October 9, 2021

State’s First Nonalcoholic Craft Brewery Could be Coming to Naperville

Nonalcoholic Brewery

Naperville could be the home of the first non-alcoholic craft brewery in Illinois. Recently formed Naperville company GO Brewing is proposing the concept. Local resident Joe Chura and his team are looking to provide an option for those looking to stay fit and healthy, while enjoying a craft beer.

“Having something that is meaningful to help others is kind of the why and it’s an extension of what we believe in and what our team believes in because there’s an opportunity to educate, to provide a healthier alternative, yet not sacrifice the social fun of going out and drinking,” said Chura who is the founder of GO Brewing.

 The proposed project includes a tasting room that will sell five to six GO Brewing nonalcoholic and low-alcoholic beers. “Nonalcoholic beer doesn’t have to taste like nonalcoholic beer,” said Bruce Etzcorn, operations manager of GO Brewing. “You can do it well. And if you can do it well, you get the benefits of having a productive tomorrow and also being able to just really enjoy it.”

For those looking to enjoy a regular drink, the plan is to also have guest beers from neighboring businesses like Solemn Oath and 2 Fools Cider on tap. “For whatever reason the area where Solemn Oath is and where this is, it’s right by Noon Whistle. It’s become like the craft beer corridor of Naperville and we want to promote that,” said Chura. “There’s room for all of us and we all are doing something a little bit different.”

Fitness and Socializing

If approved, GO Brewing would be moving into the 2 Fools Cider spot on Quincy Avenue, which will be changing locations for a bigger space. The space at GO Brewing wouldn’t just hold a tap and tasting room. The fitness-oriented group will also provide physical activities like yoga, stretching, and personal training at the brewery. To make it more of a social scene – there will be live music and activities, karaoke, and food trucks.

“Having food trucks here, supporting local Naperville restaurants is critical to us and also our goal is to have them support us and get our beer in their restaurants,” said Chura. “If you go out to eat at a restaurant and you ask for a draft beer that’s nonalcoholic, pretty much doesn’t exist today and we want to change that.”

The plan is to also sell their craft beer in cans at grocery stores and ship to consumers, including out of state.

City Approval Process

GO Brewing presented their idea to the city’s Liquor Commission on Thursday. One question that came up was about security. “As far as security goes, we’re going to be carding everybody,” said Etzcorn. “21 means 21 and we’re treating this facility like it’s brewing high alcohol. Along with that too all of our servers will be basset certified and there will always be a manager on-site.”

The commission voted to raise the cap on a brewery license from three to four for the new business. Naperville City Council has the final say whether to approve GO Brewing’s request. They could do so as early as November. If approved by council, GO Brewing plans to open its doors for a soft opening January 2022 and have its tap room ready to go in March.

Naperville News 17’s Aysha Ashley Househ reports.

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