Begyle-d

The North Center brewery now has a tasting room and a CSB

It began with an idea and a Kickstarter.

In 2012, Begyle Brewing came up with the concept of a Community-Supported Brewery–kind of like a farm share, but with growlers of beer instead of boxes of squash.

"With CSAs, there's a direct connection to the farms. You can take pride in being a member," explained founder Kevin Cary. "We wanted to do that with our CSB." They raised $18,000 and started self-distributing, but the CSB went on the back burner until they could release their products.

It took more than a year, but they finally launched the CSB as part of their brand-new store's opening. All 200 shares sold out in seven days.

If you weren't one of the lucky ones, don't despair: Begyle's new tasting room is open to everyone.

Beers for sale at Begyle Brewing

The brewery serves between six and eight beers at all times, including bottled favorites (like its Flannel Pajamas Oatmeal Stout) and some that are exclusive to the store, such as the "Oh, Hey" English Porter. Grab a growler (or half-growler) from their shelves and head to the tap.

Begyle's even got a new high-tech toy to play with: a fancy growler-filling machine from Austria that works exactly like a bottling machine, keeping the beer fresher for longer. It's the only one like it in Chicago.

In the coming weeks, look for new releases like Imperial Pajamas (the Imperial cousin of Flannel Pajamas) and Begyle Blonde Ale.

And go ahead and put yourself on the waitlist for the CSB's next round, which will open in a few months.