Friday, January 24, 2014

The Next Chapter in Brewing

We're amidst a new year. Looking back at the second half of 2013, Matt and I had almost 30 different beers added to our portfolio. During that time, we experimented with different malt, different hops, different yeasts and even different techniques. We picked up momentum, and are now on pace for what promises to be an exciting 2014. It's for that reason a new brand, a new beginning, seems appropriate as we gear up for the next chapter in brewing with a renewed vision. With over a hundred beers brewed and thousands of others sampled, our vision looking ahead has never been more clear. We respect tradition as much as we respect pushing the boundaries. Our admiration for the history of farmhouse brewing and spontaneous fermentation has molded us into brewers with an adventurous side. All the while, our passion for clean, traditional styles that have survived the test of time, keep us in check. We want to challenge and be challenged, all while maintaining the utmost respect for beer's history.

With that said, we announce Kimbell Brewing. Matt and I are once again working on a brewery venture. While we're very much aware of the booming Chicago market, we know we have something special to offer. From this day forward, Kimbell Brewing will work diligently to craft our beer with integrity. The brand is in development, but what's more important to us right now is brewing efficiently with audacity, while meeting our community and gaining support. The branding—something I value greatly—has been in rush-mode for the last two weeks in an effort to meet our self-imposed deadline tomorrow for the Brew HaHa. After the event, we'll let the dust settle for a moment, then pick back up, tweaking and polishing as we dig deeper into the meaning of it all.

So if you know Matt and I, and have enjoyed our beers in the last several years, we hope you continue following our progress, and remain excited for things to come. I know we are.


Thursday, August 8, 2013

476 Days Later...

I’ve been interested in authoring a personal blog for several years, but I’ve found it difficult reserving time to do so. That being said, here I am, writing my first thoughts in well over a year. It seems appropriate now since my life has changed a bit during that time. One of the more substantial changes is the status of Low Dive Brewing.

We spent more than a year focused on opening a brewery in Chicago. During that time, my biggest role aside from brewing was creating (and maintaining) brand identity and a presence within a handful of social networks. As much as I may dislike some aspects of marketing, I rather enjoyed the responsibility. And while time-consuming, I also enjoyed putting myself out there to network, meeting anyone I could that works within the industry and even those in a similar position that I was in—working their way into it. There’s a lot to be said for networking. I’ve met a lot of great people whom I hope to work with in the future or even just drink a couple beers with when the opportunity arises. Being part of a home brewery working towards opening a commercial brewery comes with its challenges. We loved sharing our beer. Offering the experience we worked to create with it resulting perhaps in a new fan or rather interested future consumer, and even better, feedback and criticism. But it became more difficult as the popularity of home brewing, and craft beer in general, kept growing. So much so, that our efforts caught someone’s attention, and TTB was contacting us soon after, making it nearly impossible to share the fruits of our labor.

In that following year, while working on our business plan, marketing ourselves, formulating recipes and brewing those beers, I sensed a slow deterioration. By the end of 2012, it was decided that we would no longer pursue the venture together. At that point, we were simply home brewers again. And admittedly, I was very excited about it. That past year brought challenges unforeseen by me. Challenges I felt were out of my control. But now, all we planned on doing was getting back to the basics, and brew beer with a rejuvenated approach.

Also at this time, Tara (my lovely girlfriend) and I decided I would move into her home. Obviously, that was a big step for both of us. What that also meant was that I would soon be able to brew at home, whereas in the past, I relied entirely on the others to host primarily due to the fact that my apartment simply wasn’t conducive for brewing and fermenting beer. However, that also meant that Low Dive would now have 3 locations, thus likely transporting equipment even more than before depending on who hosts. Having to transport the equipment at all is not ideal. Therefore, Tim and Sean proposed that we split our equipment as best we could, resulting in two separate brewhouses. Tim and Sean, who share a home with their families, would share one set, while Matt and I would share the other. It was unanimously agreed upon, so we sold some of our larger equipment, and divvied up the remaining pieces between the two groups. Matt and I were excited to get brewing again, so we worked diligently to build our brewhouse back up, and finally mashed in our first beer as a duo (again) on June 1.

I know there are folks out there wondering what’s going on with the Low Dive brand. Lately, when I’ve been asked, my genuine response is, “I don’t really care.” But that's only because I find great pleasure in simply brewing and not worrying about the business side of things at this time. Now that 95% of all-things-brewing between Matt and I occur at my home, I’m in a happy place. But to address any confusion or curiosity regarding the status of Low Dive Brewing, it still exists. When we decided not to pursue the venture as the four original members, and instead, put our sights on just brewing again, the thought was that Low Dive would function more as a home brew club. while we don’t brew as a foursome any longer, we’re still friends, and we are still home brewing.

Matt and I's equipment; my new basement
It is still Matt and I’s desire to open a commercial brewery together. whether or not we bring the Low Dive brand along with us remains to be seen. For now however, our focus simply is on brewing beer.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Screens 'n' Suds Chicago

On April 27, the eve of Dark Lord Day, an event will take place that you won't want to miss. People from all over will gather at the Pilsen Social Club (1804 S. Racine) from 6p-11p to enjoy craft beer and the art of screen printed posters. The most important part however, is why this event is taking place, other than to have a good time of course. If you know me or my friend Matt Herakovich, you may recall our efforts several years back to organize Mass Out, a huge art show benefiting the Illinois chapter of MS Society. Things didn't go as planned, the project regrettably lost steam and the event never came to fruition.

That changes now.

Luckily, we met Ric Hersh. Ric, along with a few friends, founded Screens 'n' Suds. The concept is very similar to Mass Out, but with a track record. Now in it's fourth year, Ric and company decided to take the event and branch out to other cities creating a series of Screens 'n' Suds events across the country. Once we learned of this, we immediately jumped on board, and have been helping bring Screens 'n' Suds to Chicago.

Artist's from around the country have donated time and their work for the cause. There will be exclusive beer-inspired screen printed posters available for sale as well as additional works from the artists. Some of the artists include: Steve Walters from Screwball Press—tentatively scheduled to appear, Jim Pollock of Pollock Prints—who will definitely be in attendance, Basemint Designs, and Gumball Designs just to name a few. And while all the beer-inspired art may make you thirsty, we'll have Goose Island, Metropolitan, 5 Rabbit, Breckenridge and even more breweries to take care of you.

Upon entry, there will be a $5 suggested donation at the door. Donations collected at both the door and the bar as well as sales from the beer-inspired art, will be presented to MS Society.

In addition, we have a Dark Lord Day ticket to raffle off! A $10 donation, gives you a chance at winning a ticket to the "C" time frame. The drawing will take place at 10pm at the Screens ’n’ Suds event. You do not need to be present. However, if you aren't present, you're responsible for meeting up with Ric to get your ticket the next morning. The proceeds from the raffle will go straight to MS Society. Paypal or cash / credit at the the event. Please include your name and telephone number if you paypal.

Finally, to take this one step further, just down 18th street, Nightwood Restaurant will be donating 100% of sales made from a selected pasta dish. Even better, if you can't make it out Friday night, don't fret! You can stop in any time all week from April 23-28 to support this cause. If you haven't paid them a visit, you're doing yourself a disservice. The food is amazing. Enjoy yourself, and know you're supporting something bigger.

Get involved, have fun, and fight against Multiple Sclerosis!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Join Me

flyer design by yours truly. holla at ya boy.

A couple months back, Won approached Low Dive about brewing a beer for an event a little different than the brew-b-q's we've worked together on last year. I think once Won experienced a Thirst Fursday, he wanted to organize something similar. If you've never been to a Thirst Fursday, it all boils down to the Goose Island brewpub in Lincoln Park opening a room for beer fans to bring bottles from their personal collection, their home brew or even whatever you can find in your local shops cooler. Pretty simple, but Won decided to approach it a bit differently and expand. Everyone's invited, and encouraged to bring bottles just like Thirst Fursday. However, he invited some of his home brewing friends to feature some of their beer while he prepares and serves food. And if that's not enough, Michael Andersen will be serving Angel's Envy from 2-5p. So, essentially he kicked the concept up a notch. Hopefully you can join us at Chicago Urban Art Society Saturday.


Friday, March 25, 2011

Dig Some Art This Weekend

Deny Me Three Times (Wooster St., Manhattan, NY, June, 2010)

The minute I was exposed to Gaia's work on flickr, then first-hand in New York last summer, I've been a fan. Pawn Works and Maxwell Colette Gallery have joined forces to bring Gaia to Chicago for a show that opens tonight. Gaia's been getting up in Chicago for the last couple weeks in preparation for tonight's show. His work has popped up in several neighborhoods as well as downtown that many folks have captured and featured on their flickr photostreams. I'm really looking forward to seeing his work up-close again, and in a gallery setting.

Also opening tonight at Rotofugi is a show featuring new work from Andrew Bell and McBess. I still haven't been up to see the new digs (can it even be considered new at this point?), and tonight just may be the night. I'm really diggin McBess' work.

One last show that should be considered—starts tonight and lasts through the weekend—is the Chicago Zine Fest. In it's second year, it will feature over 200 artists at Columbia College, 826CHI, and Quimby's.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


Just a lil friendly reminder that I'll be at the Beetle this evening from 6-10 drinking Alpha King's and probably eating an Elvis burger (fried plantains and peanut butter) at the bar. I have about 30 framed photographs up for sale in addition to a few screenprinted and painted pieces. I'd love to meet or see ya, but if not tonight, again, my work will be hanging there til mid-October.


Friday, September 17, 2010


I'm gonna start things off with a lil bit-a-self promoting. I took advantage of an opportunity to display some new work at the Beetle (2532 W Chicago). All the work is already hung in fact. I'll be in attendance Wednesday night from 6-10, so I hope you all can either make it out sometime before October 15 when my work comes down or even better, next Wednesday so we can rap. Most of my work this time around consists of photos, but I did manage to throw in a few additional [non-photographic] pieces for good measure.

Rotofugi moved into their new digs recently up in the Lakeview/Lincoln Park area. They've already had a show there in fact, a couple weeks ago that I missed. And they're not messin around as they already have their second show lined up to open tonight. This time, Dalek and Steve Seeley are the featured artists. Dalek's work is out of my budget, but I do enjoy it. I always enjoyed his space monkeys, but in recent past, he really switched his focus to a more pattern/geometric style with lot's of colors. It worked well at a show I attended last year as he had access to the space's entire wall. This time, his work is scaled down, and more accessible. Steves work is awful interesting. He likes his super hero's. And women. That's all I'm gonna say.

This weekend brings Meeting of Style's back to Chicago! LOTS of writer's in town for this. I'll let the flyer speak for itself.


Tuesday, September 21, Local Option's hosting a Three Floyd's tapping event. 10 taps total, including Ruggoop, will be flowing for us beer nerds, and quite possibly this year's Nemesis
(which is currently on tap at the Small Bar on Division) released less than a month ago from Founder's Brewing Company.


I hope I get to see or meet you all Wednesday. But if not, have a great weekend.