For as long as he can remember, Brian Taylor has wanted to start his very own brewery and taproom. Soon that dream will come to fruition.
Over the last couple years or so, Taylor and his business partner, Ria Neri have been steadily working to launch a new brewery at The Plant- Whiner Beer Company. Taylor spent the better part of the last decade working for Goose Island Brewing Company. Ria Neri worked as a cicerone at Wicker Park’s Bangers and Lace before deciding to partner with Taylor. Much like wine sommeliers are passionate experts about wine, cicerones are adept beer connoisseurs.
“A couple of years ago, we were like, let’s give it a shot,” Taylor said. “We developed a business plan, financials and all that and went out and found investors. It took about 2 years to get all the investors lined up,” he said.
Making beer, Taylor said, consumes a lot of energy and resources. “You use about eight to 10 barrels of water for one barrel of beer- that’s generally the rule. You’re cleaning all the time- before and after. Water’s a huge problem, and that will be something we’ll be looking at down the road in getting a waste treatment facility and that sort of thing.”
Taylor, who has been interested in finding and implementing environmentally conscious techniques for brewing beer for quite some time, was then introduced to The Plant founder, John Edel, through a friend. The conversation between the two soon became about building an environmentally sound brewery with zero waste, based on the mission of The Plant and the models of existing tenant businesses.
In an earlier interview with Taylor and Neri, the duo explained how they were able to find a boiler that operates using methane, eliminating the need for natural gas, which will fit right into The Plant’s business model- to create a self-sustaining facility that is powered by a series of biological processes known as anaerobic digestion. According to the American Biogas Council, anaerobic digestion occurs when microorganisms break down biodegradable material in the absence of oxygen.
Read the entire Gate Newspaper Article, “Whiner Beer Company Gears up for Grand Opening.”