WESTMONT – A local brewer is hoping to tap into the booming craft beer business.
Tim Hoerman, a Westmont resident since 2004, is bringing his Urban Legend brand beers up a level with a micro brewery he hopes to open by July 1.
He's backed by a group of six investors and is in the midst of converting a warehouse in an industrial area just northwest of 63rd Street and Cass Avenue into a brewery on top of a tasting area.
For Hoerman, an attorney who has been brewing beers and winning awards for it for the past four years, the business idea was a no-brainer.
"I think the entire suburban area is underserved as far as micro breweries are concerned," he said from the warehouse at 1115 Zygmunt Circle, where large fermenting tanks were being installed late last week. "A lot of people in the area are becoming familiar with craft beers and we really think they will be receptive to this idea."
The idea is to brew and bottle beer inside the warehouse, but also host private tasting parties of up to 30 with the fermenting tanks and other brewing equipment serving as a backdrop. Food will not be served.
"Essentially we're a brewery with a tasting room," Hoerman said, adding that beer lovers will be able to purchase beer to bring home as well. "And we're going to have a bar up front, too."
Hoerman said to start he will be brewing five of 10 his award-winning beers using state-of-the-art beer brewing technology.
He even has a touch-screen control system installed that he said can be operated at home by computer or even on his mobile phone. But the key will be the system's precise temperature control – a crucial element of beer-making, Hoerman said.
"This is an all-electric brewhouse," he said proudly.
As for the name, Hoerman chose it because "it lends itself to the craft brewery industry."
"A lot of our beer names are associated with urban legends. And, the other part of the idea is that we want to create beers that become legendary."
Picking the town he calls home to build his micro brewery was a no-brainer as well.
"This is home for us," he said. "We feel it's a way to give back to our community. This is where we want to create a name and identity for ourselves. The bottle labels will all say 'Brewed in Westmont'."
For now, Hoerman is keeping his full-time gig as an attorney, but if everything goes as he hopes, the brewery will eventually be his full-time responsibility.
"It's every home brewer's dream, something like this," he said.
Unique ideas give business own identity
Urban Legend Brewing Company will host a tasting table that will be open Thursday through Sunday. How will beer-lovers know the table is open for serving, or what beers have been brewed? Hoerman will fly a flag visible from 63rd Street.
"White will mean a Pilsner is ready, orange an IPA, red an Amber, brown a Porter and more," he said.
Then there's the "Petainer," described by Hoerman as a disposable "to-go" keg that's economical, disposable and environment-friendly.
"It holds about one-sixth of a typical barrel of beer, but it doesn't require a deposit because it's made of plastic and is disposable. It's also lightweight and you can see when it's empty," he said. "It's really ideal for family parties or tailgates."
Party planners can pick up the Petainers at Urban Legend, and re-fill them inside the brewery.
The beers, their awards
• The Alter Ego aka Tony Clifton (Dusseldorf Altbier): Gold Medal, 2012 Babble Brew Off in Wheeling • Grow Masters Zythos Ale (American Pale Ale): Gold Medal, 2012 Square Kegs Competition, Chicago • Mugshot 12.20.71 (Brown Porter): Gold Medal, 2012 Babble Brew Off • Catherine the Great ("Imperialistic" Double IPA) • Imaginary Blonde (Summer Ale)
Urban Legend Brewing Company
WHERE: 1115 Zygmunt Circle
FOR MORE: urbanlegendbrewing.com