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October Write-Up


Five Upstart Breweries Work Side by Side at Chicago’s First Beer Incubator

Odious Cellars began as a school project from Reeve Joseph when he was at Siebel, Chicago’s brewer’s school. He was tasked with creating a business plan and his own brewery. His focus was on blending and aging a wild and sour program. After graduating, he moved to Asheville, North Carolina to work at Wicked Weed. “I loved their sour side,” Joseph said. In 2017, he returned to Chicago to bring Odious Cellars to life, with the help of his business partner Tim Coe.

“I did a lot of test stuff at home,” he said. “[Such as] messing with different strains of brett and different methods of sour beer production.” He also has spent the last few years finding the right place to open a brewery, which he finally found—a movie theater in Logan Square built in 1918.

Joseph started contract brewing at Dovetail Brewery before finding Pilot Project. “That was the genesis of our sour program—sixteen wine barrels filled with various commercial cultures and bacteria and Belgian and sour beers,” he said.

Joseph, who is now aging his brews from Dovetail in barrels at his own brewery space, wanted to start his operation with plenty of time before opening Odious Cellars, because his beers can take well over a year to produce. In the next couple of months, he will begin to brew additional beers at Pilot Project, that will be transferred to barrels at his Logan Square location. Currently, none of his sours are ready, but he said there will be some available at Pilot Project closer to his brewery’s opening next spring.

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