OSWEGO – After two years worth of preparation and several weeks of fermentation, Oswego Brewing Co. will open its doors to the public this Friday with a grand opening.
The taproom, which sits below Oswego Cyclery, is located inside the old Oswego Fire Station at 61 Main St. Chris Heinen, founder and brewery operations manager, said he hopes their presence in the community will complement the surrounding businesses and Oswego as a whole.
“This community and this downtown are up and coming,” said Chris Heinen, founder and brewery operations manager. “There’s no craft breweries within 10 miles of Oswego. I think we can be a pretty good fit down here.”
Six beers will be featured in the taproom Friday for the initial release, including their Station #1 IPA, Hay’z For Horsez New England IPA, Old Firehouse Cream Ale, Farmland Saison, The Fox & The Monkey Sour, and Swine In the Streets Witbier.
“I don’t have a favorite style of beer. It’s usually the beer in my hand that I like the best,” said Marc Wilson, head brewer at Oswego Brewing Co.
Wilson said he received his first home-brew kit from his daughter as a Father’s Day present 10 years ago when he worked as a science teacher at West Chicago Middle School. Like his partners who began their careers home brewing, Wilson’s passion quickly turned into a full-time job and eventually a career.
Wilson worked as the head brewer at Nevin’s Brewing Company in Plainfield last year and took home a gold medal for his Vienna Lager recipe during the Olympic-sized World Beer Cup in Nashville, Tennessee, this year.
“I just want to bring great beer to Oswego,” said Wilson. “I want people to count on that they’re going to get great stuff every time they come out.”
Several ingredients used in some of the beers have been locally sourced from business near the brewery, including spices from Pinch of Happiness shop and coffee beans from Village Grind.
The brewery won’t feature a kitchen or a food menu, but food trucks and non-alcoholic beverages will be a staple at the brewery.
The brewery recently collaborated with Romeoville-based Metal Monkey Brewing and hopes to collaborate with more local breweries in the near future. Heinen and Wilson said they plan to expand into distribution and canning by the end of this year.
“We’ll be here for quite a while,” said Heinen. “We have plans for expansion.”