Libations

Taking 5 with DryHop Brewers' Greg Shuff

April 18 2013 - 1:00 PM

I recently had the chance to sit down with Proprietor of DryHop Brewers, Greg Shuff. If you’re not familiar with DryHop, that’s probably because their brewpub has yet to open! The Lakeview outpost will soon be home to the creative execution that has been Shuff’s labor of love for the past three years. The brewpub will also be opened with the help of brewer, Brant Dubovick and chef, Pete Repak.

Starting out as a homebrewer, Shuff quickly moved his way up the craft beer ladder, earning his beer training from schools in both Chicago and Munich. He has been hard at work preparing to open his own gastro brewpub this spring (May–they promise), while forming partnerships with several other local breweries, in the meantime.

Recently named to the Chicago edition of Zagat’s 30 Under 30 list, Shuff is only 25 and was the second youngest of the 30 named to the prestigious list (he claims he hasn’t been asked for an autograph–yet). Shuff explained to a certain degree, people have doubted his abilities due to his age, but that ultimately, it’s up to him to live up to or down to those expectations that have been set for him. While many “business types” have been the first to point out he’s “just a kid,” at the end of the day, Shuff knows he doesn’t need them to believe in his abilities.

After moving to Chicago from Indianapolis, he made his mark by collaborating with local breweries. Shuff enjoyed the opportunity to get involved with the close-knit craft brewing community in Chicago. He first started out with Haymarket Pub & Brewery by holding a sensory analysis training class and then ultimately, brewing a beer together. He highlighted that one of the major benefits of such a collaboration is the combined marketing from both breweries, as well as the general ability to make Chicago a better craft beer town. The opportunity to be experimental with brewing techniques never hurt anyone either!

The decision to open a brewpub in Lakeview had several practical purposes. For starters, DryHop is a hop (pun intended) away from Shuff’s first Chicago residence. Secondly, he recognized the area was underserved by craft beer bars and breweries, as the closest craft brewery was Atlas Brewing CompanyWhen I asked Shuff what three things he was looking forward to most in the months to come, they included being able to brew beer out of his own brewery (the brewing equipment was recently installed), working on fantastic beer and food pairings and hosting beer dinners, and finally, drinking beer in his own bar after close. That soon-to-be enjoyed beer will probably be vastly different from the first beer Shuff claims to have enjoyed, Newcastle Brown Ale. It was that particular beer that inspired Shuff to brew his first beer, a brown ale. We can’t wait to see what else he’ll have on tap!

Photo Credit: Michael Kiser, Good Beer Hunting

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