On a chilly Saturday afternoon thirty-five miles west of the city, brew fans hail from near and far to fill up half-gallon growlers or take a seat and enjoy a pint at a newly opened and quite hidden spot. Tucked behind a frontage drive with a few non-commercial businesses surrounded by homes, you find a hidden treasure for any beer aficionado. The recently opened Two Brothers Ale House, a new addition to the eleven-year-old brewery, in Warrenville, boasts the finest in beer-making according to locals. Mark Wentworth from Lisle is eager for the opening of the ale house.
“It will need a few months to get noticed but they make great beers,” Wentworth says.
Jason Ebel and his brother Jimmy, aka Two Brothers, grew up in the neighboring town of Wheaton—the place they started making beer in their mother’s kitchen—so they wanted to stay close to home when they finally created their brewery and later on their new signature ale house.
“When I was 5 years old I grabbed a beer out of the fridge and my mother got mad. That’s when I knew I wanted to make beer,” Jason says.
Beers like Domaine DuPage, a French-style amber, and Prairie Path Ale remind many of where they grew up, which makes it all that more enjoyable. Jeremy Gethmann, a Wheaton native, finds comfort in drinking beer named after his childhood and brewed by fellows who grew up in his home town, as he places The Bitter End Pale Ale on the top of his list.
“Its bitterness is the end of arguments regarding the best of pale ales,” Gethmann says.
And while the locals can reminisce about the good-old days and go unbothered at their special place, Chicagoans don’t have travel far to enjoy the brew specialties. On the same chilly Saturday afternoon an army of cold Cubs fans pack Murphy’s Bleachers in Wrigleyville. While some continue with Old Style and Bud beers, others are curious. A patron asks about the tap labeled Two Brothers Murphy’s House Ale. James Murphy, a self-proclaimed beer geek—can explain better than anyone.
“I’ve been doing this for years and I’m kind of a beer geek. [Two Brothers Brewing] makes great beer. We wanted to adopt a house beer. The French Country Ale became our own. It’s really good beer and we were happy to adopt it,” Murphy says. (Anthony Regan)