Small But Mighty

A taste of Spiteful Brewing, Ravenswood's nanobrewery

There's something in Ravenswood's water.

It feeds the stills of Letherbee and Koval distilleries, and the brew tanks of Half Acre, Begyle Brewing, and now Spiteful Brewing, one of Chicago's newest nanobreweries.

The tiny operation is run by grade-school buddies Jason Klein and Brad Shaffer, who began developing recipes last year. Working on a smaller scale than a microbrewery, Spiteful brews in limited quantities, and Klein and Shaffer deliver the suds to bars and shops themselves, occasionally even by bike.

But small batches do not indicate small ambition. Spiteful debuted in December with GFY Stout ($10 for 22 ounces), a creamy, chocolatey, barley-heavy brown sipper fit for the chillier months.

Three months later, there are now a half-dozen beers on the roster. In addition to the stout, Spiteful's lineup includes the hop-strong Bitter Biker Double IPA ($10 for 22 ounces) and citrusy, copper-hued Ghost Bike Pale Ale ($9 per 22 ounces), an easy-drinking ale we'll be sipping through spring. 

New this month is a weighty Russian imperial stout called Malevolence; next up is an Irish ale called Fat Badger.

Despite the "nano" status, the brewery is covering solid local ground in its distribution. From Maria's in Bridgeport to Four Moon Tavern in Roscoe Village and Binny's throughout the suburbs, Spiteful is spreading.

Find Spiteful at Binny's, Vas Foremost, The Beer Temple, Puerto Rico Food & Liquors, Fischman Liquors and Tavern, and elsewhere.