Revolution Brewing is a Chicago-based brewery that opened its first location at 2323 N. Milwaukee in 2010 adjacent to the CTA Blue Line California stop. In its original business plan, owner Josh Deth included a transit map, so transit was always a key factor in selecting locations near rail and bus. In 2011, Revolution added its second floor Brewer’s Lounge at the brewery. Before ride-sharing, this was a difficult location to hail a taxi, yet even so, Deth was committed to limiting the number of drivers and built zero parking for the site. The production Brewery and tap room at the second location on Kedzie Avenue opened in Spring 2012.
Given that people who are drinking beer should not be driving, an important benefit of Revolution’s location near the California Blue Line stop and on three bus lines is safe transportation for their customers and those of the food and entertainment district that has sprouted up around them. A former executive director of the Logan Square Chamber of Commerce, Deth is a big proponent of bringing along neighborhood retail, and Revolution Brewing was a catalyst for attracting other entertainment and food and beverage retail. The Blue Line’s 24-hour operation means that transit is an option any time of day, even at Revolution’s 2 a.m. closing time. The high level of pedestrian traffic around the station means that the environment feels safe for patrons in the evening.
Now that Revolution employs 20 salespeople who travel regularly to market the product in eight states, and a leadership team that travels to conferences and for other business reasons, the company especially values its Logan Square location on the Blue Line, just a 30-minute ride from O’Hare.
Many of the 80 employees choose to live in the neighborhood and want a job close to their homes for an easy commute. A high percentage of employees take public transit, bike or walk to work, especially since the Milwaukee Ave. location has no parking. A number of employees have chosen to live along the Blue line for easy work access. The brewery on Kedzie is open 24 hours a day and some employees who work the night shift use transit. Revolution provides pre-tax transit benefits for employees to incentivize transit use by employees.
Revolution has created a brand highly associated with active transportation and targets marketing dollars toward this segment. In fact, Revolution was the first business in Chicago to pay to build a bike corral in front of the brewpub on Milwaukee, for both employees and patrons to use along this heavy cycling corridor. There is a bike rack inside the tap room at the Kedzie location. The company also sponsors nonprofit organizations that promote transit, biking and walking.