Evanston’s first nanobrewery opens to public Friday

Paige Leskin, City Editor

Evanston’s first nanobrewery will officially open its doors Friday and start selling beer produced on-site to the public.

Sketchbook Brewing Company, 825 Chicago Ave., will serve its own brewed craft beers and ciders through a business that aims to “create a common culture among local craft beer enthusiasts,” according to its website.

The nanobrewery was able to come to Evanston through a Kickstarter campaign in May started by Sketchbook owners Shawn Decker and Cesar Marron. The owners were able to raise more than $25,000 in 25 days through the site.

“This has been a community-focused effort from the start,” Decker said in a news release. “In addition to the brilliant response to our Kickstarter campaign, which allowed us to expand our offerings and include sustainable equipment purchases, we’ve also seen great interest at the Custer Street Fair and Streets Alive Festival.”

Sketchbook plans to be sustainable through reducing its footprint and conserving both energy and water, the site says.

The brewery has also expressed interest in becoming part of Bicycle Benefits, a national program that encourages biking as an alternate to other forms of transportation. As a participating store, Sketchbook will be able to provide discounts to customers that present a special sticker showing they biked to the store instead of drove.

Neighbors raised issued about the brewery’s nontraditional location, in which customers enter through an orange door in an alley, rather than on a sidewalk.

At the City Council meeting in May when aldermen approved a special liquor license for the brewery, residents who live in the area voiced their concerns with the process through which Sketchbook was given its permit.

Decker and Cesar offered to improve the situation by adding better lighting to they alley and installing a video camera to ensure customers do not park there, Ald. Melissa Wynne (3rd) said at the meeting in May.

Sketchbook is a Community-Supported Brewery, through which customers can become a member and invest in the brewery. 

About 300 of Sketchbook’s memberships have already been sold, which is their current membership cap. The brewery hopes to sell more in spring 2015 as their capacity allows, according to the news release.

The grand opening will take place on Friday from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @paigeleskin