More Brewing – Huntley
After what seems like at least a year since it was announced, More Brewing is finally opening their production facility in Huntley, Illinois on February 29, 2020. Their production will grow significantly, resulting in possible distribution and availability beyond their Villa Park brewpub. We were able to get a preview of the More Production Brewery in Huntley, Illinois this past Thursday. What can you expect from the new facility? Well, more of everything! (I apologize in advance for any future puns, intended or otherwise.)
More Huntley is massive. Not Lagunitas massive, but pretty damn big in its own right; think the size of Revolution Brewing’s taproom on Kedzie. The space is separated into four parts – the brewery in the back, the main bar area in the center, and two side areas, one of which had some barrels in it; I will henceforth refer to that room as the barrel room. Eyeballing it, I would say that just the barrel room was close to the size of the dining and bar area at the Villa Park location.
The main bar area features a much longer bar than Villa Park with 30 taps available. Tables litter the rest of the available space, again similar to Villa Park; the room, however, is in more of a rectangle shape as opposed to a square. All seats feature the “More Brewing Company” hollowed out on the backs just as before.
The two side areas offer very different experiences. The barrel room (where we were seated) connects to the main bar area via both a garage door and a standard door with multiple garage doors lining the perimeter of this room. Sunny, warm days would be well served spent in this room with some of those doors open enjoying the sweet, sweet sounds of I-90 nearby. Picnic-style, high tops and standard tables sat spread out over the room. Around 20 barrels rested in the back of the room. As opposed to the bar area, this room still had some space to work with, even will all the tables.
The other side area is located at the front of the facility immediately to your left as you enter. A long communal high top table highlights the room, with scattered standard tables all around and glass walls enclosing it. One set of glass double doors connects it to the main room, effectively cutting it off from the main area and insulating the sound. This room is mainly designed for private events and customer overflow and may feature a mural in the future on one of its walls.
The brewery itself has room to grow. With multiple 60 barrel tanks and kettles and one lager tank, there is ample room for more of pretty much everything (we heard there’s another lager tank already planning on being added). The canning line had not been moved from Villa Park at the time we were there, but that would be happening before the official opening. It would take a chunk out of the available space, but nothing too major.
The entire service staff was overwhelmed on the first day of the soft opening (understandable) so we didn’t get to try a large variety of food. We ordered nachos, truffle cheese curds and spicy cheese curds; the nachos were solid and both sets of cheese curds were delicious (I preferred the spicy to the truffle). The rest of the menu greatly resembled the Villa Park food menu, with options for vegetarians and vegans. They even had separate vegetarian and vegan meatball sub options, but no regular meatball sub! Much like the brewpub, there are also a few Indian dishes, including samosas on the appetizer menu and a tikka masala platter with chicken or paneer (or both) for the protein. The Nashville hot chicken was also on the menu, as well as their standard burger. If the food is of the same quality as Villa Park, this just became one of the best places to grab a bite in Huntley.
Finally! First off, there were no barrel-aged beers or one-offs on tap (that might change for the opening, but no guarantee). What was available was a wide variety of offerings, including some hazy beers, a milkshake IPA, two lagers, a hefeweizen, and a cream ale.
Being the old fogies that we are – and having had some of their non-hazy beer on our latest episode – we leaned heavily against the haze. I got the dark lager and the cream ale and both were outstanding. The dark lager has all the roasty and chocolate notes without being too heavy, and the cream ale was so delightfully drinkable that I wasn’t even thinking about it before it was gone. Full disclosure: I did get a hazy beer (Moxie, an IPA with Citra and Mosaic); it was very juicy with little bitterness and enjoyable overall. Ryan had the Boomerweizen, which is a bit heavy on the banana and bubblegum but finishes with a kiss of citrus zest and pepper, making it a great food pairing beer.
Ten beers were on tap, with 12-14 promised for the grand opening. More Huntley has 30 lines, so expect a large amount of guest taps to be featured during the grand opening and possibly going forward.
While seemingly having a lot of parking spaces, the main More lot was full by the time I got there. However, even though it’s not marked by signs, the loop road around the brewery is zoned for parking, so I was easily able to park there. Just keep that in mind if you’re going there this weekend and during any release they might have.
The good? It’s right off Interstate 90. The bad? It’s in Huntley, Illinois. (I’ll wait while you click that Google maps link and enjoy the picture of Huntley’s, I guess, famous playground?) For those unwilling to zoom out, it’s about equidistant from Chicago and Rockford. From Beer on the Wall in Park Ridge, IL – where I left to go to More – it took me about 45 minutes (Thursday night at about 6 PM). I’m guessing it would have taken close to an hour and a half from the city to get there at that time. Considering I could get to the Villa Park More in at worst an hour, that drive to Huntley is definitely prohibitive and costly (you’ll hit 2 tolls each way).
The beautiful, spacious facility and 30 taps are the clear standouts of the new More Production Brewery. The food and the beer is basically of the same great quality as More Villa Park. It’s the drive that does it for me. For those in the city or south of it, it’s a no-brainer to go to More Villa Park unless you either haven’t been to More Huntley (you need to go at least once) or there’s a release/event there. For those in the northern suburbs, you just got a new go-to brewery, filled with a ton of More beers and some great guest taps.
Keep scrolling for more pictures!