Home Brewing Operation Goes Full Scale at Parsons North Brewing Co.
It started with a sixth barrel brewing system in a basement and a testing process executed through biannual, backyard, “drink my beer” parties.
Seth Draeger, co-owner of Parsons North Brewing Company and 15-year South Side resident, has been home brewing for years, and it’s never been a casual hobby. Before his old high school classmate and now-business partner Nate Klein approached him about an opportunity to open at the East Public development on Parsons Avenue, he’d already perfected a lineup of brews and staked out a location to grow his production — nothing too big, just a half-barrel each week.
Draeger’s setup at Parsons North will put out about 25 barrels every week, likely starting with their flagship brews: the Kolsch, West Coast IPA, English Ale, Grapefruit Wheat, Dry Cider, and Barrel-Aged Cherry Sour. With 12 taps total, Draeger says the bar will also host some other local crafts until they scale up their other recipes.
Leaving his job selling home theatre systems, Draeger says he’s taking on a new career that’ll fulfill a longtime aspiration.
“I’ve always wanted to do something like this,” he says. “I’ve wanted to open a restaurant since I was like 5 or 6 years old.
I got into brewing a while back, and I’ve just really been obsessed with it, learning all the different styles and seeing what everybody liked,” Draeger continues, referring to the spring and fall parties he throws each year to distribute the brew he’s accumulated. “So, this is like opening a restaurant to me. I get to make the product and see people enjoy it.”
Klein is escaping a 16-year-long stint in retail management, bringing the business brain into the mix. He’s still at Edgework Creative, where many of the city’s businesses have found furniture, bar tops and interior accents.
With his connections to Sidestreet Development, the group behind East Public, Klein helped bring Draeger in and meet Sidestreet’s goal to have a brewery anchoring the complex. The development also includes a restaurant, as well as a design studio for Sidecar Creatives and office space for Compton Construction — the two companies that came together to make Sidestreet.
“My friends Killian [McIlroy] and Bri [DeRolph] [of Sidecar Creatives] had been talking about how they were looking for a brewery for the property,” Klein says. “I’d heard about Seth’s beer, and after trying it, I figured it would be a good fit.”
Beyond the beer, the space itself is 4,700 square feet and will be open to a courtyard and back patio, with alcohol permitted to travel to every edge of the property. Inside, a large ovular bar will wrap into two adjacent taprooms, each offering lounge seating. The room on the south side of the building will house pinball machines and a setup for live acoustic shows.
Food will be taken care of by Comune, other nearby restaurants and food trucks.
Parsons North is in the middle of their construction phase, set for an opening in mid-October.
For more information, visit parsonsnorth.com.