A Crystal Lake brewer plans to open his own brewery in Woodstock.
Dan Payson has been working in the brewing industry for a decade and is close to realizing his dream of owning his own facility.
The Woodstock City Council recently approved a liquor license for Kishwaukee Brewery Inc. Payson said he expects to break ground on the 10,000-square-foot facility by November and open by next summer.
A former architect, Payson decided to make a career change about 10 years ago with the goal of opening his own brewery.
“I told myself if I was going to make such a change, I would open my own brewery,” Payson said. “It’s been a long process, but it’s finally coming to fruition.”
He has worked in Seattle, at Scorched Earth Brewing in Algonquin and at Crystal Lake Brewing.
Kishwaukee Brewery Inc. will have 7,500 square feet of production space, with the remainder of the facility dedicated to a taproom. An outdoor beer garden will offer additional seating, Payson said.
He plans to sell Kishwaukee Brewery beer to stores, at the brewery itself and in the taproom for on-premise consumption.
“It will be primarily on premise for the first year, and we will have distribution afterward once we are up and running,” Payson said. “We will definitely be a destination brewery.”
The new facility will be in the Cold Headers Industrial Park off McConnell Road.
“We really like the town of Woodstock,” Payson said. “It’s been very welcoming to the idea of having us as a production brewery. Building new allows us to design the building and space the way we want it and not have to overcome any obstacles with existing construction.”
Kishwaukee Brewery will offer a blend of traditional beers along with more innovative recipes, Payson said.
“Over 10 years I have brewed quite a few different styles,” he said. “We will be using local ingredients and brewing the beers that our customers and fans are looking for.”
Kishwaukee Brewery will be Woodstock’s third brewery. Holzlager Brewing Co. recently opened in the former Bohn’s Ace Hardware building. ShadowView Brewing, 2400 Lakeshore Drive, opened in December and began serving its own brews in the summer.