clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Homebrew dreams get closer to reality at this new plant

If friends swear your homebrew is so good they’d buy it, here’s the first step to taking their money.

Chicago Craft Bottling is making it easier to bottle homebrew, nonna’s limoncello or any beverage for sale. The new company will even help you with the “sale” part.

“We’re a small craft-bottling facility and really in support of people in growth mode,” said Patrick Jean-Baptiste, managing partner at Chicago Craft Bottling. “We can give as much or as little help as they need.”

The company was created by some of the partners at Crafthouse Cocktails — including Jean-Baptiste and mixology superstar Charles Joly — to put its Moscow mules, palomas and southsides (booze and all) into fancy 750-milliliter flip-top glass bottles.

Crafthouse currently is bottled by a contract packer in Montreal, but will move to Chicago Craft Bottling’s new plant in Michigan City, Indiana, by the end of the year. It will be the first client at the 10,000-square-foot facility at 1808 Kentucky St., which was home to Winn Machine for 25 years.

Chicago Craft Bottling plans to create up to 35 jobs there by 2017 and fill about 10 jobs by early November. It will spend $910,000 to build and equip the new bottling and packaging plant.

The Indiana Economic Development Corp. is offering Chicago Craft Bottling up to $295,000 in tax credits if the company hits its job creation goals, according to a news release from the agency. Michigan City also approved additional tax abatement, the release said.

“Chicago Craft Bottling found the business environment in Indiana, and more specifically Michigan City, to be very receptive and conducive to the growth of our company,” Jean-Baptiste said in the release. “Additionally, the fact that Michigan City is only an hour away from Chicago makes the location as ideal as any Chicago suburb.”

Crafthouse is sold at Binny’s, Target, Mariano’s and other retailers in Illinois, Ohio, Michigan and Colorado — but not yet in Indiana.

So how much does it cost to give your homemade hard cider a big-time bottling? About $5 to $15 per case for labor and equipment use alone. Takes swig.

Chicago Craft Bottling is happy to hook you up with the smallest of production runs, but Jean-Baptiste says some automation starts to make sense around 250 cases of 12 bottles each.