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Lincoln Square, North Center, Irving Park

Hop Butcher Will Open Its First Taproom In North Center Thursday

Hop Butcher owners Jeremiah Zimmer and Jude La Rose bought the building and equipment from Half Acre in 2021. Hop Butcher was founded in Chicago in 2014, offering IPAs, lagers and stouts.

Hop Butcher turned Half Acre's former Lincoln Avenue location into its first taproom.
Hop Butcher
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NORTH CENTER — Hop Butcher For The World will open its first taproom in the former Half Acre Brewing in North Center this week.

The taproom opens 11 a.m. Thursday at 4257 N. Lincoln Ave.

Hop Butcher owners Jeremiah Zimmer and Jude La Rose bought the building and equipment from Half Acre in 2021.

Hop Butcher has spent more than a year lining up permits and renovating the property ahead of the opening, the owners said.

“Half Acre built a beautiful space for drinkers to enjoy beer, so a lot of the foundation was in place. Our goal upon taking over the space was to inject a giant dose of who we are as a brewery,” Zimmer said. “Some updates act as a nod to our predecessors’ 10-year tenure in the space, while others aim to showcase the unique spirit of Hop Butcher and what we stand for as a brewery.”

Founded in Chicago in 2014, Hop Butcher’s beers include hop forward IPAs, double IPAs and triple IPAs; flavorful lagers; and bold stouts. 

The brewery self-distributes its beer every week and its brews are often only hours or days in the can before being shipped out to retailers throughout the area and to other states, the owners said. 

Credit: Hop Butcher

For most of the brewery’s history, its owners have relied on other facilities to make its beer, producing at Miskatonic Brewing Company in suburban Darien as well as 5 Rabbit.

Half Acre announced in May 2021 it would consolidate operations at its Bowmanville location and sell its 13,000-square-foot brewery and taproom at 4257 N. Lincoln Ave. to Hop Butcher.

While Zimmer and La Rose worked on getting the North Center taproom ready, they also took over over 5 Rabbit Cervecería’s Bedford Park location to ramp up their brewing operations.

The Lincoln Avenue property has a smaller, fully functional production brewery that will supply most of the beer available in the taproom and attached retail store. The owners plan to use their North Center location to pilot new recipes and test smaller-batch beers before taking them into retail distribution, they said. 

Credit: Hop Butcher
The glasses are lined up and ready at Hop Butcher’s first taproom.

“We are excited to dive into new styles and experimentation, something we previously didn’t have the capability to do. Hoppy lagers, experimental Belgian beers, hybrid styles — you name it,” La Rose said. “Now, we can kick out small batches and get real-time feedback from our most-devoted fans in our own taproom, who will help
determine which beers deserve a broader audience.”

Hop Butcher is also retaining the separate retail storefront at the property where fans can purchase merchandise and beer to-go.

The taproom will be open 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday.

For more information visit the brewery’s website.

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