x 60 bbl GW Kent fermentors 2 x 40 bbl GW Kent fermentors 1 x 60 bbl GW Kent brite tank  1 x 60 bbl ABT brite tank 2 x 12 bbl farmboy rigged acid tanks 1 x 30 bbl POS tank that we put bacteria in 1 x 25 bbl dairy rigged HLT Kegging: DMT Manual Keg Washer Filter: A plate and frame filter with 3 attached wheels and one detachable wheel Bottling: 6-head Meheen 12 ounce bottle filler from the year 2000 4-head Meheen 750 mL bottle filler from the year 2016 (we like this one better because it knows metric... EDIT: we do not like this one better... EDIT: I guess it is okay)

Brewhouse:
20 bbl Newlands two vessel brewhouse

Tanks:
1 x 60 bbl Acer fermentor

2 x 60 bbl ABT fermentors

1 x 20 bbl GW Kent fermentor

3 x 60 bbl GW Kent fermentors

2 x 40 bbl GW Kent fermentors

1 x 60 bbl GW Kent brite tank 

1 x 60 bbl ABT brite tank

2 x 12 bbl farmboy rigged acid tanks

1 x 30 bbl POS tank that we put bacteria in

1 x 25 bbl dairy rigged HLT

Kegging:
DMT Manual Keg Washer

Filter:
A plate and frame filter with 3 attached wheels and one detachable wheel

Bottling:

6-head Meheen 12 ounce bottle filler from the year 2000

4-head Meheen 750 mL bottle filler from the year 2016 (we like this one better because it knows metric... EDIT: we do not like this one better... EDIT: I guess it is okay)


THE PACK OF STRAYS

John Laffler

Once upon a time, a particularly insightful ex-girlfriend pointed out that perhaps them moving to Portland for John to get a doctorate in something that made him cranky most of the time may not be the best idea. Since he was happier looking at all the little brewpubs and breweries there than the school itself, John enrolled in Siebel instead. After interning at Metropolitan Brewing, he was hired at Goose Island to scrub floors. A while later they let him fiddle with the barrel program and do research and development brewing. Tom Korder (now at Penrose) was charged with getting him to actually get stuff done as opposed to wandering off to the farmers market or talking with beekeepers all day. Remember that bit from Cat's Cradle? Yeah, kinda like that. Now it's Dave's job. Dave has Tom's number.

Once upon a time, a particularly insightful ex-girlfriend pointed out that perhaps them moving to Portland for John to get a doctorate in something that made him cranky most of the time may not be the best idea. Since he was happier looking at all the little brewpubs and breweries there than the school itself, John enrolled in Siebel instead. After interning at Metropolitan Brewing, he was hired at Goose Island to scrub floors. A while later they let him fiddle with the barrel program and do research and development brewing. Tom Korder (now at Penrose) was charged with getting him to actually get stuff done as opposed to wandering off to the farmers market or talking with beekeepers all day. Remember that bit from Cat's Cradle? Yeah, kinda like that. Now it's Dave's job. Dave has Tom's number.

Dave Bleitner

In 2008 we all learned what a subprime mortgage is, and then Dave found out that he didn’t have a job trading options anymore. Unemployed and very drunk on his 25th birthday, Dave decided to enroll at the Siebel Institute, thinking worst-case scenario, it would be a cool vacation. After a quick detox and a bottle of liver supplements, he started interning at Metropolitan Brewing, where he and John began the plans for Off Color Brewing. Afterwards, the Institute of Brewing & Distilling awarded him the 2009 Worshipful Company of Brewers GCB award. After investigating whether or not this was some kind of scam, Dave flew to England to accept the award and was jealous that the Lord Mayor of London got a firkin and all he got was a tankard (and some English money he didn’t understand the value of). Dave, then, got a job at Two Brothers Brewing in Warrenville which was 40 miles from his house, one way. After commuting 52,000 miles, he stopped driving to Warrenville and now drives to Logan Square which is 5 miles from his house, a vast improvement.

In 2008 we all learned what a subprime mortgage is, and then Dave found out that he didn’t have a job trading options anymore. Unemployed and very drunk on his 25th birthday, Dave decided to enroll at the Siebel Institute, thinking worst-case scenario, it would be a cool vacation. After a quick detox and a bottle of liver supplements, he started interning at Metropolitan Brewing, where he and John began the plans for Off Color Brewing. Afterwards, the Institute of Brewing & Distilling awarded him the 2009 Worshipful Company of Brewers GCB award. After investigating whether or not this was some kind of scam, Dave flew to England to accept the award and was jealous that the Lord Mayor of London got a firkin and all he got was a tankard (and some English money he didn’t understand the value of). Dave, then, got a job at Two Brothers Brewing in Warrenville which was 40 miles from his house, one way. After commuting 52,000 miles, he stopped driving to Warrenville and now drives to Logan Square which is 5 miles from his house, a vast improvement.

Wiz

Not wasting any time pursuing a life of beer making, Wiz starting taking classes at Siebel pretty much as soon as he was legally of age to take them. Wiz then followed in the footsteps of John and Dave by interning at Metropolitan until he needed to make money, so he started applying for paying brewery jobs. One day, Jason Ebel (co-owner of Two Brothers) asked Dave whether he should hire Nick Wisnewski. Dave replied that he didn't know who that was. Jason answered that they called him Wiz to which Dave responded "Yeah, hire that guy." So Wiz worked at Two Brothers until he didn't anymore and moved to Tennessee to be the head brewer at a new brewery there. Then, a few years later, Wiz called Dave and asked if he could use him as a reference for a different job. Knowing that Wiz was trying to get a new job in Chicago, Dave hired Wiz as soon as he could

Not wasting any time pursuing a life of beer making, Wiz starting taking classes at Siebel pretty much as soon as he was legally of age to take them. Wiz then followed in the footsteps of John and Dave by interning at Metropolitan until he needed to make money, so he started applying for paying brewery jobs. One day, Jason Ebel (co-owner of Two Brothers) asked Dave whether he should hire Nick Wisnewski. Dave replied that he didn't know who that was. Jason answered that they called him Wiz to which Dave responded "Yeah, hire that guy." So Wiz worked at Two Brothers until he didn't anymore and moved to Tennessee to be the head brewer at a new brewery there. Then, a few years later, Wiz called Dave and asked if he could use him as a reference for a different job. Knowing that Wiz was trying to get a new job in Chicago, Dave hired Wiz as soon as he could

Shane

Learning from our mistake of not reading Clay's resume, we actually read Shane's. It was good. He was new to all this when he started, so he thinks all this is still fun. Plus he came from Portland, but not the weird one. The one where the people from there say "wicked pissa" and "clam chowda." But he works hard and does a lot of the work so I can focus on doing stupid things, like writing a bio for Shane, because that is what is really happening right now.

Learning from our mistake of not reading Clay's resume, we actually read Shane's. It was good. He was new to all this when he started, so he thinks all this is still fun. Plus he came from Portland, but not the weird one. The one where the people from there say "wicked pissa" and "clam chowda." But he works hard and does a lot of the work so I can focus on doing stupid things, like writing a bio for Shane, because that is what is really happening right now.

PK

You know PK. Hell, everyone knows PK. He served you drinks all those times. He made some of those beers too. You really don't remember him? He was the guy that stripped at the Off Color pop-up bar. Then Off Color gave him his first ever paid brewery position, when we hired him for a day for $1 to help us win a beer chugging competition. Then we hired him part time to actually make beer and not just drink it quickly. Growing tired of the lack of gin the brewery, PK got the hell out of there and started seliing our beers to your favorite bars!

Becca

Becca has been making beer in Chicago longer than anyone in the brewery. Which sucks because we couldn't really haze her, but also didn't suck because she already knew what she was doing when she walked in the door so we didn't have to spend much time training her. She's happy Off Color doesn't have any outside jabronies in our brewery messing with her stuff, like at her last job. Instead she's specializing in making the Kool-Aid and giving Dave life advice about parenting. 

Becca has been making beer in Chicago longer than anyone in the brewery. Which sucks because we couldn't really haze her, but also didn't suck because she already knew what she was doing when she walked in the door so we didn't have to spend much time training her. She's happy Off Color doesn't have any outside jabronies in our brewery messing with her stuff, like at her last job. Instead she's specializing in making the Kool-Aid and giving Dave life advice about parenting. 

Tader 

Tader used to have a job selling our beer, now he has a job selling our beer (and dressing up like a giant rat humanoid or dinosaur). If you ask him a question he'll give you an answer. Whether it's the right answer is up to you to decide.

Tader used to have a job selling our beer, now he has a job selling our beer (and dressing up like a giant rat humanoid or dinosaur). If you ask him a question he'll give you an answer. Whether it's the right answer is up to you to decide.

Jess 

Jess was bitten by the Off Color bug long before there was an Off Color bug... or at least before the bug was called Off Color. She started as one of the original interns at Metropolitan Brewing with John and Dave only to outlast them (or strategically plan their demise). From there she went big time, selling a lot more beer than we will ever make. That was until she lost some cups, or something. I was only half paying attention to the long, boring story she told us while we were trying to hire her. Then we hired her. And now she runs our retail operation and helps prevent Dave from losing his mind.

Jess was bitten by the Off Color bug long before there was an Off Color bug... or at least before the bug was called Off Color. She started as one of the original interns at Metropolitan Brewing with John and Dave only to outlast them (or strategically plan their demise). From there she went big time, selling a lot more beer than we will ever make. That was until she lost some cups, or something. I was only half paying attention to the long, boring story she told us while we were trying to hire her. Then we hired her. And now she runs our retail operation and helps prevent Dave from losing his mind.

Sean

Sean came to us from the sunny state of San Francisco after forcing his way in the brewing industry with patience and we can only assume drunken proclamations. Seeking shittier weather, Sean moved to the state of Chicago and, after wandering around aimlessly for a bit, ended up at our doorstep looking for a job. He thought we weren't going to hire him, but then we did. After serving a term as "the new guy", he now does a bunch of important stuff... like throw the frisbee to the brewery dogs.

Sean came to us from the sunny state of San Francisco after forcing his way in the brewing industry with patience and we can only assume drunken proclamations. Seeking shittier weather, Sean moved to the state of Chicago and, after wandering around aimlessly for a bit, ended up at our doorstep looking for a job. He thought we weren't going to hire him, but then we did. After serving a term as "the new guy", he now does a bunch of important stuff... like throw the frisbee to the brewery dogs.

Erin 

Erin tweets about beer and cats and stuff. So of course we had to hire her. Come by our bottle shop on Saturdays and she will be nice to you and actually be helpful. Plus she has a real job doing something important, like taking care of animals. Unlike the rest of us weirdos working and drinkin' High Life in the back. She’s more organized and smarter than most of us, so we put her in charge of Important Stuff™, but she still likes Cheezy Poofs, if that dichotomy makes any sense to you.

Erin tweets about beer and cats and stuff. So of course we had to hire her. Come by our bottle shop on Saturdays and she will be nice to you and actually be helpful. Plus she has a real job doing something important, like taking care of animals. Unlike the rest of us weirdos working and drinkin' High Life in the back. She’s more organized and smarter than most of us, so we put her in charge of Important Stuff™, but she still likes Cheezy Poofs, if that dichotomy makes any sense to you.

Ashley 

During science school, Ashley gravitated towards beer. After graduating science school, she made a career out of it by joining the newly expanded Two Brothers brewery. Later she met Dave and Wiz there. Then Dave and Wiz left and Ashley stayed, until Ashley and Dave got really drunk after judging the Festival of Barrel Aged Beers and drunkenly yelled at each other about working together again. A year later, they remembered the conversation and made it happen. Now Ashley helps us taste beers in the morning, wrangles the fermenters, teaches us all about science and enthralls us with her tales from the sea.

During science school, Ashley gravitated towards beer. After graduating science school, she made a career out of it by joining the newly expanded Two Brothers brewery. Later she met Dave and Wiz there. Then Dave and Wiz left and Ashley stayed, until Ashley and Dave got really drunk after judging the Festival of Barrel Aged Beers and drunkenly yelled at each other about working together again. A year later, they remembered the conversation and made it happen. Now Ashley helps us taste beers in the morning, wrangles the fermenters, teaches us all about science and enthralls us with her tales from the sea.

Hops|  The Puppy

Hops’ duties are multifaceted. She makes sure no brewery mice go un-barked at and spends a lot of time ensuring that the brewers don't trip over anything other than her. During her breaks, she enjoys pruning the plant life in the beer garden and chewing on our pallets rendering them unusable.

Hops’ duties are multifaceted. She makes sure no brewery mice go un-barked at and spends a lot of time ensuring that the brewers don't trip over anything other than her. During her breaks, she enjoys pruning the plant life in the beer garden and chewing on our pallets rendering them unusable.

 

 

Nikki   |   Illustrator

Nikki draws all the pretty things for us which is easy for her because she's good at drawing. In her other time, she teaches little children to draw pretty things which is easy because no one expects much from little children's drawings. Still, it's pretty damned important. Her work tends to focus on a macabre sense of humanity and tenderness depicted through vicious animal themes juxtaposing the softness of embroidery. Obviously she grew up in Northern Wisconsin which, if you ask her, is the best part of the best state. Who are we to disagree? I mean their state bird is the Brandy Old Fashioned.

Tim   |   Graphic Designer

Tim makes design and art for people in Chicago who drink too much of whatever they are drinking. Not surprisingly, Tim is much better at knowing how to make things look good than John or Dave and told them they can't put dinosaurs on EVERYTHING.

Kristin   |   Graphic Designer

Kristin is a graphic designer who has her own studio which she named after herself because when you own your own studio you can name it whatever the hell you damn well please. Her dog is named “Abby” so we'll probably make some sort of abbey beer named after her at some point. Kristin, to her credit, has a much better, much more sophisticated sense of humor than such poor puns.

Brad & Dave   |   Website

These two punks made this excellent website. Brad made it pretty and Dave turned it clicky. By day, Brad is an Art Director at a scotch sipping ad agency while Dave writes copious amount of software and eats a lot of lunch. Together, they are conquering the Internet in Chicago. You can occasionally get their very limited attention with motorcycle noises.


FAQ

How many different type of bourbon are on John's desk?
11

Whats your favorite beer?

I don't like this question.

What's that thing called?

It's a science tube

Why did you do [insert thing here]?

We were probably drunk

Are you going to apologize?

No. Well, yes.

 

Why a grain mouse?

It's the only mammal that's at the brewery more than us

So you like mice?

Hell no. They try and eat our grain

Why do you use the metric system?

Because it makes sense dammit

What is the metric system?

Public school!!

What are the hours of your taproom?

Sunday-Thursday 11am-11pm; Friday and Saturday 11am-Midnight. Make sure you're heading towards 1460 N Kingsbury. You'll be sorely disappointed if you show up at 3925 W Dickens on a Sunday. Or Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, et al. 

© 2014 Off Color Brewing | Please drink locally and responsibly.