Oh how the dreams of young people have changed in 15 years. Back in 2001, two young Gen Xers might have looked at one another between Southpark episodes and declared, “We should open our own bar!” Odds are, nothing would ever come of it, because running a bar is hard work, and often a total money pit. Bars are fun though, so logically, having a job where you hang out in one seems like it would be fun too.
In 2016, the dream has changed. Fewer young people are having dreams of opening their own bar (The hours! The headaches!), and are instead focusing their dreams on opening their own craft brewery. For so many bold dreamers it feels more creative, more inventive, and more unique than bar ownership.
This week, we spoke with Michael Pallen — a man who lives the craft brew dream every day. Mike is the founder and head brewer at Mikerphone Brewing, which in 2015 was named one of the best new craft breweries by BeerAdvocate, and Best New Brewer of Illinois by RateBeer. He was kind enough to sit down and answer some questions for us on how he got started, where he sees the craft beer industry headed, and offer some tips on how you, too, can open your own brewery.