In Memoriam: Smylie Brothers Brewing Co.

February 23, 2023

What began as a pipe dream of Mike Smylie’s, a former commodities broker, morphed into reality with the inception of Smylie Brothers Brewing Co., an Evanston-based brewery. 

Smylie, the eldest of five brothers, first explored home-brewing while attending Colorado State University. Upon his return to Evanston, and with nearly ten years of professional experience in the financial sector, Smylie elected to open Smylie Brothers Brewing in 2014. 

In addition to craft beer, the brewery notably offered Texas-inspired barbecue and wood-fired pizza and flaunted an outdoor patio to be enjoyed in the warmer months. As such, Smylie Brothers was heavily regarded as an Evanston staple, for both dining and entertainment. 

Unfortunately, in a not-so-smiley turn of events, Smylie announced the permanent closure of the 88-year-old brewpub via Instagram on Dec. 31, 2022, citing the COVID-19 pandemic as a source of financial instability. 

Smylie is one of multiple Evanston-based storefronts to succumb to closure on account of pandemic-related effects. Deka Lash and Flat Top Grill have similarly shut their doors due to decreased foot traffic and reduced revenue.

Regrettably, I never got the opportunity to dine at Smylie Brothers — however, if its vocal fanbase is any indication, Smylie’s Purple Line brew and signature brisket will be sorely missed. 

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