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Chain O' Lakes Brewing Co. to reopen with different name, new owner

Bob Master pours beer last year for a customer at Chain O' Lakes Brewing Co.
Bob Master pours beer last year for a customer at Chain O' Lakes Brewing Co.

McHENRY – Chain O’ Lakes Brewing Co. has closed, but its new owner plans to reopen under a different name in the spring.

Curt and Linda Ames reopened the historic brewery – which formerly operated as McHenry Brewing Co. – in 2012 and have sold it to Bob Master, who worked at Chain O’ Lakes for three years.

Master, of Woodstock, plans to revert the company to its old name and focus on the history of the space as he completes renovations, he said.

“I will take a historical approach when decorating the tap room, looking to commemorate the state bicentennial and the city’s history,” he said in a note to McHenry City Council members.

The building, 3425 Pearl St., was built in the 1880s. Ames will continue to own the property and rent the space to Master, according to city documents.

“This has been my goal since I got into the industry,” Master said. “I have always wanted to own my own brewery.”

There are several outstanding licenses, but Master said he hopes to reopen the space as McHenry Brewing Co. by St. Patrick’s Day.

McHenry City Council members will consider the transfer of the Chain O’ Lakes liquor license to McHenry Brewing Co. during a meeting Monday.

Master plans to continue to offer beer and wine in the tap room and beer garden, as well as at local events. He also wants to begin hosting private events, according to city documents. Beer aficionados can expect some of the same on-site batches that Chain O’ Lakes produced, and Master also will brew smaller batches of new IPAs and English-style beers.

Updates on the renovations will be posted on the company’s Facebook page at Facebook.com/mchenrybrewingcompany.

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