Twisted Hippo brewery to come waddling in to Northwest Side spot

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The site of the new Twisted Hippo Brewing at 2925 W. Montrose. Other craft brewers have not succeeded at the Northwest Side location. | Google Street View

For the fourth time in three years, neighbors in Albany Park and Irving Park are preparing to welcome a new brewery — to the same location.

The owners of Twisted Hippo Brewing announced Thursday that they’ve signed a lease on 2925 W. Montrose Ave. — the former home of Break Room Brewery and then Finch Kitchen. Twisted Hippo is aiming for a 2018 opening of the brewery/taproom.

Some of Twisted Hippo’s beers | Brewery Facebook page

Some of Twisted Hippo’s beers | Brewery Facebook page

“We are crazy excited to become part of this amazing community. There will be beer! There will be food! There will be fun!” owners Karl and Marilee Rutherford posted on the Twisted Hippo website.

“There’s a lot of runway to clear between now and opening day, but we’ll be comin’ at you in 2018,” they added.

The Rutherfords founded Twisted Hippo in 2011 and have been contract brewing out of Slapshot Brewing and 18th Street Brewery while looking for a home of their own.

The Montrose location comes ready-made with brewing and kitchen equipment, having been built for Break Room Brewery, which opened in spring 2015 and closed in May 2016. Finch Beer Co. and chef Matthias Merges quickly took over the space and opened as Finch Kitchen in June 2016, a short-lived venture that didn’t last out the year.

In May 2017, Ravinia Brewing announced its intention to operate out of the location, but that plan never came to fruition.

Twisted Hippo has been steadily growing a following, pouring at festivals, gaining shelf space in shops such as Bitter Pops and available on tap at watering holes including Templestowe Pub in Irving Park.

The brewery’s lineup of beers includes Beeting Heart Ale, PLUMpass Saison, Bee’s Sleaze Honey Steam Ale and Great Malvolio Imperial Stout

In an introductory note to their new neighbors, the Rutherfords described Twisted Hippo beers as “a little bit weird, but totally approachable. We might do something totally unique once in a while, but generally speaking, you can take comfort in our stance that beer is a drink, not a dare.”

Representatives for Twisted Hippo did not immediately respond to a request for additional comment.

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