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Elder Brewing Co. now open

Brock A. Stein | 11/10/2017, 12:59 p.m. | Updated on 11/10/2017, 12:59 p.m.
It could be standing room only when Elder Brewing Co. opens its doors to the public this Friday at noon.
Andrew and Melissa Polykandriotis owners of Elder Brewing Co. in Joliet. Photo by Brock A. Stein

It could be standing room only when Elder Brewing Co. opens its doors to the public this Friday at noon.

That’s due in part to Joliet’s newest microbrewery’s 500-square foot space, which can hold about 30 people, and the fact that co-owner Melissa Polykandriotis was still looking for bar stools to go with their 20-foot bar before their grand opening.

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Elder Brewing Co. is Joliet's first nano-brewery with a three barrel brewing system.

“The bar takes up half of the room,” she said this week as the couple takes care of last minute details ahead of the opening.

Polykandriotis, and her husband Andrew have been working to renovate the space at 218 E. Cass St. since 2015. They’ve put a lot of sweat equity in to the renovation of the former JCM Uniforms building themselves and in the past few months hired contractors to take the project across the finish line. Work completed includes refinished hardwood floors, new plumbing, and new bathrooms said Melissa who is overseeing the business side of the operation while her husband serves as chief brewer. The new space will include a small tasting room with a couple of tables on the first floor with exposed brick and brewing operations on the 2nd floor.

Melissa said that Friday’s opening will include free popcorn and although the brewery won’t be selling food, patrons are welcome to bring their own snacks or are encouraged to visit one of the restaurants nearby.

She said that the nano brewery will be serving up at least two brews on Friday, including a cream ale and American pale ale. She said that another two are possible for their debut including an IPA and wheat ale.

Elder Brewing Co. will be the second craft brewery to open in Joliet in 2017 with MyGrain Brewing making its debut in the former Union Station, 50 E. Jefferson St. in September.

Melissa said that the experience at Elder Brewing Co.—which she calls a nano-brewer due to its 3-barrel brewing system—will be different from the 12,000 square foot MyGrain.

“Nobody will be able to actually see the production with the fermenters because that’s upstairs,” said Melissa.

“It’s different, the only thing that’s the same is that they both brew beer.”

Elder’s opening will be followed by another microbrewery, Will County Brewing Company in Shorewood, which announced on social media last week that it had received its state liquor license and had a target opening date sometime around Christmas.