Turner Häus Brewery co-founder Blair Turner-Aikens poses with fellow co-founder and cousin Steven Turner. Credit: Provided/Turner Häus Brewery

BRONZEVILLE — The Black- and family-owned Turner Häus Brewery is set to open its first taproom Nov. 30 in Bronzeville.

Turner Häus soft-launched the spot in October, but it’s only been open a few times since. It shares space with the 78 E. 47th St. location of the Chicago coffee chain Sip & Savor, based in the Rosenwald Court Apartments.

When the taproom opens for good this month, it will offer five signature beers plus seasonal specials out of the cafe’s space 4-9 p.m. Thursday-Friday, 1-7 p.m. Saturdays and 1-5 p.m. Sundays, its co-founders said.

According to the Sun-Times, this will be the first Black-owned brewery with a physical location in the city since Vice District Brewery’s 2019 closure. Co-founders Steven Turner and Blair Turner-Aikens said opening a taproom on the South Side where they live was a key part of their mission.

“We’re just really excited to have a place for people to come constantly to get our beer and support us, and excited to have a place in Bronzeville,” said Turner-Aikens, a Woodlawn resident. “There aren’t many places like that on the South Side of Chicago.”

The founders also want to pay tribute to the women who helped them get here. With beers named after Turner family members — grandmothers Helen and Hazel, aunt Lola, cousin Marlene — they publicly honor their matriarchs.

The Turner Häus motto: “They poured into us, now we pour pints of them.”

The brewery has developed 25-30 recipes, each with a family name and a carefully crafted flavor profile, courtesy of hand-prepared ingredients.

For instance, the Lola PB&J IPA is brewed with fresh basil, chopped jalapeños and peanut butter. When Turner spoke to Block Club, he was peeling whole grapefruits to add to the Helen grapefruit lager.

“We don’t often use a puree. We definitely aren’t using extracts. We’re not using artificial flavoring,” Turner said. “Not only are we using fresh ingredients, but we’re processing the fresh ingredients by hand ourselves.”

Turner and Turner-Aikens tested the popularity of those flavors in their own space for the first time Oct. 26 at Turner Häus’ soft opening. The experience gave the Turners a chance to figure out their workflow before the grand opening.

They plan to open sporadically before Nov. 30 to build up the muscle memory of operating the taproom — including 4-9 p.m. Nov. 20, for any locals looking to get an early taste. But other than nailing down a few operational procedures, Turner said the family is mostly ready for the big day.

The one thing they’re still working on: making sure they’ve brewed enough beer.

After all, Turner pointed out, Turner Häus doesn’t “want to run out of anything right out of the gate.”


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