Ramova Grill Brewery: Who Will It Be?

After years of discussions, the beloved Ramova Theater in the heart of Bridgeport finally began undergoing renovations this past October. The theater will reopen as a concert venue, restaurant, and brewpub. Talk about a goldmine for all things #108ing.  A recent article in Eater Chicago listed The Ramova as one of the 12 Most Anticipated Restaurants in Chicago for 2022. The Ramova has signed on with a nationally known brewery not yet revealed to the public.  The one thing that is known is that the brewery is not from Chicago.  Josh Nelson recently mentioned this in a tweet, which invited speculation as to which brewery this could be.    

After processing my thoughts and doing some digging, here are three prime candidates that I want to see call The Ramova home:

Stone Brewing Company (Escondido, California)

Stone fits the national brand rumor as they distribute their beers to all 50 states. The iconic brewery based out of San Diego would easily be a fan favorite of many, especially Josh Nelson.  Additionally, Stone has a vast variety of west coast IPA’s as well as many delicious stouts to choose from.  I can envision My Sox Summer and Josh Nelson imbibing in both of these options on a Friday night at The Ramova while watching Chorizy’s band perform.  One can dream, however, this option is the least likely of my three as Stone already has expanded east with a brewery in Richmond, Virginia.    

Toppling Goliath Brewery Company (Decorah, Iowa)

One of the most well known breweries out of the state of Iowa, Toppling Goliath makes a lot of sense.  Toppling Goliath has expanded their brewery and now distributes their beers to 30 states.  If you’re from a small town, in the middle of nowhere Iowa and you’re now selling your beer in 60 percent of the country, I am considering you a national brand.  Additionally, the legendary beer Pseudo Sue is a collaboration with The Field Museum.  Toppling Goliath is a stallion in the brewing industry and expanding to a location on the south side of Chicago would be a home run.  The time is right for this brewery to expand to the big city.  

Bell’s Brewery (Kalamazoo, Michigan)

All signs point to Bell’s being the one.  It’s also the brewery that I absolutely want to be the one, as Michigan craft breweries are some of my absolute favorites in the country.  The company’s founder, Larry Bell, retired at the end of 2021 and sold the company.  They are now partnered with New Belgium out of Colorado.  Additionally, Bell’s distributes to 43 states in the country and fits the national brand rumors.  Not only that, but Bell’s is well known in Kalamazoo for having great live music at the brewery.  Bell’s seemingly has visions of expansion on the horizon and The Ramova is the perfect spot for a brewery known for producing award winning beers and electric concerts.   

Whatever mystery national brand has signed on with The Ramova is a huge win for Bridgeport and for the entire city of Chicago.  I for one am excited about the idea of listening to live music while kicking back a couple of delicious craft beers regardless of which national brand is moving in.  (But hopefully Bell’s)

-Brew Hand Luke

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