Local Business

Bates: Chain O’ Lakes Brewing brings more than beer to McHenry

Curt Ames is my kind of guy. A veteran who retired after 30 years in the Marines, he is bringing Marine-bred perseverance and an entrepreneurial spirit home to McHenry with Chain O’ Lakes Brewing Co.

Many know that Curt opened the Chain O’ Lakes Brewing in downtown McHenry. Yet most do not know that the brewery opened on the same spot as the historic McHenry Brewery, absent for 71 years.

This thrills me as Curt not only brings his creativity and attention to McHenry, but also that Chain O’ Lakes Brewing Co. opened in the original home of McHenry Brewery (serving McHenry beer from 1868 to 1942). It brings back local stories of speakeasies, hidden tunnels and craft beer. We thank Curt for finding the home of Chain O’ Lakes Brewing Co. here.   

Chain O’ Lakes Brewing installed an eight-barrel brew house in the old McHenry Brewery building, returning fresh, handcrafted ales to the area. Whether you are a beer snob or just enjoy a night out with friends, Chain O’ Lakes Brewing Co. is the perfect place to savor a quality brew.

The brewery is just one of the 18 food and beverage spots featured at McHenry’s Taste of Downtown. The event is from 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday.

Visit McHenry’s restaurants on Riverside Drive, Green Street and Main Street. Each will offer a taste of some of their popular menu choices or beverages for a nominal cost of $1 to $2. Walk block to block for a taste sampling from each participant. Remember to stop in and shop the downtown shops and businesses along the way. Many will be offering discounts and specials.

Other activities include The Bike Haven demonstrations and shows from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Veteran’s Memorial; Chain O’ Lakes Brewing Co. is offering a special release beer as it opens a new beer garden with three bands from noon to 6 p.m.; and enter a raffle to win at the downtown business association table at Veteran’s Memorial Park with multiple giveaways, compliments of the members.

For information, visit the McHenry Area Downtown Business Association on Facebook.

• • •

There is a mixer tonight at Berkshire Hathaway. It’s the perfect place to connect with some of the top real estate agents in the area.  

The next mixer is June 17 at Letizia Financial. Visit mchenrychamber.com to plan your networking activities.

The next “Community Shop In” will be June 12 at Staples. From 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., the chamber encourages all in the community to stop by Staples, saying the magic words “the chamber sent me.”

Those who do will be registered for a drawing of a $160 four-drawer file cabinet. “Shop In” events were started by the chamber in 2012 to encourage everyone in the community to shop local at a merchant the first Thursday of each month.   

The McHenry Area Chamber of Commerce’s next luncheon just for networkers titled “Never Eat Alone” will be June 13 at the V.F.W. Veteran’s Club. For $11, you can choose from any of the following: a half-pound burger; 6-ounce chicken breast sandwich; garden salad with 6-ounce chicken breast; half-pound patty melt or triple decker club. To attend, call the chamber office at 815-385-4300 with reservations and your entree selection. The event is from 11:45 a.m. to 1 p.m.

• Kay Rial Bates is president of the McHenry Area Chamber of Commerce. Reach her at 815-385-4300 or visit mchenrychamber.com.

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