Naperville’s Go Brewing finds its niche by appealing to audience that wants beer taste, not alcohol – Chicago Tribune

Business: to brew

address: 1665 Quincy Avenue, Naperville

Phone/Website: 630-864-5258,

Founder/Partner: Joe Chura, 45, of Naperville; Bruce Etzcorn, 47, of Manhattan; and James Bigler, 39, of Wheaton

Working years: Opened in October

What is your business? “We’re a non-alcoholic brewery with a bar. We also sell online and wholesale,” Chura said.

Why is it named Go Brewing? “We all want to take a step in a positive direction.”

What made you come up with this idea? “My wife and I went 75 days off alcohol at the end of 2020. We felt like we were gluttons, so we took up the challenge. … I lost a lot of weight and felt great. … When we went out When it comes to eating, there’s not a single place that doesn’t revolve around alcohol. That was a great moment. … I worked out a business thesis where I could sell beer online, own a bar, and do wholesale.”

Go Brewing's non-alcoholic beer flights are served at their Naperville bar so patrons can sample the eight beers they make and sell.

Do you have a favorite story? “One gentleman sat here for over an hour. … I asked, ‘Do you usually drink non-alcoholic beer? He looked at me like I was crazy. …I pointed Blackboard, realized he thought he was at Solemn Oath (the distillery) and we shared a parking lot with him. I asked him if it wasn’t tasty? He said, “No, it tasted like a cloudy IPA. ’ I asked ‘why do you need alcohol?’ and he said, ‘I don’t know. ’ … Instead of leaving, he said, “I’ll invite my friend over here to see if she notices. ’ She showed up and ordered a beer. They were here for two hours.”

How is business? “This month, we doubled our sales from last month. Dry January was great for us. Business exceeded expectations. …I launched a ‘Go Dry’ challenge and it attracted 400 people. They subscribe to daily text messages and motivation. Get discounts.”

Do you market to alcoholics? “We don’t want to market to alcoholics because there are so many reasons why people don’t drink,” Bigler said. “We invite everyone and anyone who’s willing to try. Sometimes people don’t drink for health reasons, or they’re on medication.”

How did you get involved? “I saw the post that Joe was looking for a head brewer to help with this idea. The idea had been brewing for a while. That was September 2021. We opened in October (or 2022),” Five Years of Brewing Beer Bigler says

How do you prepare? “We brewed a batch for a year in Joe’s garage, tested a few things. … We use all the traditional ingredients. But we make sure we only make beers that have a minimum fermentability. We only make beers with about 0.45% alcohol of beer, so we can call it a non-alcoholic beer. … We use traditional yeast that everyone else uses. … Since we don’t have as much fermentable sugar, we don’t need as much yeast. ”

James Bigler, co-founder and master brewer at Go Brewing in Naperville, keeps each batch at 0.45 percent alcohol or less.

what do you like the most? “It’s hard to pin down one thing,” Chura said. “We find ourselves helping people, it’s amazing to meet their needs. It’s a big drive. It’s been awesome to go from idea to creation. Making the first ever (non-alcoholic) black and The tan idea, which will debut at the St. Paddy Festival.”

How is the wholesale business? “Very good. So far, almost all of our business has been in-store or on the website. Other breweries sell our product. You can find Solemn Oath, Hog Butcher in downtown Chicago, downtown Naperville (For the World) and Empire to buy one of our beers. More and more people realize that people need choice.”

and online sales? “Excellent. Biggest growth engine by far. Across the country. Mainly East Coast. New York. New Jersey. Washington, D.C. orders every day.”

Are you surprised? “Yes and no. What I’m really happy with is our product. We have the best NA beer on the planet, I think.

“I think it will take us a while to get there. Our eight beers stand the test of anyone. I would like to thank our packaging managers, James (Bigler) and Michael (Stahulak), for helping us in just a few months delivered an excellent product.”

What is the pricing here? “Most of our beers are $7.”

Can I buy alcoholic beer here? “You can. We just can’t.”

What advice do you have for people starting a business? “Find something that doesn’t seem to work. That’s it. I get lost in what I’m doing because it’s so much fun. Second, knowing that nothing great is easy. And the ideas are easier than the execution.” many.”

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Steve Metsch is a freelance writer for the Naperville Sun.

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