Our good friend Eric McNeil’s craft beer venture Strange Pelican has been picking up a lot of traction ahead of its micro-brewing company’s brick-and-mortar opening at Damon Avenue and Fulton Street next year.
In partnering with Doejo’s Phil Tadros, McNeil hopes to brew about 3,000 barrels of craft brews a year in his new 10,000-square-foot brewery and distribute kegs to several local restaurants and artfully packaged bottles to retail stores as well.
Here’s RedEye take on the Strange Pelican Brewing Company:
Under the name Strange Pelican Brewing Company, McNeil will brew about 3,000 barrels a year in a 10,000-square-foot space near the intersection of Damen Avenue and Fulton Street. Strange Pelican’s philosophy evokes maritime history – in other words, strong beers that were made to travel. While McNeil is still experimenting with recipes, he’s planning to start with two flagship beers (a citrusy rye IPA and an imperial oatmeal stout brewed with a specialty roast from Bow Truss) that will be available in four- or six-packs, as well as two different 22-ounce bottles and a rotating seasonal selection inspired by local grains, herbs and other ingredients.
Many of McNeil’s beer names and designs have music themes, especially jazz. For example, Bebop, a spring seasonal that McNeil served at this year’s Chicago Beer Festival, is a playful acronym for its ingredients — “be” for honey, and “bop” for blood-orange pale ale — and will be served in a bottle with a Dizzy Gillespie-inspired image on the label. McNeil and another artist he works with will design all the visuals for Strange Pelican.
Follow Strange Pelican on Facebook to see behind-the-scenes at this exceptional brewing company.